Explore Scenic Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains

A lush valley brimming with wondrous wildlife and historical features — Cades Cove is a must-stop destination on your Smoky Mountain vacation in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this picturesque valley area attracts millions of visitors each year. Boasting a gorgeous scenic drive, hiking trails, historic buildings, dipping valleys, horse pastures, wildflower meadows, a cascading waterfall, rushing rivers, gentle creeks, and stunning mountain views, there’s a lot to explore in Cades Cove! 

Scenic Drive on the Cades Cove Loop

An 11-mile loop circles Cades Cove, giving you a great opportunity to view all the area has to offer without leaving your car. This paved one-way road has 2 connecting roads that cut through the middle of the valleys in case you don’t have time to spend 2-4 hours around the entire Cades Cove scenic loop. 

Be prepared for many stops when it’s super crowded, but remember the slow pace is optimal for viewing, snapping photos, and making lasting memories with family and friends on your self-guided auto tour. And there are quite a few pull-offs so you can pause to really take in the scenery, walk to see structures up close, and let people pass.