Oconaluftee Sunrise

    For the past several years I’ve been attending the Spring Photography Workshop at Tremont (you may remember this image from a couple years ago) and every year the schedule shows that Saturday morning, weather permitting, will be a sunrise shoot at either the Foothills Parkway (see last week’s sunrise image) or the Oconaluftee Valley Overlook.  For whatever we have always chosen the Foothills Parkway (I’m guessing because its an hour closer LOL) and that has left me dying to make it to the other at some point.  I’ve seen pictures from that overlook many times and I just love that valley; classic Smoky Mountains.  Any way, once I got my Friday’s blocked off for photography in December I decided to make the trek up there one morning… and was not disappointed.

    If you’d like to see this spot for yourself some time (or have wondered where is a good place to take sunrise pictures in the Great Smoky Mountains), drive up New Found Gap Road (Highway 441) towards Cherokee, North Carolina and the pull off is at mile 15.4 on the right (it’s the big pull off on the right just past Clingman’s Dome Road).  It is a stunning spot and an excellent place to watch the sunrise.  Watch for ice though… the road was icy up there even though it was fairly mild in the valley when I left home.

–Dan Thompson