There’s not a much better place to shoot sunsets in the eastern mountains than the Blue Ridge Parkway. Having driven the entire length several times, I’d have to say that the North Carolina section is my favorite. There seem to be so many varied opportunities.
Some of my favorites are:
- Mile 459 – Lickstone Ridge Overlook
- Mile 456 – Road to Balsam Mountain/Heintooga (also good for shooting star trails.
- Mile 450 – Water Rock Knob (Visitor Center and restrooms)
- Mile 431 – Highest Elevation Overlook
- Mile 430 – Cowee Mountain Overlook
Other spots of interest in the GSMNP along US 441 are:
- Morton’s Overlook (not much parking here)
- Newfound Gap (from raised viewing area above parking lot)
- Clingman’s Dome (take a jacket)
- Several of the overlooks from Newfound Gap on the way down to Cherokee
- Foothills Parkway outside of Townsend, TN.
Another great place to view the mountains from on high is Max Patch Mountain. A grassy bald with unobstructed views, located just outside the park in the Pisgah National Forest, it is accessed off of I-40 NC Exit 7 via the Harmon Den Wildlife Management Area. Be forewarned that the hike to the top is about 1/4 mile uphill at about a 30º pitch. It’s much worse than Clingman’s Dome observation deck, but what a view. 360º
More sunset shots in a gallery HERE.