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Best Time To Visit Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is a great destination year-round. We’re here every month, so here are our recommendations!

We love visiting Gatlinburg anytime, even during the winter. But if we could pick one time to visit Gatlinburg, it would be late spring.

view of gatlinburg from the skybridge
View of Gatlinburg from the SkyBridge in April, one of the best times to visit! Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

The Smoky Mountains look beautiful, and the temperatures make exploring the outdoors comfortable. And the crowds aren’t as busy as you’ll find in summer.

But we’ll cover everything to look at when booking your vacation!

Want free help planning your Smoky Mountain vacation? Join the new Smoky Mountains Forum and our Facebook Page. We’re there every day to answer questions!

Key Takeaways

  • Our perfect getaway would be avoiding the summer heat, but we know this is the most popular time to visit.
  • During the summer, do your outdoor activities in the morning. Then, head back to a resort with a pool or water park!

Gatlinburg Weather and Things to Do Each Month

Gatlinburg in January

snow south of gatlinburg
Snow near Gatlinburg. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

Though it’s far from guaranteed, with an average low of 29°F and highs around 47°F., you’ve got the best chance of seeing snow in January.

If you want to boost your chances of seeing snow, drive up (road conditions permitting) to Newfound Gap, which you can read more about on our scenic drives page.

January is a great time for snow tubing at Ober Mountain or Pigeon Forge.

Gatlinburg in February

February makes Gatlinburg is a great time to visit if love cooler weather. The town has an average high temperature of around 53°F, and you’ve got a chance of seeing snow.

We’ve seen high temperatures in the 20s and 60s!

downtown gatlinburg
Gatlinburg crowds in February. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

We took the picture above in early February, on the first warm weekend day we’d had in weeks. And it was busy, but nothing like summer.

February is a great time to bundle up and explore things like scenic drives or visiting Cades Cove without the summer heat.

While Cades Cove wildlife won’t be as good as late spring, you’ll see deer and be able to drive through with no crowds.

We took picture below in February in Cades Cove.

cades cove view of gravel road
Cades Cove in February. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

Rainfall is about 4.8 inches on average, so indoor activities like an aquarium day at Ripley’s Aquarium is an option.

Gatlinburg in March

skyland ranch view of north pigeon forge
A view from Pigeon Forge, looking south towards the mountains of Gatlinburg. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

Gatlinburg brings milder weather in March. Daytime temperatures average a pleasant 61°F.

March brings its share of rain to Gatlinburg, with around 12 rainy days expected throughout the month.

But winter might not be done. Our first March in Tennessee, we saw 80 degrees and snow the same week!

cades cove
Cades Cove in March. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

Enjoy hikes in the surrounding Smoky Mountains or stroll through downtown Gatlinburg, where early spring is starting to show its colors.

In the picture above, there’s plenty of green grass in Cades Cove, though the trees are pretty bare still.

In March, larger attractions have opened back up. Like Dollywood, which is closed from early January to March.

Expect some crowds as school spring break time approaches!

Gatlinburg in April

view of gatlinburg from the skybridge
Gatlinburg in April, with snow on the mountains in the distance. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

Gatlinburg is a spring burst with long, sunny days in April. The average daytime temperature hits 71°F, while nights cool to around 42°F.

This makes it perfect for hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

downtown gatlinburg
Downtown Gatlinburg in April. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

Bears are more active, and it’s easy to find them in places like Roaring Fork and Cades Cove.

dollywood in april
Dollywood in April Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

Flowers start to bloom, and trees turn green again. Dollywood is open for spring, and it’s a great time to visit the best theme park in the area.

We love April because the weather is great (normally). The average low of 44.8°F in the mornings, though you can still find some mornings that get down to freezing in early April.

Gatlinburg in May

May brings warm days and cool nights to Gatlinburg, with temperatures often around 79°F in the daytime and dipping to near 50°F after sunset.

 Outdoor adventures are endless, the perfect weather makes it an excellent time for hiking and lots of greenery.

townsend wye in may
Townsend Wye in May. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

Gatlinburg is busier than it’s been all year as you get towards the end of May and local schools end for the year.

Gatlinburg in June

downtown gatlinburg
Downtown Gatlinburg in summer. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

In June, Gatlinburg is getting hot, with daily highs reaching averaging 83°F.

Get your outdoor activities done in the morning, then cool off at a water park, hotel pool, or the river in the afternoon.

Our favorite hotels in Gatlinburg are the Margaritaville Resort, and Embassy Suites, which both feature the best outdoor polls in Gatlinburg. Read more on our individual reviews of each.

Gatlinburg in July

July is the hottest month, with temperatures reaching an average of 84°F, though they can get into the 90s. It’s plenty humid too, and reminds us of our time in Florida.!

We still do lots of outdoor activities in July. We have Dollywood season passes, so we try to use them regularly, but July isn’t our favorite month. We try to get there when it first opens and leave by mid-afternoon.

Tubing in Townsend. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

With warmer temperatures, it’s a great time to try some river tubing in Townsend. It’s busy there in July, but it’s a family-friendly activity that we do every year.

Another fun activity is swimming in Little River, the same river where you tube in Townsend. The river is always cold, so it’s great when it’s hot out!

A popular local spot is the Townsend Wye, which you can read more about here.

townsend wye river view in may
Townsend Wye. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

It can be hard to find parking there, but there’s plenty of other places nearby where you can pull off the road and find places to get in the river.

Independence Day is a great time to be in Gatlinburg: On July 3rd, there is even a first-in-the-nation midnight parade (At 00:01 on July 4th).

Gatlinburg in August

In August, Gatlinburg means warm sunshine and long days perfect for adventures.

Highs often reach the 90s, making it another month for early morning outdoor adventures. It’s a great month to enjoy afternoons at the pool!

margaritaville resort galinburg outdoor pool and slide
Pool at Margaritaville. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

Rain is usually pretty light in August, we’ve gone weeks without rain before.

August tends to be a bit less busy than July, as many Tennessee schools return at the very start of August (or even late July!).

You’ll still find plenty of crowds in Gatlinburg though!

Gatlinburg in September

September brings cooler weather to Gatlinburg, with highs in the 70s and 80s. This is one of our favorite times of the year.

Nights get chillier, perfect for campfires. It’s a great time to get back out hiking and explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Pigeon Forge Fall Rod Run is held in September, which is a classic hot rod and muscle car show at the LeConte Center.

But it’s a popular event, so it’s also a weekend to make sure you have hotel reservations early, or even pick a different weekend!

Gatlinburg in October

Dollywood fall festival. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

In October there’s cool weather and beautiful fall colors. The high is usually around 74°F; at night, it can drop to about 42°F.

This month is perfect for enjoying the outdoors.

Go to Anakeesta or Gatlinburg Skylift Park for some of the best views—October’s a great time to check out the fall festival at Dollywood, too.

There are also a few haunted attractions to check out in Gatlinburg!

Gatlinburg in November

gatlinburg from a distance
Gatlinburg from a distant overlook. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

The leaves have mostly fallen, making November look much different than summer in the Smoky Mountains!

November is great for exploring outdoors, though nights get chilly.

If you climb higher elevations around Newfound Gap, you’ll find colder winds and possible snow.

Thanksgiving weekend gets busy here, so book hotels early!

Gatlinburg in December

Dollywood at Christmas. Photo by Ashley @ TheSmokyMountains.com

December in Gatlinburg is a magical time of year.

The city sparkles with Christmas lights, and there’s (sometimes) a chill. Or it might be 75 degrees. Either way, you’ll have fun!

You can go snow tubing, even if it’s too warm for natural snow. December is the perfect time to visit Dollywood and see the Christmas lights.

You may find some snow in the mountains, but down in Gatlinburg, rain is more common than snowflakes.

Monthly Average Temperatures

MonthAverage High (°F)Average Low (°F)
January5128
February5430
March6135
April7043
May7950
June8358
July8662
August8561
September8055
October7144
November6134
December5229

Conclusion

Thanks for reading. If you found this article helpful or have any comments, let us know below or on our new forum (link at the top).

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