The Best Photo Shoot Locations In The Great Smoky Mountains

The Best Photo Shoot Locations In The Great Smoky Mountains

I love photography and I love the Smoky Mountains. Both of those together? Well, that’s a match made in heaven. You’re bound to take great photos of The Smokies by just driving around or by taking one of the many great hikes the park has to offer. If you’re looking to have photos taken of yourself then here are my suggestions for the best photo shoot locations in the Great Smoky Mountains.

These spots would be great for couples or families or even just yourself. The Smoky Mountains are so incredibly beautiful and provide amazing  backdrops for photos. Your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park wouldn’t be complete without some great photos as a souvenir.

You may consider hiring a local photographer to take professional photos in The Smokies or you may want to take them yourself. Either way, these locations offer some of the best places for photo shoots in the Great Smoky Mountains.

It’s always a good idea to check the National Park’s website before heading out to the park to ensure that there are no road closures. 

The Best Photo Shoot Locations In The Great Smoky Mountains

Photo: Little River Trail, Elkmont

Cades Cove

Cades Cove is so beautiful and one of my favorite spots in the Smoky Mountains. The opportunity for breathtaking backdrops is unlike any other place in the park. It’s a really great spot for any type of photography but especially wonderful for portrait photography. You just can’t beat the views that Cades Cove has to offer.

The only downside is that it does get very crowded at times. Especially in the fall. The loop is often backed up by people viewing wildlife who do not pull over. I’d plan to either arrive early or give yourself plenty of time if you decide to take photos in Cades Cove.

Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls is an easily accessible hike in The Smokies and makes an amazing backdrop for photos. Probably the best waterfall to use for photos in The Smokies. There is a perfect spot right in front of the waterfall for pictures.

This is a hike so you will have to be prepared to make the 2.3 mile round trip trek to the waterfall. It’s one of the easiest hikes in The Smokies and the waterfall is definitely worth it. Because of this, it does get rather crowded at times. I would recommend arriving early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

Little River Trail in Elkmont

The Little River Trail is a super easy trail to walk and it’s right next to the river. You can get a variety of great backdrops here. A few options for beautiful photos here would be on the walking trail itself, with the river and cascading water in the background, or some unique photos with the old hunting buildings.

This would be an excellent location for family photos, especially larger groups or anyone who may need more help getting around. There’s a ton of open space in this area and it does not feel as crowded as some of the other options on this list.

Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome is the highest point in The Great Smoky Mountains and offers fantastic views for photos. This is one of the best spots if you want those great mountain views. There are also some nice overlooks on the drive to Clingmans Dome that would be good photo opportunities.

It’s a steep but short walk up to the overlook tower. Also, it’s a good idea to check the visibility before making the drive up here so you’re sure to have those beautiful views for photos.

Roaring Fork Motor Trail

This one is slightly different than the others on the list but I think it’s such a beautiful part of The Smokies. The Roaring Fork Motor Trail is a short loop located near Gatlinburg.

There are some great hikes off of the Motor Trail that would offer good photo opportunities, one of which is the Grotto Falls hike. There are a few pull offs and parking locations along the Motor Trail that would be great spots to stop for photos as well.

The photo opportunities here are more woodsy. You can also find some great waterfall hikes off the Roaring Fork Motor Trail for photos.

Wherever you end up in The Smoky Mountains, you’re bound to end up with some fantastic photos and memories to last a lifetime.

Want more travel inspiration for The Great Smoky Mountains? Read these posts:

One Day In The Great Smoky Mountains

Must Hike Trails In The Great Smoky Mountains

Visiting Knoxville, TN? Read these posts:

The Best Photo Shoot Locations in Knoxville, TN

Knoxville, TN Travel Guide

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Hannah Bubp

Hannah Bubp lives in Knoxville, TN with her husband, Kyle, baby girl, Claire, and two dogs. She is a professional photographer and a new Stay At Home Mom. She enjoys writing, cooking, hiking, traveling, and navigating life as a new mom.

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