sunrise over Gatlinburg, Tennessee

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Smoky Mountains in Winter

smoky mountains in the snow
January 4, 2022

Have you been thinking about visiting the Smokies recently? Winter is a beautiful time to take in the mountain views and enjoy everything the national park has to offer! You may be wondering why you should visit during winter compared to the other seasons, and there are plenty of reasons why you’ll love the area this time of year! Check out these 5 reasons why you should visit the Smoky Mountains in winter:

1. It’s Less Crowded


One of the biggest perks of visiting the Smoky Mountains during this time of year is because it’s less crowded. Spring brings in people who want to see the wildflowers, summer is perfect for hikes and picnics, and fall is the most popular time of the year due to the changing leaves. You won’t have to fight quite as many crowds in the most popular areas of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and you’ll easily be able to get to all the less popular places in the area! Everyone who visits in the winter loves being able to travel through the park and see popular places without it being so crowded!

2. You Might See Snow

An obvious perk of planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains in winter is seeing snow. While no one can predict if there will or won’t be snow in the mountains, it’s a possibility during this time of year! Since the Smokies are higher in elevation than the valley, you’re more likely to spot the mountains dusted in white on your trip. You’ll love taking pictures when the mountains look like this, and you might get lucky enough to play in the snow while you’re in town!

3. The Area is Beautiful

deer in the snow smoky mountains

Of course, the Smoky Mountains are beautiful throughout every season of the year. But there’s something quietly beautiful about them during winter. Everything feels still since many animals are hibernating or migrated south. There are certain plants that thrive during this time of the year, and you’ll be able to easily peer through the trees, deep into the woods to possibly see wildlife walking around. Plus, if the woods and mountains are covered in snow, there’s nothing more beautiful in the winter!

4. It’s a Great Time to Hike

Did you know you can hike any time of the year in the Smokies? You’ll have a ton of fun making your way through hiking trails in the national park during winter. They could be dusted in snow for a beautiful sight, or if you hike to a waterfall and the temperatures are cold enough, you might just see icicles around the falls! Plus, there’s nothing cooler than being able to look far out into the woods without the obstruction of foliage getting in the way of your view!

5. You Can Take a Drive


Something else that’s fun to do in the Smoky Mountains in winter is going for a scenic drive. Although some roads are seasonally closed during the winter or winter weather can cause roads to close, you could potentially have a blast riding around to see incredible views and historic buildings. Cades Cove is usually open during the winter, as well as Foothills Parkway and Little River Road.

Winter truly is a beautiful time to visit the area, especially if you’ve never been before. Do you want to see what the Smoky Mountains in winter are like? Look through our hotel rooms in Gatlinburg and book one for your winter getaway now!