Photograph the Smokies from Buzzards Roost


Added by Caleb Adcock

Whether you're passing by or making an afternoon out of it, Buzzards Roost won't disappoint

This is an awesome place to check out if you are driving Interstate 40 or if you are visiting the area for awhile. The access point for Buzzards Roost is located on the same exit as the well known Max Patch Mountain, just in the other direction.

Once off the exit, you will travel down a gravel Forest Service road, winding up the mountain. This road is well maintained and doesn't require any serious 4wd, however there are a few large pot holes as you climb up the mountain. You will climb for 4.7 miles (if coming from Interstate 40) with the lookout being on the right-hand side.

This exact distance of 4.7 miles is important to keep up with, as there isn't a sign or parking area for this lookout. However, there are a few places to pull off on the side of the road to park once you arrive. Depending on when you go, the lookout may be visible from the road, but is located about 50 yards down the hill on a small trail.

The overlook offers views of parts of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the Pigeon River, as well as Interstate 40. 


Make sure you take your time, both driving and when hanging out around the overlook! The roads are narrow and could potentially have traffic and forest service vehicles coming from both directions. The overlook itself is a small window with a drop off at the edge of the rocks. This can turn into a serious situation very quickly, so make sure you watch your foot placement and know your personal abilities (there is room to hangout behind the rocks, allowing you to still see the view, just not from the edge). 


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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