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Knoxville to Gatlinburg

pgnewarkboy

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Thinking of flying to Knoxville and driving fro there to Gatlinburg. Is this a decent drive? Google maps doesn't show a main highway between the destinations.
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
It's A 4-Lane Highway Along Most Of That Route.

Thinking of flying to Knoxville and driving fro there to Gatlinburg. Is this a decent drive? Google maps doesn't show a main highway between the destinations.
The road between the Interstate & Gatlinburg is 4 lanes through Pigeon Forge, then 2 lanes the rest of the way to Gatlinburg.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

 

rod

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I will give you a brief descriptions of the options for traveling from the Knoxville airport to Gatlinburg.

From the Knoxville airport, take US-129 south to TN-35, then turn left onto TN-35 and travel to US-411 or to US-321.

US-411 is the route to Sevierville, where you will turn right onto US-441, which will take you to Gatlinburg. (about 45 miles)

US-321 is the route to Pigeon Forge, where you will turn right onto US-441, which will take you to Gatlinburg. (about 45 miles)

One last option is that when you take US-321, shortly after you pass through Townsend you can turn onto TN-73, which will take you to Gatlinburg through the park. (about 45 miles)

These first three routes are mostly 2-lane roads until you get to Sevierville or Pigeon Forge where you pick up US-441, which is 4 or more lanes all the way from Sevierville to Gatlinburg--the TN-73 route is 2-lane all the way into Gatlinburg.

If you want only 4-lane roads, from the airport you will have to take US-129 north to I-140, then take I-40 west to I-40/75, then take I-40/75 northeast to I-75/640, then take I-640 east to I-40. (I-40 through Knoxville is closed for a major reconstruction.) Then follow I-40 east to TN-66, which will take you to US-441, which will take you to Gatlinburg. (about 75 miles)

You need to be aware that traffic can be very heavy on TN-66 and US-441, especially late Friday and on Sunday afternoons.
 

Kozman

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A Couple of Short Cuts

Once you reach Sevierville you can bypass much of the main road traffic (if it's bad) by using Veteran's highway (old Middlecreek,east of 441 off of 411) or even Teaster Rd which is a local back road by Pigeon Forge. Both run parallel to the main drag for quite a ways and are much less traveled. Also, if you are staying at the extreme end of Gatlinburg, you might consider using the Gatlinburg by-pass and coming back from the other direction.
 

pcgirl54

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We came the opposite direction from Asheville to Gaitlinburg to Pigeon Forge. Loved Seiverville area and ate at The Apple Barn. Loved Biltmore Estate.

Just don't be tempted to drive through Smokey Mtns National Park because the road is closed at the peak and visibility as one climbs is nil and scary. We had no idea since for us east coasters the weather was mile. We had to backtrack through all the country roads that take forever. We never got to Knoxville but would have loved to. So take the highways even though it loops.
 

sfwilshire

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We came the opposite direction from Asheville to Gaitlinburg to Pigeon Forge. Loved Seiverville area and ate at The Apple Barn. Loved Biltmore Estate.

Just don't be tempted to drive through Smokey Mtns National Park because the road is closed at the peak and visibility as one climbs is nil and scary. We had no idea since for us east coasters the weather was mile. We had to backtrack through all the country roads that take forever. We never got to Knoxville but would have loved to. So take the highways even though it loops.


I'm not aware of any closings except when they get snow and ice on the top. Then they'll close the road over the mountain.

I'd dispute the visibility statement, also, but it has been a while since I've been over the mountain. We do have pollution in the park, but I don't think you'd find many days of very poor views. Fog could be an issue in the morning some days.

Sheila
 

sfwilshire

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I will give you a brief descriptions of the options for traveling from the Knoxville airport to Gatlinburg.

From the Knoxville airport, take US-129 south to TN-35, then turn left onto TN-35 and travel to US-411 or to US-321.

US-411 is the route to Sevierville, where you will turn right onto US-441, which will take you to Gatlinburg. (about 45 miles)

US-321 is the route to Pigeon Forge, where you will turn right onto US-441, which will take you to Gatlinburg. (about 45 miles)

One last option is that when you take US-321, shortly after you pass through Townsend you can turn onto TN-73, which will take you to Gatlinburg through the park. (about 45 miles)

These first three routes are mostly 2-lane roads until you get to Sevierville or Pigeon Forge where you pick up US-441, which is 4 or more lanes all the way from Sevierville to Gatlinburg--the TN-73 route is 2-lane all the way into Gatlinburg.

If you want only 4-lane roads, from the airport you will have to take US-129 north to I-140, then take I-40 west to I-40/75, then take I-40/75 northeast to I-75/640, then take I-640 east to I-40. (I-40 through Knoxville is closed for a major reconstruction.) Then follow I-40 east to TN-66, which will take you to US-441, which will take you to Gatlinburg. (about 75 miles)

You need to be aware that traffic can be very heavy on TN-66 and US-441, especially late Friday and on Sunday afternoons.

Amazing list. I've lived here more than 50 years and can't remember most of those road numbers. Great advice.

Sheila
 

pcgirl54

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Sheila-Why would you ever "dispute" what said I experienced?

It New Year's week Dec 06 -Jan 07 with temps of 50-60 degrees in Asheville. We could not see 2 feet in front of our car or around bends in the road when we were a few miles from the highest point after 2 hours or more of driving. Other people had to turn around due to the road closure. There was no snow or storm.
 
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David

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Just don't be tempted to drive through Smokey Mtns National Park because the road is closed at the peak...

I (and lots of others) drove through the park from Cherokee to Gatlinburg last September/October with no problems.
 

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A couple years ago (maybe Christmas 06?) we drove thru the park on snow and ice, no closures. It was night, so no visibility regardless. Also, very little traffic.
 

pcgirl54

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That's great that some of you did not experience what I did. If one of you said you had the same experience I would accept it not dispute it nor would I cut and paste comments. Geez!.

Checking out road conditions ahead at this time of year would have saved me precious vacation time and I wished the OP to avoid wasted vacation time.


http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/seasonalroads.htm
 
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sfwilshire

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Checking out road conditions ahead at this time of year would have saved me precious vacation time and I wished the OP to avoid wasted vacation time.


http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/seasonalroads.htm

That's probably the best suggestion. None of us doubted what you experienced, we just didn't want readers to be discouraged from trying it themselves.

Certainly there can be fog anytime in the mountains. I remember one year we went for our annual drive from Tellico Plains TN to Robbins NC. We go nearly every year for leaf peeping. Every other year, it has been a terrific drive. That one year, it was foggy so low that half the drive was "in the clouds". We couldn't see a thing.

Sheila
 
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