One of the most scenic areas in the park, Cades Cove is the most visited section of the Great Smoky Mountains with over 2 million visitors per year.
An eleven-mile, one-way loop road around the cove guides the overflow of tourists through the picturesque valley. Along the way visitors can view a wide variety of wildlife, tour historic structures, explore several popular hiking trails or simply pull over and enjoy some of the magnificent views the cove has to offer.
To avoid the crowds and frequent traffic jams however it’s better to visit Cades Cove in the early morning or late afternoon hours or during the non-peak season.
But perhaps the best time to visit is from sunrise until 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and Wednesday mornings from early May until late September when only bicycle and foot traffic are allowed on the loop road.
If you wish to stay in Cades Cove a campground with 159 sites is open year round to accomodate visitors.