By Jeremy Patton
Newfound Gap is located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina near the center of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
It is the lowest drivable pass in the park, but it is nearly a mile high, so the views of the surrounding valleys are breathtaking. US-441 snakes through the pass and leads to a large parking lot with developed overlooks. The area is family friendly, wheelchair accessible and has restrooms.
Newfound Gap got its name in 1872 when a Swiss geographer by the name of Arnold Henry Guyot measured it. A new road soon followed, displacing the old one at nearby Indian Gap, about 1.5 miles to the west.
Newfound Gap is a must-stop while traveling southeast from Gatlingburg, TN to Cherokee, NC on US-441. The seven-mile road to Clingman’s Dome resides a mere quarter-mile to the west. The Newfound Gap parking lot would be a good place to park (weather permitting) when Clingmans Dome Road is closed for the winter, if you want to hike up the mountain via the Appalacian Trail.