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Smoky Mountains In Fall - Several Questions!

by foxxy1601 Online Now Sep 21, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Okay I am going to be in the Smoky Mountains very briefly in the fall. I will be there Thursday and Friday October 22 & 23. On Friday I really won't be there for very long - I will be driving into the park in the evening and driving to Clingman's dome to see the view and enjoy the sunset there! After that I am going to drive to stay in a hotel in either Maggie Valley or Cherokee, NC. Friday I will be doing a bit more of the touristy stuff on the NC side of the mountains. Here come the questions:

From everything I hear the traffic can get pretty bad around there in the fall. On a Thursday evening how bad do you think the traffic will be on 441. I am going to be driving down there during the day and trying to make it to Clingman's Dome with enough time to have at least a half hour to relax before watching the sunset. So my question is about how long should I give myself to drive from Gatlinburg to Clingmans dome? Also, approximately how long does it take to hike to the top of the Clingman's dome? I want to have an idea of what time I need to be leaving Gatlinburg in order to get there with plenty of time to see the view as well as watch the sunset!

On that Friday I will be planing to do some driving and fall color sight seeing! I will be staying on the North Carolina side of the mountains because by the end of the day I have to be in Greenville, NC.

- Does anyone have any places the recommend on the NC side of the mountains to go see some wonderful fall colors? Also, I love taking pictures so places for photographing the colors would be great too!!

- I am thinking about taking a drive either on Heintooga Ridge Road and/or Balsam Mountain Road OR in Cataloochee....... Which one do you recommend for viewing fall colors, beautiful scenery & even maybe some wildlife?? If you recommend somewhere else that is on that side of the mountains I am open to that as well!! Also, how bad is the traffic in fall in those areas? Is either of them less busy usually? This also might sound weird but I have a major fear of heights that I might just have to deal with because I know some of the roads I have been on by the Mountains before have drops offs right by the edge, etc. But how are the roads for these places or anywhere you are recommending to me? Like I said I might just have to deal with my fear - but it is always good to know that ahead of time!!

Well for now that is all the questions - I might come up with more as it gets closer! Also, if you want to give me any information that might help me please do! I really appreciate it!!

Thanks,

Tricia

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    Re: Smoky Mountains In Fall - Several Questions!

    by foxxy1601 Online Now Sep 21, 2009 at 10:36 PM

    Yeah I meant Greenville SC! My mistake. As for Cherokee we are just staying there for a place to stay and will will have already been driving for at least 9 hours that day so we could care less where we stay and its right out of the mountain so close to where we will be coming from and not out of the way from where we will be the next day... trying to cut down driving. To drive into Asheville would add a bit of time going there and then coming back to the mountains. I do plan to go to Biltmore at some point in my life but not on this trip... just not enough money or time! Looking to not spend much money!

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