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Where are the Smoky Mountains?

Have you ever asked yourself, “Where are the Smoky Mountains?” Well, we want to help you by giving you the answer! Not only will we tell you where the Smokies are located, we’ll also share which cities are close by and more information you want to know! Keep reading to find out where the Smoky Mountains are located:

Where are the Smoky Mountains?

smoky mountainsThe Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in East Tennessee and West North Carolina. The national park is a part of both states, and it is virtually split between the two.


There are some major cities near the Smokies. One that sits right next to the park is Gatlinburg. This town has a small town feel but accommodates millions of visitors every year. There are all kinds of attractions, restaurants, and cultural places to visit. Gatlinburg is about 12 minutes from the park, which equals 5.5 miles.

Pigeon Forge

Another major city people visit when they come to the Smokies is Pigeon Forge. This city is 13 miles from the Smokies, and it takes about 20 minutes to drive from the city to the park. Pigeon Forge is known for dinner shows, Dollywood, The Island, and many other fun things to do.


aerial view of pigeon forge

Knoxville is the largest major city near the mountains. It takes about 1 hour to drive from the city to get to the national park, and the distance is 40 miles. Knoxville has a ton of fun things to do downtown, as well as beautiful parks and places to shop.


The major city on the North Carolina side of the Smokies is Asheville. Asheville is about 2 hours from the Tennessee side of the Smokies. It takes about 1.5 hours to drive there and back. Asheville is known for its eclectic art scene and historic attractions, like Biltmore House.

National Park Entrances

You are also probably wondering where you can enter the national park. There are several entrances into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park you can use. The most popular entrance is through Gatlinburg and is known as the Sugarland entrance. You can visit the Sugarland Visitors Center and learn more about the history of the area and walk through a small museum, as well as watch a 20-minute film.

A less populated entrance is through Townsend Tennessee. You’ll drive through a scenic mountain town that follows along the river and eventually comes to the Townsend “Y.” If you turn left, you’ll be heading towards Gatlinburg. If you turn right, you will make your way towards Cades Cove.

wears valleyIf you want a true scenic drive through the national park, you should take Wears Valley. You’ll get to see country homes, beautiful scenes of nature, and more. It’s a great way to get into the national park, and many people don’t use it.

If you visit North Carolina, you can enter from this side through Cherokee. You will be taking Newfound Gap Road, which connects Cherokee with Gatlinburg Tennessee. It takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to drive. You’ll have many beautiful views of the mountains, and there are a ton of places where you can get out to enjoy the view, hike the trails, and see the sights.

Now you know where the Smoky Mountains are, as well as other valuable information for when you come to the Smokies. Since you know what you will do, you just need a place to stay! Book one of our Smoky Mountain cabins to be close to the national park and these beautiful cities!