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cades cove road

Cades Cove is the most popular destination in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. People come from all over the world to see this incredible valley surrounded by mountains, because there’s no other place quite like it! You’ll be able to drive around an 11-mile paved loop road, and there are several places where you can get out and explore. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains:

Where is Cades Cove?

Cades Cove is within the national park near the Townsend, Tennessee entrance. This city is in Blount County and is slightly south of Gatlinburg. If you go through this entrance, you will turn right at the Townsend Why, and continue on Laurel Creek Road for about 8 miles until you reach the beginning of the Loop.

How Far is Cades Cove from Gatlinburg?

cades cove in the smoky mountainsIf you are staying with us in Gatlinburg, you may be wondering how far this destination is from the city. Time wise, Cades Cove is about an hour away from Gatlinburg. It is 29 miles for distance, but you’ll have an incredible scenic drive if you go through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To get to Cades Cove from Gatlinburg, drive on the Parkway into the national park. Once you pass Sugarlands Visitor Center on the right, take a right to turn onto Little River Road. This road dead ends at the Loop.

What are Cades Cove Hours?

The Loop itself is open year round from sunrise to sunset. If there is inclement weather, the road could be closed.

On Wednesdays from May to September, Cades Cove Loop will be closed to vehicles but open to pedestrians and cyclists.

The Cades Cove Visitor Center is open every day except for Christmas Day. Here are the hours for the Visitor Center:

Month Hours
January 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
February 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
March 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
April – May 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
June – August 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
September – October 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
November 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
December 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

When is the Best Time to Visit?

tipton place cades coveIf you’re trying to plan a trip to Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains, you may be wondering when the best time to visit is. This area is beautiful no matter when you see it, but depending on what you want to see, the time could change

During the Day

When you’re trying to decide what time of day to drive the Loop, you may want to go early in the morning, around lunch time, or late in the afternoon. These are the least popular times of the day, and you may see less traffic.

During the Week

The weekends are some of the most popular times to visit Cades Cove. If you want to avoid heavy traffic, avoid visiting on the weekend.

During the Seasons

bear in cades coveAs we mentioned before, Cades Cove is beautiful any time of the year, but the peak season is from April to November. With spring, wildflowers are blooming and wildlife starts to really stir again after winter. Summer is popular because kids are out of school, and many people plan vacations during this season. Fall is the most popular season to visit Cades Cove because of the colorful leaves, and winter is the least popular season in the year.

Want to learn even more about this popular destination? Check out these fun facts about Cades Cove!

Now you know more about Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains! Are you ready to visit this beautiful area in the national park? Start planning your next trip in the Smokies by booking one of our Gatlinburg hotel rooms today!