Mountainous Destinations in Tennessee: The Best Vantage Points in the State

Photo via Zane Persaud

Tennessee is known for its diverse landscapes, including mountains and valleys. While it may not have the towering peaks of the Rockies or the Sierra Nevada, it does have several mountainous regions and notable mountain ranges.

Planning a little getaway this fall? Maybe a weekend trip outside of the big city to view some of the state’s best views? Well, go ahead and book a nice cabin out in the wild and kick back as this brand new season in Tennessee begins.

Top Mountainous Destinations in Tennessee You Should Know

Photo via Sean Foster

Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains and are the most famous mountain range in Tennessee. This area is home to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, renowned for its scenic beauty and abundant wildlife.

Looking for some high elevations? You will want to see these places of note within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

  • Clingmans Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies, reaches an elevation of 6,643 feet
  • Mount Guyot, the second-highest peak in Tennessee reaching an elevation of 6,621 feet
  • Mount Le Conte, another prominent peak standing at an elevation of 6,593 feet
  • Old Black, a mountain peak with an elevation of 6,370 feet
  • Mount Chapman, another peak with an elevation of 6,417 feet

Photo via Leslie Cross

Cherokee National Forest

Located in eastern Tennessee, the Cherokee National Forest covers a significant portion of the Appalachian Mountains. It offers numerous hiking trails, waterfalls, and opportunities for outdoor activities in a mountainous environment. Big Frog Mountain is located within the Cherokee National Forest and has an elevation of 4,224 feet. It’s known for its scenic beauty and hiking trails.

You can also find the Unicoi Mountains and Bald River Gorge Wilderness within the Cherokee National Forest. Hike and explore in a relatively less-visited area of the state.

Photo Oaklawn Farms in Crossville, Tennessee

Cumberland Plateau

Although not a traditional mountain range, the Cumberland Plateau covers a substantial part of central and eastern Tennessee. It’s characterized by rugged terrain and numerous cliffs, gorges, and canyons, providing a mountainous landscape.

If you’re looking to stay in this region, you will be close to several parks and waterfalls. Consider a stay in cities like: Cookeville, Fairfield Glade, Monterey, Sparta, or Spencer.

Side note: A majority of our content focuses on this region so navigate to our Travel page to find some amazing destinations. Discover some of our favorite places we know you will love too!

Photo via Mitchell Hartley

Lookout Mountain

Located in the southern part of the state, Lookout Mountain is a prominent ridge that stretches into Alabama and Georgia. It’s known for its steep cliffs and panoramic views, as well as attractions like Rock City and Ruby Falls.

Photo via Adventure Anderson County

Clinch Mountain

Found in the northeastern part of Tennessee, Clinch Mountain is part of the Appalachian Ridge-and-Valley Province. It’s known for its scenic beauty and provides a backdrop for communities like Rogersville and Tazewell. While not as high as some other mountain ranges, Clinch Mountain still reaches significant elevations. The highest point is about 4,393 feet.

By the way, this place also made the list of best rivers to kayak in Tennessee – check it out!

Photo via Leslie Cross

Worth mentioning but not entirely in Tennessee:

Roan High Knob

Located near the Tennessee-North Carolina border in the Roan Highlands, Roan High Knob is the highest peak in the Roan Mountain range and reaches an elevation of 6,285 feet. Another trip worth taking if you are on the east side of the state!

Also worth mentioning but not extremely mountainous: Tennessee’s lovely lakes.

Any lake within the state is worth visiting during the fall! The leaves are stunning, and the lake reflects back Autumn’s fiery colors. We suggest one of our favorites: the incredible Center Hill Lake.

While these elevations may not be as high as those in some other states, Tennessee’s mountains offer beautiful landscapes, hiking opportunities, and a chance to experience the colorful fall foliage that the region is known for.

Happy Fall, y’all! See you soon.

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