Adventure

Great Smoky Mountains NP & Cades Cove Self-Guided Tour

Activity provider: Action Tour Guide

Great Smoky Mountains NP & Cades Cove Self-Guided Tour

Activity provider: Action Tour Guide

From US$ 15 per person

Discover everything the Smokies have to offer with this self-guided tour. See the stunning scenery of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, explore Cades Cove, and marvel at the Cataract Falls.

About this ticket

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Reserve now & pay later
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Valid 365 days
Check availability to see starting times.
Audio guide included
English

Experience

Highlights
  • Reconnect with nature as you hike through pristine and secluded wildnerness
  • Discover historic Cades Cove, a pioneer community shaken by the Civil War
  • Discover the hidden treasures of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Snap photos from jaw-dropping overlooks and hike to the overlook at Alum Cave
  • Learn the history of the Cherokee Nation who once called these mountains home
Full description

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains at your own pace with a self-guided and self-driving tour. Hike to Alum Cave, enjoy a panoramic view from Charles Overlook, and discover Cades Coves from the comfort of your own car.

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one.

. Drive to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to start your journey. After exploring the Visitor Center, head past the Mingus Mill, a remnant of a once-thriving town.

As you drive to Beech Flats Quiet Walkway, hear accounts of the Cherokee people who once lived here. Learn about their legends and their struggle to hold onto their land. Once you arrive, enjoy a meditative stroll through nature. Hop back into your car and head to Charles Webb Overlook, which offers a panoramic view of the park. Once you’ve snapped some stunning photos, continue toward Clingman’s Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies, for more unparalleled views of the mountains. Continue to the trail for Alum Cave, one of the most popular hikes in the park. If you wish, take the moderate 4.4-mile roundtrip trail for beautiful panoramas and fascinating rock formations. After your hike, drive to Chimney Tops Overlook, offering more stunning mountain views.

Next, enjoy an easy wilderness walk at Balsam Point. As you continue past yet another incredible vista and another secluded walkway, hear little-known park history. Jump back in your car and drive towards Gatlinburg, stopping on the way to check out the pristine Cataract Falls. In Gatlinburg, pass the famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Drive past Ogle Place, an old-timey homestead dating back to the 1800s, before arriving at Rainbow Falls. Continue your drive past several more waterfalls and the historic cabins of Ephraim Bales and Reagan Tub, offering a fascinating glimpse into the past. Finally, finish your Great Smoky National Park tour with a visit to the old Ely’s Mill, which is still in operation today. Start the second part of your combination tour, discovering Cades Coves, just west of Gatlinburg. From there, continue west toward the scenic loop. The first landmark on your route is John Oliver Place, once home to some of the first homesteaders to make a living here. After that, pass 3 churches dating back to the 1800s and uncover the devastating impact of the Civil War on this community. Drive to Elijah Oliver Place, a beautifully-preserved homestead offering an authentic look at early pioneer life. If you wish to stretch your legs, hike to Abrams Falls, a secluded, powerful waterfall. Next, drive to Tipton Place. Finally, reach the Carter Shields Cabin, another idyllic homestead from a bygone era. Finish your tour at the start of the loop as you hear about the last family to call the cove home.

Includes
  • Self-guided tour taken via Action Tour Guide app
  • Unique password (sent by email) for access
  • Live GPS map on your phone
  • Offline functionality
  • Audio narration
  • Written text explanations
  • Route from stop to stop
  • List of stops along the route
  • Entry to paid attractions
  • Vehicle rentals
  • Food or drinks
  • Transportation
  • Parking
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Meeting point

This is a self-guided experience and not an entrance ticket. It begins at Oconaluftee Visitor Center, 1194 Newfound Gap Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA. Be sure to check your email before you begin to download the Action Tour Guide app, enter your unique password, and access your tour. These steps require good data/wifi. From there, simply follow the audio instructions and the route. Have questions? Visit Action Tour Guide’s Help page: https://actiontourguide.com/faq/

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Important information

What to bring

  • Charged Smartphone
  • Your own vehicle
  • Downloaded app
  • Power bank

Know before you go

  • This is a self-guided tour; no guide will accompany you. The Action Tour Guide app functions as a guide, an audio tour, and a map
  •  You will need your own vehicle for this tour. You only need to book 1 tour per vehicle
  • This is not an entry ticket
  • Please arrange for a vehicle before you take the tour. You only need to book one tour per vehicle, not per person
  • After the booking, you will receive an email with a link to the Action Tour Guide app and a unique password to access the tour within the app
  • This tour has been developed by local guides, curated by creative writers, and narrated by professional voice artists
  • Most stops along the tour have animated videos allowing you to visualize what you cannot see, such as snapshots from different centuries or interior rooms
  • This tour is valid forever, from the moment of booking. You will not need to change the booking if your travel plans change

Product ID: 414708