Great Smoky Mountains

AUTUMN IN THE SMOKIES (Gatlinburg, Tennessee)

The notion that peak color season in Great Smoky Mountains National Park happens in mid-October is a misconception. The marvelous colors of autumn actually light up the Smokies for seven weeks or more as the peak elevations move down the mountainsides from the highest elevations to the foothills.Autumn in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a special time when a glorious leaf season of several weeks is enjoyed by visitors as fall colors travel down the mountainsides from the highest elevations to the foothills. The kaleidoscope of fall colors in the Smoky Mountains is magnificent and varied because of the amazing diversity of trees. Some 100 species of native trees live in the Smokies, the vast majority of which are deciduous. The timing of fall color change depends upon so many variables that the exact dates of “peak” season are impossible to predict in advance.

In the Smoky Mountains, autumn color displays above 4,000 feet start as early as mid-September with the turning of yellow birch, American beech, mountain maple, hobblebush, and pin cherry, clearly visible from such vantage points as Clingmans Dome Road.

The fall color display usually reaches peak at middle and lower elevations between mid-October and early November. This is the park’s most spectacular display as it includes such colorful trees as sugar maple, scarlet oak, sweetgum, red maple, and the hickories. For more information about fall colors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fallcolor.htm

When visiting Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, you should consider reserving a vacation cabin rental in the mountains. You can take in the amazing mountain views, autumn colors, and grill out outdoors to top it off!  The Smokies offer both low (flat land) rentals and higher elevation, mountain rentals.  Make sure to book your family’s cabin early, as the Fall is an extremely popular time to visit the Smoky Mountains.

*Some Information credited to Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce