Best Cars to Drive in the Smoky Mountains (Do I Need an SUV?)

The best time to visit the south is in the fall and summer, especially in June, July, and August. One of the most visited national parks in the United States as of 2021 was “The Smoky Mountains,” with about 4.43 million people. This Mountain park rises along the Tennessee-North Carolina border in the Southeastern United States.

One of the most common ways of enjoying these Smoky Mountains sceneries is to drive through them; therefore, you’ll need the correct type of vehicle to get the most out of them. Selecting the right vehicle is an integral part of enjoying the park since a car with trouble will ruin your fun inside the park.

What is The Best Vehicle for Great smoky mountains Driving?

Driving Through The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Driving in the smoky mountains will be even more fun if you use the right car. Some of the criteria for the right vehicle for smoky mountains Driving include:

  • Easy to Maneuver

This characteristic is crucial in keeping your car from getting tired on the road trip. An easy car to handle is easier to drive, making driving less hectic, allowing you to enjoy the mountain scenery without focusing on the road solely.

  • Spacious

A spacious vehicle comes in handy whenever you’re taking a long journey. It will make it easier to carry things and also it will offer you a resting space if you get tired on the way.

  • Not Too Big

As much as space is crucial, your car should not be too big. A big car will limit your movement around, especially if the road is filled with people, especially in June and July.

Pro Tips: If you need a unique experience exploring those Great Smoky Mountains, you will never go wrong with a car that has a panoramic and moon roof and, above all, a convertible!

Do I need An SUV for the Great smoky Mountains?

4WD SUV for the Great Smoky Mountains Pictures

The roads in these mountains are in good condition; therefore, a four-wheel-drive vehicle such as an SUV or pickup truck is unnecessary. In that case, you can go for a sedan or minivan, but if you want to explore the park deeply, an all-wheel Drive with high ground clearance will come in handy.

But wait, if you can get your hands on a 4WD, then it could be the perfect vehicle for the Smoky Mountains National Park. As you use the 4WD vehicle, you will enjoy the Rich mountain road. This is the most fantastic route you consider, mainly as you go to the view of Cades Cove. Besides, this route entails the one-way road, which comes with grave ditches pavement. Thus, it ensures that people are even much closer to the overall picture.

Besides the beauty of mother nature, you will realize the road is also steep and winding. Again, you may as well use the Upper Tremont Road located in the hidden gem. This is a road which offers people the most peaceful drive. The gravel path will make you realize that tourists do not use this road more often.

Is it Hard to drive In the Smoky Mountains?

Avoidance of traffic while in Gatlinburg is a difficult task. However, it is best to experience the traffic and get the chance to enjoy the beautiful Smoky Mountains. It is pretty crowded in the Mountains, and thus you will face some problems. As a result, never be in a rush, you need to relax as this way you will love the atmosphere of the mountain.

This national park has no gas stations. It entails wilderness, and its sight is beautiful. As a result, you will not come across any rest areas, and no gas stations are available. For this reason, it is a necessity for one to fill the gas tank even before you consider going to the mountains. You will come across a gas station even before you reach the National park present in Gatlinburg.

Are The Smoky Mountains Scary to Drive Through?

Driving is never scary unless in the instances where one is scared with the steep drop-offs and curvy roads. However, you will realize there will be a bit of razzing.

In my opinion, the Roaring FOrk drive would be ideal for all the different instances. Again, there is no time when it ends up climbing higher into the mountains.

How Long Does it Take to Drive Through the Great Smoky Mountains?

You will find that the scenic driving in the Case Cove Loop takes around three to four hours with the traffic. Since the road entails a single lane, always be ready for frequent stops. Besides, the slow space helps people enjoy the fantastic mountain landscapes, diverse wildlife, and wildflower meadows.

What is The Best Drive Through the Smoky Mountains?

The best drive for you to use as you head to the Smoky Mountains is the Clingmans Dome Road. In case you are in an inclined position as you head to Great Smoky National Park, you may consider walking in the rest of the extra half mile, especially on the lookout point. This way, you will have unimpeded views, especially in the whole Smoky Mountain region.

Picture of Great Smoky Mountains Road in Autumn

another Scenic Drive in the Smoky Mountains includes:

  • Newfound Gap Road (30.3 Miles)
  • Little River Road (25 Miles)
  • The Roaring Fork Motor Trail (5.5 Miles)
  • Cades Cove Loop (11 Miles)
  • Cataloochee Valley Road (7.3 Miles)
  • Balsam Mountain Heintooga Ridge (14 Miles)
  • The Foothills Parkway (17 Miles)

Final Word

Driving to enjoy the beautiful scenery in the Great Smoky National park is something fun. I myself really like this kind of activity. But you still have to remember driving through the national park requires good preparation so that the trip remains enjoyable.