Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Balsam Mountain

Latitude, Longitude: 35.581245, -83.176460

The Balsam Mountain area offers spectacular mountain views and loads of summer wildflowers. To get there, take the Blue Ridge Parkway, which begins 0.5 mile north of Cherokee NC. Follow this paved road for 11 miles to the turnoff for Balsam Mountain Campground. It is nine mile to the campground, wit many overlooks along the way. Mile-high Heintooga Picnic Area and overlook are another mile down the road.

From Heintooga, you can either return the way you came of take the one-way Balsam Mountains Road back to Cherokee. The fist 18 miles are unpaved but in good condition and fine for passenger vehicles (no buses, trailers, or motorhomes). It takes about an hour to return to Cherokee on the scenic Balsam Mountain Road.