Walland is situated in Miller's Cove, an valley in the northwestern foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Miller's Cove is walled off to the north byChihowee Mountain, a low ridge stretching for 35 miles between the Little Tennessee River to the west and the Little Pigeon River watershed to the east. Hurricane Mountain to the southwest and Bates Mountain to the southeast divide Miller's Cove from the much larger Tuckaleechee Cove at the base of the Smokies.
Little River, which flows down from its source on the northern slopes of Clingman's Dome, splits Miller's Cove into eastern and western sections en route to flatlands of northern Blount County. The river's valley, which divides Hurricane and Bates Mountain and slices a large gap through Chilhowee Mountain, has long provided a convenient bottomland for trails and roads linking the coves of the northern Smokies. Today, it is traversed by U S Route 321, which connects I40 to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.