Fall is an incredible season to visit the Great Smoky Mountains with the beautiful Gatlinburg fall colors, crisp air, crafts, harvest festivals and more. If you have never visited Gatlinburg TN in October or early November, then you are missing out on an amazing experience.
Figuring out when the Gatlinburg fall colors will peak can be very tricky, and requires predicting the weather a little bit, too. A good rule of thumb that defines a brilliant fall is dry weather with cool (not freezing) temperatures in October. There are obviously other factors, but the cool temperatures will make the fall even more stunning in the Smokies. Colors usually peak around the last half of October with the higher elevations changing color first and the colors trickling down into the valley.
So, how can you figure out if the Gatlinburg fall colors are peaking just in time for your visit? And when is the best time to visit in the fall? We can help!
There are two great webcams in Gatlinburg that can show you exactly what the leaves look like! You can keep an eye on these webcams, and when the leaves begin to change, you can start making your plans! Once you start noticing the majority of the leaves changing color, then most of the valley and surrounding mountains should be lit up with color within approximately 2 weeks.
The National Park Service
The National Park Service keeps the most up-to-date information about all of the Gatlinburg fall colors throughout the season. They offer:
- Gatlinburg fall colors facts
- Information on why and how the leaves change colors
- Updates about the best times to visit the area for the fall color changes
- Helpful information for planning your visit to the Smoky Mountains
You can visit their website by clicking HERE.
- Prepare for lots of colors! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be changing colors, but there are other places to see the fall colors, too, like the Dollywood Harvest Festival.
- Check out the views from more than just the national park hiking trails, too. You can see the Gatlinburg fall colors from all over the area. Try visiting the Gatlinburg Space Needle or riding on the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway for the best views of the colors!
- Keep in mind that it’s going to be busy! If you visit Gatlinburg TN on the weekend, you’re likely to encounter many more people visiting the area. If you want to visit during a time when there are not as many people in the area, try planning to visit on a weekday!
Ready to start planning your Gatlinburg vacation? Make sure to check out all of the best places to stay in Gatlinburg TN, so you can get the best view of the Gatlinburg fall colors every time you step outside!