Smoky Mountains
Nature & Panorama

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Our most recommended Smoky Mountains Nature & Panorama

Pigeon Forge: French Broad River Helicopter Tour

1. Pigeon Forge: French Broad River Helicopter Tour

Two options allow you to choose the perfect flight: The Lake View flight extends past the French Broad River and takes you out to Douglas Lake. Douglas Lake is a 33,000 acre man-made lake with over 450 miles of shoreline. This flight will get you up to 1,500 feet in altitude, allowing you a superb view of the Great Smoky Mountains towards the south. Along the route, you will see areas of farmland and quilt-like patterns of pastures. As you get closer to Douglas Lake you will fly next to Douglas Dam. Lake view is a 6-minute flight covering 12 miles. The most popular option, Extended Lake flight, takes you even further. You will fly directly over Douglas Dam, and then proceed over the lake. In the summer take in astonishing sun-glistening views of the water and the people enjoying their time on the lake. In the winter the water level is lowered, so expect majestic views of exposed islands and coves. As well as the beautiful lake, you will see the Great Smoky Mountains towards the southwest. On this option, you climb to a slightly higher altitude than on the Lake View flight, allowing for better visibility of the National Park. Extended Lake is an 8-minute flight over 16 miles.

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Pigeon Forge: Ridge Runner Helicopter Tour

2. Pigeon Forge: Ridge Runner Helicopter Tour

Enjoy picturesque vistas over the Smoky Mountains on this 15-minute flight dubbed the “Ridge Runner.” After taking off from the local partner’s private heliport, begin your flight over the stunning, misty Chilhowee mountain range. Feel the speed of the helicopter as you fly low over the treetops and mountains, getting a true taste of the beauty that is the American South. Gaze at historic downtown Sevierville and Pigeon Forge in the distance. Along the way, your expert guide will point out facts about the region, like the original designation of where the national park was supposed to be, as well as countless details about the flora and fauna of the region. After covering a distance of 30 miles, you’ll head back to the heliport, enriched by the one-of-a-kind, bird’s eye viewpoint of the mystic Smoky Mountains.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Self Driving Tour

3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Self Driving Tour

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and discover why it’s the most visited National Park in the country. Buckle up and prepare for a deep dive into the most famous stretch of the Appalachians. Enjoy a flexible route that allows you to take all the time you need to admire the timeless wonders of the mountains. Drive through the scenic mountains and hear all about parts of Cherokee history, like the ancient Cherokee monarchy and the revolutionaries who fought against it. Get detailed accounts of Cherokee ancestral legends, from the great buzzard who shaped the Smoky Mountains from clay to the witch whose droplets of blood bloom into stalks of corn. Experience animated videos allowing you to visualize what you cannot see, such as snapshots from different centuries or interior rooms. Be pointed towards some of the most awe-inspiring sights in the park. Gaze at the majestic Rainbow Falls, the breath-taking 360-degree views atop Clingmans Dome, and hear about the deep-rooted history of the Elys Mill. Learn about the complex flora and fauna which call the mountains home. Get to know the creatures of Cades Cove and learn how wildfires form an integral part of the vast and interconnected ecosystem. As you drive, audio stories will automatically pop up and start playing, allowing you to keep your attention on the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains.

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Pigeon Forge: Newfound Gap and Smoky Mountains Jeep Tour

4. Pigeon Forge: Newfound Gap and Smoky Mountains Jeep Tour

Before your adrenaline charged 4x4 off-road adventure, you'll depart in an iconic, open-air Pink Jeep Wrangler from Pigeon Forge. From there, Sugarland's Visitor Center is your first stop. Learn the history of the towns along the way. Passing through a forest that mimics the boreal forests, discover how the Smokies got their name, stop for amazing photo opportunities and hear more of local geology and history. Arrive at Newfound Gap, nearly 1 mile above sea level. See part of the mighty Appalachian Trail on a short walk, see Newfound Gap’s stunning viewpoint. The return trip from Newfound Gap includes stops for more photos. You’ll see the streams that ultimately feed the Gulf of Mexico via the mighty Mississippi River. Your tour finishes with a hand-gripping, off-roading ride through a trail on private land. Your professional tour guide has been expertly trained to give you an experience unlike any other in the Great Smoky Mountains.

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Smoky Mountains: Sightseeing Flex Pass

5. Smoky Mountains: Sightseeing Flex Pass

Experience the haunting vision of the Great Smoky Mountains, where colorful fog-rich forests surround majestic Appalachian peaks in Tennessee’s renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the thrilling, the dazzling, the absurd, the historic, and the adventurous with the Sightseeing Flex Pass, your all access pass to 30 attractions and tours throughout Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the scenic Smokies. Take advantage of full admission to attractions and save up to 30% of total visitation costs. Let the Smoky Mountain Sightseeing Flex Pass take you into the great outdoors and see the natural splendor up close and personal: select between a 3 Attractions or a 5 Attractions Pass and choose what you want to enjoy when you arrive. Coast down whitewater in the Smoky Mountain Rafting or River Rat Tubing adventures. Turn a hike into the extreme with sights from the Rocky Top Mountain Coaster Ride. Have your breath taken away from the top of Gatlinburg Space Needle or on the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. Partner Tennessee’s exciting outdoor marvels with family-friendly and group-friendly attractions. Play around at the Anakeesta Theme Park, the Gatlinburg Pinball Museum, and Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud and Adventure. Learn the fascinating history of the world’s most famous tragic transatlantic ocean liner at the Titanic Museum Attraction, then catch a dazzling magic show at Wonderworks. Top Attractions Best of Smoky Mountain Special Tour - Rocky Top Tours Country Tonite Escape Game Pigeon Forge Smoky Mountain Rafting - Upper Pigeon River Titanic Attraction Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud and Adventure Dolly’s Rags to Riches - Rocky Top Tours Rocky Top Mountain Coaster Attractions & Tours Anakeesta Theme Park - General Admission Gatlinburg Pinball Museum Gatlinburg Space Needle Mini Golf - 1 Course - Crave Golf Club Ober Gatlinburg - Aerial Tramway - Roundtrip Ticket Rainforest Adventure Zoo River Rat Tubing - Individual Day Pass Smoky Mountain Rafting - Lower Pigeon River TopJump - Trampoline Park - 1hr Wonderworks - All Access The Best of Three Cities Tour - Rocky Top Tours Discounts The Grand Majestic Theatre - America’s Hit Parade – Show The Grand Majestic Theatre - Hazzard County Hoedown - Dinner & Show The Grand Majestic Theatre - Soul of Motown – Show Wonderworks - The Wonders of Magic

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Pigeon Forge: Valleys & Views Smoky Mountains Jeep Tour

6. Pigeon Forge: Valleys & Views Smoky Mountains Jeep Tour

Relax in an open-air Jeep on a 2.5-hour panoramic tour in the Great Smoky Mountains through Wears Valley, along Little River Road and up the Foothills Parkway.  Hop aboard and ride off with your Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) towards Wears Valley, an idyllic community of quaint farms, historic sites and scenic views. Learn about the area’s rich history and how the Great Smoky Mountains got their name. Overlook stops offer awe-inspiring panoramas for spectacular photos of the mountains often blanketed in the smoke-like mist, for which they are famous. The parkway provides the best views of the highest peaks in the eastern United States. Touted as “one of the prettiest drives in America,” your guide will share how the rugged terrain and other fascinating factors caused this masterpiece to take decades to complete.

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From Pigeon Forge: Roaring Fork 2.5-Hour Jeep Tour

7. From Pigeon Forge: Roaring Fork 2.5-Hour Jeep Tour

With your hands on your camera and your guide’s hands on the steering wheel, head toward a road where tour busses can’t go. The heavily forested Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a single lane road.  Along the way you’ll learn of the hardwood forest in the Smoky Mountains. A narrow, paved path through chestnut oak, white oak, magnolia, maple and tulip trees take you to the pinnacle, where stops at overlooks give you striking views. Historic structures dot the road’s edges. This was the American Frontier in the 1830s and 1840s.  From Roaring Fork, it’s one last pass through Gatlinburg on the way to a thrilling off-roading ride through a trail on private land. Your professional guide has been expertly trained to give you an experience unlike any other in the Great Smoky Mountains.

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From Pigeon Forge: Foothills Parkway 3-Hour Jeep Tour

8. From Pigeon Forge: Foothills Parkway 3-Hour Jeep Tour

This tour includes the breathtaking beauty along the Foothills Parkway. It ends with the thrill of an off-road ride on private land in a custom and iconic Pink Jeep. Stop at overlooks for a spectacular photo tour. With your guide taking care of every amenity, you can focus completely on the scenery ahead. Foothills Parkway is touted by many as “the prettiest drive in America,” the parkway leads to awe-inspiring panoramas.  Approved by Congress in 1944, the final section of Foothills Parkway was completed in late 2018. Along the way your guide will tell of how the rugged terrain caused this masterpiece to take decades to complete. Not only is your guide an expert storyteller, but also an off-roading professional. Your guide will give you yet another memory to share with a 4x4 thrill ride through private, wooded lands that rise above Pigeon Forge.

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Pigeon Forge: Wears Valley Helicopter Tour

9. Pigeon Forge: Wears Valley Helicopter Tour

Get an amazing overview of Sevier County’s most beautiful areas on this helicopter tour. Upon departure, you will travel over historic downtown Sevierville with the Smoky Mountains National Park in the distance. Continue over the rolling foothills of the Smoky Mountains and the Pigeon Forge Parkway before getting away from civilization over Pine Mountain. As you climb in altitude, you’ll follow the terrain up to the crest of Cove Mountain at the National Park boundary line where you’ll be met with spectacular views of the Wears Valley area. Cruising along Wears Valley, travel north over the east end of Waldens Creek and the foothills of Bluff Mountain before returning over the Tennessee Valley.

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Pigeon Forge: French Broad River and Lake Helicopter Trip

10. Pigeon Forge: French Broad River and Lake Helicopter Trip

Join a helicopter tour and fly alongside the French Broad River, across Douglas Dam and along the western shore picturesque Douglas Lake. As the flight turns southwest, see the Great Smoky Mountains in the distance, but it doesn’t end there. The tour continues southward and over the Sevierville and Dollywood areas. As you climb in altitude, you’ll follow the terrain up to the crest of Cove Mountain at the national park boundary line where you’ll be met with unbeatable views of the Wears Valley area. Continuing along the edge of Wears Valley, travel northbound between Pigeon Forge and the rolling foothills of the Smoky Mountains as you return to the heliport.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Smoky Mountains

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What people are saying about Smoky Mountains

We really enjoyed the narration, great history to the entire park. I wish they did this for other N.P. There were a couple times the narration cut off and started a new area, but you can go back on the app to complete that area.

Great trip with a great view on the extended tour. Our guide, Collin, was wonderful! Would love to do this again and would likely pick one of the longer mountain tours. It would be totally worth it!

The gentleman who boards you was cool and funny and informative ans Phil the pilot rocked ans I don’t mean rocked the helicopter

Very knowledgeable pilot!! Was a great experience for my husband’s first time !!

The tour was excellent and our guide was knowledgeable and friendly.