On the second morning of my trip, I dragged myself out of bed at 4:30 in the morning. Who does that on vacation?!? Newfound Gap was an hour and a half from Cades Cove and I wanted to be there before dawn, hence the early morning drive. My Boy Scout experience kicked in and I broke camp and was on the road by 5:00am. I could not wait to get there because I had coffee to make in the parking lot.
I arrived with plenty of time to make coffee and setup my camera. I took a few shots before the sun peeked over which resulted in the blue photo below and stuck around another hour shooting while the sun rose…beautiful. What Cades Cove lacked – fall color, Newfound Gap had in spades. Starting here at the overlook and continuing on to the other side of the mountains into Cherokee was spectacular, amazing colors for miles on end.
I wanted to finish this post with a little history. Up until 1872, Indian Gap (1.5 miles west of Newfound Gap) was recognized as the lowest pass through the Great Smoky Mountains. Arnold Henry Guyot discovered the “newfound” gap as the lowest point and it replaced Indian Gap. The Newfound Gap at 5,046 feet high is the lowest drivable pass in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Enjoy the photos I took at the Overlook and on the road heading into Cherokee on the North Carolina side.