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Cades Cove in Great Smoky National Park TN. Cades Cove

Website: Caves Cove
Reviews: Yelp    TripAdvisor

Cades Cove is 137 miles and 3.7 hours west of Pigeon Forge. Cades Cove is a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most visited destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Read more: Cades Cove

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Cherokee Reservation Museum in Cherokee NC. Cherokee Indian Reservation, NC

Website: http://visitcherokeenc.com/

Cherokee ,NC is 67 miles, 1.4 hours west of Hendersonville. Visit and learn about the Cherokee Indian heritage. There are many shops offering genuine native American art and crafts.

Read more: Cherokee Indian Reservation, NC

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Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains Park. Clingmans Dome

Website: Clingmans Dome
Reviews: Yelp    TripAdvisor

Clingmans Dome is 6,643 feet which makes it the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Clingmans Dome is also the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi. Mt. Mitchell reaches 6,684 feet which is located in Mt. Mitchell State Park in western North Carolina and is considered the highest point east of the Mississippi.

The observation tower on the summit of Clingmans Dome offers spectacular 360° views of the Smokies and beyond. There is a steep half-mile walk to the top of the tower. On a clear day views expand over a 100 miles. But, because of air pollution you are only able to see about 20 miles.

Due to weather conditions, the road to Clingmans Dome is closed December 1 through March 31.

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The Great Smoky National Park in TN.

Great Smoky National Park

The Great Smoky National Park is America's most visited national park.

There are over 17,000 species that have been documented in the park. Scientists believe an additional 30,000-80,000 species may live here. The Park is 522,419 acres, making it one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States.

Read more: Great Smoky National Park

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Sign for Mt LeConte and Alum Cave in Smoky Mtns Park, TN.  Mt LeConte & Alum Cave

Mt LeConte and Alum Cave Trail is 90.2 miles and 2 hours west of Hendersonville.

The Alum Cave Trail is the shortest and steepest of the five trails leading to Mt Le Conte. Mt LeConte consist of four separate peaks, the highest has an elevation of 6,593 feet -- which is the third highest peak in the park.

Alum Cave Trail is often considered Le Conte's most scenic route and it is the most common route for hikers seeking to reach the summit of Mt LeConte.

Mt LeConte Lodge provides the only commercial lodging in the national park, with 10 rustic cabins with no electricity or appliances.The lodge is the highest guest lodge in the eastern United States with and elevation of about 6,400 feet.The LeConte Lodge is a small resort, established in 1925, located on the top of the mountain. The lodge is very popular and the cabins fill up quickly.  Guests may sometimes have to book reservations over a year in advance.

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Newfound Gap in The Great Smoky National Park TN. Newfound Gap

Website: Newfound Gap
Reviews: TripAdvisor

Newfound Gap is 85 miles 2 hours west of Hendersonville. Newfound Gap, 5,046 feet, is the highest point along U.S. Highway 441 through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The parking lot spans between the state line of North Carolina and Tennessee. The Appalachian Trail, 2,200 mile hiking trail from Georgia to Maine crosses the Newfound Gap.  If you stop to stretch you legs and enjoy the views you may see some through hikers on their way to Maine.

Newfound Gap is almost a mile high offering magnificent views. The weather at Newfound Gap is much cooler than at the lower elevations and the temperature can be as much as 10 degrees difference. Becaue of the difference in temperature and elevation, it could be snowing at Newfound Gap but raining in Gatlinburg or Cherokee.