Top 4 Places to Watch the Sunset in the Smoky Mountains

September 02, 2021

The high elevation of the mountains makes it the perfect place to catch one of the most spectacular sunsets imaginable. No matter where you are in the park, there is a good chance you will be able to get some amazing pictures of the sun going down behind the trees. However, there are a few hidden spots to go in order to get the best views! Here are 4 of the best places to watch the sunset in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Clingmans Dome

clingman sunsetWhen you think of the best places to see a sunset, you might as well start at the highest point in the Smokies. While you can get an amazing view from the parking lot area of Clingmans Dome, the best way to capture the amazing moment is to hike to the observation tower. The walk from the parking lot to the tower is only a half a mile long, but getting to the top of the observation deck can be challenging because of the steepness. However, once you reach the top and view the marvelous sunset, you will see it is well worth the effort. On clear days, you will be able to see nearly 100 miles from the observation deck, which offers a beautiful 360 degree view of the Smokies. If you are looking for the best place to view the sunset, Clingmans Dome has to be the first option!

2. Mount LeConte

The most popular hiking trail to get to Mount LeConte is via the Alum Cave Trail. In order to reach the peak of Mount LeConte, it is almost an 11-mile hike. Although this is one of the more difficult trails in the Smoky Mountains, it is also one of the most rewarding. The views that you will encounter from Mount LeConte will leave you absolutely speechless. As the third highest peak in the mountains, you can imagine the great sunsets you can see here. If you want to make the most of your experience, you can book a stay at the LeConte Lodge and wake up to an amazing sunrise the next morning before heading back down the trail. Once you get to the peak of Mount LeConte, you will see why it is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Smokies!

3. Newfound Gap

newfound gap sunsetIf you want to experience the sunset from multiple angles, Newfound Gap might be your best option. This 29.4 mile road has many different pull off areas so you can choose where to watch the sunset from. There are also many great hiking trails along the road, including the beautiful hike to Indian Gap. This trail is only 3.3 miles long so you have plenty of time to finish the hike and be back in time for the sunset!

4. The Chimney Tops

One of the shorter hikes you can take to see a magnificent sunset is Chimney Tops Trail. This is a 3.6 mile hike, but is rated as difficult. The reason that this hike falls under the difficulty rating is because of the ascent you must take to get to the top, but the trail is very well maintained. Along the way, you will come across some magnificent tree formations and a gorgeous river. Once you reach the peak, there is an observation tower where you see the magnificent scenery of the Smokies! If you choose to watch the sunset from the Chimney Tops, be sure you bring a flashlight along because the trees on the walk back will make it very dark.

Now that you know about some of the best places to watch the sunset in the Smoky Mountains, be sure to check out this hiking map to plan your next trip today! We hope to see you soon in the Smokies!