We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best Sections of BRP between Asheville and Gatlinburg

Which Asheville hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Framingham...
Level Contributor
179 posts
319 reviews
Save Topic
Best Sections of BRP between Asheville and Gatlinburg

We'll be settting out early on a mid-April Sunday morning from Shelby, NC headed to Gatlinburg via the Newfound Gap Rd in Great Smokies NP. We'd like to balance seeing as much scenery as possible vs. the driving time. Option 1 is to take I-26 to I-40, to Rt 74 / 23 and pick up the BRP at Balsam. The shorter distance Option 2 is to exit Rt 74 / 23 at Rt 221 / 19, go through Maggie Valley, and pick up the BRP at Soco Gap.

Is the extra time and distance of Option 1 worth it in terms of scenic value? How much additional time would it be?

On the return trip, we are stopping in Asheville for 1.5 days. Rather than go back through the park, we are planning to take Rt 321 east to I-40. The portions of I-40 east of the Great Smokies boundary are labeled as scenic on the AAA map.

Not having been to this part of the country before, I'd appreciate recommendations for best routes back and forth that balance scenic value vs. time spent in the car. Thanks!

Asheville, North...
Level Contributor
70 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Best Sections of BRP between Asheville and Gatlinburg

You may want to check the website or call for closures: nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm before your trip.

The Parkway is closed for construction from Soco Gap to Cherokee until about April 15. Sometimes they finish ahead of schedule and sometimes they run late. Hopefully it will be open for you!

I'm not as familiar with that part of the Parkway, but in my opinion, there's pretty scenery no matter which road you take. :)

Marietta, Georgia
Level Contributor
578 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Best Sections of BRP between Asheville and Gatlinburg

I would go for option 1. The Parkway from Balsam Gap to Soco Gap is very scenic, more so, in my opinion, than Soco gap to Cherokeel Also, the distance from Balsam Gap to Soco Gap is not that far, maybe 15 miles, so I don't think the difference in your 2 options is that much.

Framingham...
Level Contributor
179 posts
319 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best Sections of BRP between Asheville and Gatlinburg

Thanks for pointing out the road closures so we can plan accordingly. Will keep an eye on the NPS website provided.

4. Re: Best Sections of BRP between Asheville and Gatlinburg

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 18 June 2013, 15:42