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Monday, November 21, 2011
Newfound Gap Road (US 441) runs from Gatlinburg, Tennessee up and over the crest of the Smoky Mountains and then down to Cherokee, North Carolina. From Gatlinburg to the highest point, the road gains around 3500' of elevation; watch how the trees change from lowland hardwoods to high altitude firs and back again as you descend to Cherokee. You actually leave Great Smoky Mountain National Park just before reaching Cherokee; Cherokee, North Carolina is actually on a large Indian reservation and is a great area to explore. The view shown above is from the Oconaluftee Valley Overlook just below Newfound Gap; I arrived early hoping for a nice sunrise view; instead, the mountain was locked in thick mist with 30' visibility. After almost an hour, I was about to leave when the mist began to thin out a bit; I got several views down the valley. There are numerous scenic stops along Newfound Gap Road, I will be posting several more about these areas in the future. One other view from below Newfound Gap is below.http://paulmartinimage.blogspot.com/2011/12/sunset-in-great-smoky-mountains.html