Smoky Mountains Dawn

Smoky Mountains Dawn © William Britten use with permission only

A classic Smoky Mountains morning.  The signature blue haze, the tops of the ridges warming with orange as the sun approaches the horizon.  How many of the receding ridges can you count?  Twelve or thirteen at least. Dawn comes very slowly here. You can leave Gatlinburg in the dark and drive the 15 miles or so to the overlook. Bring along a thermos of coffee and park your car right in front of this view.  First there’s a glow in the sky, then the ridges start to get detail. Soon the morning mist and the purples and oranges define the layers of the mountains. Wow! Click on the photo above to see a larger version.

This photo was taken from the Oconaluftee Overlook, just past  Newfound Gap in the Smokies. We’re looking east into North Carolina. This is an especially fine spot for early morning photography … one of the most accessible in the Smoky Mountains for a photograph like this.  And this is only half of the total view! The other side of the panorama can be seen in one of my featured photos, Listening to Silence.

I’d love to show you the entire display of photographs at the William Britten Gallery in Gatlinburg. Please stop in if you can during your next visit to the Smokies.

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  1. Ken Green

    Beautiful shot. I love the many layers created by the ridgetops. Is this the overlook just south of clingmans dome rd? I will be there in July and would love to attempt a similar shot. Thanks Ken

  2. Bill

    It’s just past Newfound Gap, going into NC.

  3. Ken Green

    Thanks Bill, will be there early, coffee in hand.

  4. Tim Ford

    Love this picture I would like your permission to paint it

  5. Bill

    Sure … thanks for asking. Bill

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