Cades Cove Loop

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

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Cades Cove Loop

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  • Early morning in Cades Cove is the perfect time to catch gorgeous light and soak up the day. - Cades Cove Loop
  • Take a stroll down Sparks Lane in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.- Cades Cove Loop
  • From mid-May until late September you can enjoy the Cades Cove Loop vehicle free. Walk it, run it, or bike it. - Cades Cove Loop
  • Biking the cove is one of the best ways to experience all that the Heart of the Smokies has to offer, but ride safely! - Cades Cove Loop
  • Explore the homesteads and farms that once belonged to the pioneer settlers of Cades Cove. - Cades Cove Loop
  • Take a trip back into time and step into a few of the cabins along the loop. - Cades Cove Loop
  • Cades Cove Loop is a perfect spot to get a glimpse at life before the Smokies became a national park. - Cades Cove Loop
  • Take a walk around Cades Cove. It's the perfect area to soak up the beauty of the mountains with the family and fill your camera full of lifelong memories. - Cades Cove Loop
  • The Cades Cove Loop has something for everyone, from the solo wanderer to the family looking to explore the mountains. - Cades Cove Loop
  • Historic Church in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.- Cades Cove Loop
  • Historic Church in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.- Cades Cove Loop
  • Cable Mill in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.- Cades Cove Loop
  • Historic Barn in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.- Cades Cove Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Tranquility. Beautiful sunrise. History. Wildlife.
Cons: 
Crowds.
Region:
Smoky Mountains, TN
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
164.00 ft (49.99 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for: 
Hiking
Biking
Total Distance: 
11.00 mi (17.70 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,962.00 ft (598.02 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Cades Cove Loop Road is a popular year-round destination in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Located just around the corner from the Cades Cove Campground, it is the perfect spot to combine with a weekend of camping in the Smokies. The 11-mile loop is filled with historical homesteads, trailheads for hiking, and meadows filled with wildlife and scenic beauty. You can drive the loop or choose to walk, run or bike it. By far the best way to take it all in is by foot. Black Bears are known to roam the cove, especially in the spring. Seeing a mother bear and cubs playing or foraging for food is common, and you may also see deer, turkeys, coyotes and even a bobcat from time to time. Always respect the park rules for staying back 150 feet from all wildlife. To do otherwise could cause injury to you and/or a hefty fine.

During your trip around Cades Cove you'll not only see wildlife, you will also get a glimpse into what life was once like at various building sites in the heart of the Smokies, from churches to a working grist mill. You'll even have the opportunity to step inside cabins that belonged to the pioneers of this beautiful area. Take a trip down Sparks Lane to view hundreds of wildflowers and butterflies. Mix it up and enjoy a full moon hike around the loop or enjoy a walk at night when the moon is new to stand under the Milky Way. Cades Cove Loop has something amazing to offer every visitor. Make your trip your own. 

From May 10 until September 27 Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to all vehicles until 10 a.m. on Saturday and Wednesday mornings. Foot and bike traffic are welcome 24 hours a day in Cades Cove. 

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(31 within a 30 mile radius)

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