Each season of the year has something unique to offer visitors. And since that’s the case, we’ll cover the reasons why you should visit the park during each season.
“Wildflower National Park” is one of the nicknames for the Smokies. The reason is that the park has more than 1,500 different flowering plants that bloom during the spring months. In fact, it has more than any other national park in North America.
In addition to the wildflowers, late spring is an incredible time to explore Smoky Mountain waterfalls — such as Ramsey Cascades, Rainbow Falls, and Abrams Falls. The snowmelt creates spectacular flows, and there are fewer crowds.
One of the most popular seasons for visiting the Smokies is summer. As a result, the summer months are the most crowded time to visit the Smoky Mountains, with July being the busiest month.
Hiking is a fun way to visit the park’s numerous waterfalls and outlooks. Summer is a popular time for biking, horseback riding, fishing, boating, zip-lining, and whitewater rafting in the Smokies.
At high elevations, the fall colors start to emerge in mid-September, when daytime temperatures average in the 70s and nighttime temperatures dip into the 50s. The lower in elevation that you are in the park (2,000 to 3,000 feet), the later that the color change occurs. Because of that, the peak times for Smoky Mountain fall colors are in October, when temperatures get cooler.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park becomes a gorgeous winter wonderland from December through February. At high elevations, in particular, temperatures can dip below freezing. You’re likely to see snow in January and February at Clingmans Dome, Mt. LeConte, and Newfound Gap.