Smoky Mountains Sunset

Smoky Mountains Sunset © William Britten use with permission only

I made a late-evening run up to Newfound Gap to deliver a hiker to the Appalachian Trail. This was Moises (pictured below), who had called me from Chicago. It was his first AT hike, and he’d been on a bus since 4:00am!  As darkness was fast approaching, we decided to ride a few miles out Clingmans Dome Rd to get him a little closer to the nearest shelter. I dropped Moises off at Indian Gap, and continued on to Clingmans Dome to see if there might be an opportunity for a sunset photo. Nothing but fog up there, but on the way back down a coyote ran out in front of me. I pulled to a stop, and we stared at each other before he bolted into the brush, before I could get my camera.

Coming down off Newfound Gap the prospects for a sunset looked a little better, so I pulled over just below Mortons Overlook and walked back up to where the construction crew has taken over this choice view location. I set up my tripod next to a couple of other photographers, and we all enjoyed a very pretty end of the day.

Sunset after a clearing storm

Sunset after a clearing storm © William Britten use with permission only

If you are on a Smoky Mountains vacation, please come out to the William Britten Gallery on Glades Rd. I’m on the historic Arts and Crafts Trail, in Morning Mist Village. The Gallery has my complete display of Smoky Mountains photos.

Moises ready for the trail

Moises ready for the trail

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  1. Deborah J. Gracie

    During the 90’s while shooting slide film (Fuji Velvia) I visited the Great Smokies and Shenandoah N.P. several times. Stayed in Tremont (less crowded and nearer to Cades Cove). Cades Cove is great for black bear shots and also deer (bucks in the fall). I almost always ended up at Morton’s Overlook for sunset. While I got some nice shots, I don’t remember anything as good as this. Awesome, sunset. Makes me wish I could come back. Maybe someday….
    P.S. When I do I’ll visit your studio.

  2. Bill

    I remember Fuji Velvia well! I used to have a fridge full of it.

  3. Jeff

    To my great disappointment, I discovered that the Morton Overlook was closed due to construction when I visited for the first time on 7/28. It was a beautiful sunset that evening but the park police nor the construction supervisor would let me set foot in the overlook to get even a few images despite my sad story of driving all the way from Ohio to get sunset photo’s from that spot. They sent me a few hundred yards up the road where I had to shoot between a couple of trees. I was joined shortly by several other grumbling photographers. I plan to return in late October, are sunsets still good from here then or would Clingman’s Dome be better?


  4. Bill

    Sorry about that Jeff. In October the sun sets far off-center at Mortons, so a better location is Clingmans.

  5. laura

    I am wanting to get back into photography.
    What type of camera on a lower budget would you recommend?

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