NC’s I-40 Closes After Rockslide, But We Have Your Alternate Routes




Fall is a popular time of year for visitors to the Smokies—those from all over flock for a glimpse at the sprawling view of reds, yellows, and oranges. But early Sunday morning, a rockslide hit North Carolina’s Highway 40, leaving a mountainous pile of boulders just past the Tennessee state line and closing the road in both directions.


Authorities say the rocks may leave the road blocked for several months, but don’t let a highway closure put a hold on your road trip just yet! There are several detours available, so there’s no need to miss out on long Fall drives or Winter ski trips this year.

Follow the link for additional routes that offer a scenic drive and great stops for amazing views.





  • Take Exit 435 (Newport, Tenn.) off I-40 West. Make a left off the exit ramp onto Highway 321/32 (Cosby Highway) toward Newport. Make a right onto Highway 25/70 (East Broadway Street). Continue on Highway 25/70 toward Hot Springs, N.C. In Hot Springs, make a right onto N.C. 209. Bear left at Ferguson Supply Store to stay on N.C. 209. Continue on N.C. 209 through the Crabtree and Iron Duff communities. N.C. 209 soon intersects with I-40 at Exit 24. Continue on N.C. 209 to Lake Junaluska. From here, take the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway (U.S. 19/23/74) east to Exit 106 to Clyde and Canton. Take Exit 103 off U.S. 19/23/74 West to Maggie Valley. Continue to the following exit (Exit 102) to Waynesville.

  • Take Exit 407 (Sevierville, Tenn.) off I-40 West. Make a right off the exit ramp onto Highway 66 (Winfield Dunn Parkway) toward Sevierville. Continue straight through intersection with Main Street in Sevierville, where road becomes Highway 441/71. Stay straight on U.S. 441, which becomes 441/321/73/71. Continue on this highway through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, at which point you will enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Follow U.S. 441 through the national park to Cherokee, N.C. Make a left onto U.S. 19 and follow to Maggie Valley.


  • For those who would prefer an all-interstate detour, take I-40 East to I-81 North to I-26 East to I-40 West. From I-40 West, take Exit 31 to Canton, Exit 27 to Clyde, Lake Junaluska and Waynesville, and Exit 20 to Maggie Valley.

    (Courtesy Haywood County Tourism Development Authority)

– Compiled by Katie Kelly


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  5. Angela Prince

    Don’t miss out on North Carolina’s finest skiing conditions in years while in the Banner Elk-Blowing Rock areas. Travel Hwy 181 from Morganton, bypassing the rock areas. While you’re in Banner Elk, plan a visit to Eagles Nest mountain on Hwy. 194 just beyond the Town of Banner Elk and within minutes of the slopes — Beech Mt., Sugar Mt., Applachian and Hawks’ Nest. Eagles Nest is a gated mountain community offering rental homes for Discovery Weekends. Information about Eagles Nest is at

    January 12, 2010 at 10:01 pm
  6. Wit Tuttell, NC Tourism

    Fall color is definitely peaking throughout North Carolina right now and all areas of the state are accessible despite the rockslide on the Tennessee border. I-40 is open westbound for visitors heading to Western North Carolina all the way to Exit 20 (U.S. Hwy. 276 – 20 miles west of Asheville) so there’s no delay in getting to Asheville, Maggie Valley, Dillsboro, Cherokee and the Great Smokies. The only detour is for folks coming from Tennessee, and the detours just happen to be scenic byways. You can’t beat that.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:02 am

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