Enjoy Fall Colors in the Smoky Mountains
If you have never visit the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee in the Autumn, you are missing one of the special times when the foliage of the mountains explode with color. Because of the diversity of the tree species in the National Park you can see sun-colored yellows, UT-colored oranges (that’s University of Tennessee orange you’all) – red hues that vary from deep maroons to Christmas-colored reds. Of course you will still see the greens of the many species of coniferous trees and smell all of the vibrant and invigorating aromas that Mother Nature produces from her trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers.
This makes the Smoky Mountains one of the great “Leaf-Peepers” regions of the United States, especially in October and November, and it brings out numerous Fall and Craft Festivals. The Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair, the Pigeon Forge Rotary Craft Show, and the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community all offer unique, hand-made, Smoky Mountain memories.
When is the best time to view the fall colors?
Many people think that “Peak Color” happens in mid-October, many people don’t know that you can see those marvelous colors light up the mountains over at least a 7 week span or possibly longer depending on weather.
Click the month below to view information about that time period.
Towards the end of the month of September, temperatures typically begin to cool off and the sunny days & fall rainfall provide the correct ingredients that kick-off the beautiful color changes. You will see hints of those beautiful oranges and an overall lightening of leaf color. While any view of the Smokies is beautiful, September is only the beginning of the fall color changes.
With the start of October the trees in the Smokies begin displaying those incredible fall colors most everyone is familiar with. With bright oranges, yellows and some reds beginning to sift through the canopy of green covering the mountains. The colors will be more predominant at elevations above 4,000 feet at this time.
By this point the colors are creeping down from the higher elevations. With conditions warmer and dryer than normal in the National Park and surrounding areas, the color changes has slowed slightly but still provides a great show from the many awesome overlooks located throughout the mountains.
As those brilliant colors begin to fade at the highest elevations, the hues at the middle elevations are at or slightly past peak. Moving lower in elevations, the colors are quickly developing and the transition from the summer greens to beautiful autumn colors are happening quickly.
It’s not abnormal for some of those fall colors to last through the first week to mid-November. Around this time, depending on weather a lot of leaf cover has dropped off and became a colorful patchwork on the ground. There are still some trees that hang on to their leaves, like Oaks that can provide a beautiful display.
Other things happening in the Smoky Mountains during Fall:
Local businesses also decorate with fall designs including pumpkins, mums, scarecrows and unique layouts. And the cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville offer activities like hayrides, arts & craft displays and live entertainment and Dollywood has a Southern Gospel & Harvest Festival. The hundreds of shops and outlet stores in the area offer new fall and winter fashions, unique apparel and souvenirs, great prices and smaller crowds than during the summer.
For indoor entertainment you cannot beat the options in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg. The live shows include country, bluegrass, soul music, gospel, comedy, murder-mystery shows, magic, live rock n roll, lumberjacks, equestrians, old time vaudeville productions and dinner theaters. Museum-type attractions, upside-down amusement parks, magic adventures and historical attractions also offer great indoor fun and entertainment. Of course most of the outdoor attraction are still operating and you can probably ride more rides and do more events than in the summer.
So fall into the Smokies and join us for fresh air, beautiful scenery, fun activities, a huge variety of eateries, dozens of choices of accommodations and great Southern Hospitality.
There are many activites to enjoy all throughout the Smoky Mountain Area including viewing the Fall Leaf Colors throughout the Smoky Mountain area.