From Cades Cove, we headed back towards Gatlinburg. The route follows a spectacular stretch of road - the Laurel Creek Road and the Little River Gorge Road. For most of the way, the road runs alongside a stream that eventually changes into a boulder filled river.
The sun had dropped below the mountains, and I was tempted to stop every couple of feet on the creek. This is along the West Prong of the Little River.
And just further down the road, there are the Laurel Creek Cascades.
The Little River gets its start along the slopes of Clingmans Dome, which at 6,643 feet is the tallest peak in the Smokies. The creek drops down into the Little River Gorge, one of the highlights of the drive.
I stopped a lot of times along the river. Thankfully I have a very patient wife.
We also saw Meigs Falls, which I especially liked since you could easily see it from the road.
And one last shot of the Little River, near Meigs Falls.
It was getting too dark for pictures, so we made it back to the cabin in order to begin figuring out where in the Smokies we'd go the next day...