I had done a little research before headin down and realized that summer months and weekends would be a bad idea. Not only would Deal's gap be too busy in summer but the Blue Ridge pkwy would be full of families in their RV's as well. Mid-Sept. is the best time, we had the pkwy to ourselves. We hit Deal's gap on a Wed. morning and again had it to ourselves. It is a dangerous road though and I would'nt even consider it on a weekend day.
Here's a pic of the tree of shame.