Uncover the Ultimate Year-Round Guide: Month by Month Adventures in the Smoky Mountains

Discover year-round adventures in the Smoky Mountains with our comprehensive guide, with the best activities and attractions month by month. There’s always something fun going on, no matter when you visit.

January:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 52°F and lows of 29°F. Average snowfall is about 4″ for the month.

Activities:

  • New Year’s Eve Celebrations: Experience lively New Year’s celebrations in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, including fireworks and special events.
  • Winterfest Lights: Enjoy the beautiful Winterfest lights display that continues through January and the 2nd week of February, especially in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
  • Ober Gatlinburg: Go skiing or snowboarding at Ober Gatlinburg, and enjoy indoor ice skating and other winter activities.
  • Hiking Trails: Experience the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains with a winter hike. Lower elevations might have less snow, providing excellent hiking opportunities.
  • Indoor Attractions: Explore museums, indoor water parks, and enjoy dinner shows.
  • No crowds or traffic: This is the low season for the Smoky Mountains, so you’ll experience all the attractions for less cost and no crowds.
  • Dollywood: Note that Dollywood closes Jan-Feb for annual renovations, but usually is open with it’s Winter decorations until the first week of January.
  • Closures: Some venues and attractions are closed or on limited hours during January and February. Anakeesta is only open Friday – Sunday during these low season months. Be sure to call ahead for any major attractions to confirm hours.

February:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 56°F and lows of 32°F. Average snowfall is about 2″ for the month.

Activities:

  • Valentine’s Day Specials: Many restaurants and venues offer special events and packages for couples.
  • Winter Sports: Similar to January, you might find opportunities for snow-related activities.
  • Christmas lights: The Christmas lights typically stay up until around the 2nd week of February for the Pigeon Forge Winterfest.
  • Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center: Learn about the rich cultural history of the region through exhibits and educational programs.
  • Arts and Crafts Community: Explore the largest group of independent artisans in North America, where you can find unique handmade crafts.
  • Chocolate Wine Trail: Sample chocolates and wines along the Rocky Top Wine Trail for a sweet Valentine’s experience.
  • Horseback Riding: Enjoy a romantic horseback ride through the picturesque Smoky Mountains. Options are with The Stables at County Manor (or Airbnb link), Jayell Ranch, Big Rock Dude Ranch, and Gold Rush Stables
  • Hiking: Some trails may be accessible, but caution is advised due to possible ice.
  • No crowds or traffic: This is the low season for the Smoky Mountains, so you’ll experience all the attractions for less cost and no crowds. Note that Dollywood is typically closed Jan-Feb for annual renovations
  • Closures: Some venues and attractions are closed or on limited hours during January and February. Anakeesta is only open Friday – Sunday during these low season months. Be sure to call ahead for any major attractions to confirm hours.

March:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 63°F and lows of 38°F

Activities:

  • Whitewater Rafting: As the weather warms up, consider going whitewater rafting in the nearby rivers for an adrenaline rush.
  • Wildflower Hikes: Witness the blooming of wildflowers in the national park, especially on trails like the Alum Cave Bluffs.
  • Dollywood Opening: Dollywood, a popular theme park, typically opens in March with exciting rides and entertainment (including a visit from Dolly herself and a parade). Dollywood usually does a Music Festival during March and into April.
  • Springfest Events: Join in the festive atmosphere with special events and blooming flowers throughout Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Spring is great for observing blooming flowers and baby animals.

April:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 70°F and lows of 45°F

Activities:

  • Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage: Join this annual event to learn about the diverse flora and fauna of the Smoky Mountains.
  • Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest: Sample a wide variety of wines from Tennessee wineries along with live entertainment.
  • Scenic Drives: Enjoy the beautiful scenic drives through the Smoky Mountains, with the dogwoods and redbuds in full bloom.
  • Dollywood: The park does an incredible Flower & Food Festival each Spring and early Summer that’s not to miss!
  • Outdoor Adventure: Go ziplining, try ATV tours, or embark on a canopy tour for an adrenaline-pumping experience. The Hiking trails are generally fully accessible with milder weather.
  • Mountain Crafts Festival: Explore the crafts and artwork of local artisans in Gatlinburg.

May:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 77°F and lows of 54°F

Activities:

  • Gatlinburg Beans and Cornbread Festival: Taste the best beans and cornbread in town while enjoying live music and family activities.
  • Dollywood Flower & Food Festival: Experience Dollywood in full bloom with impressive floral displays and delicious food offerings.
  • Dollywood: The park does an incredible Flower & Food Festival each Spring and early Summer that’s not to miss!
  • Fishing: Take advantage of the excellent fishing opportunities in the streams and rivers of the area.
  • Cades Cove: This is a great time to visit Cades Cove for wildlife viewing and enjoying the scenic loop road. Enjoy the blossoming flora and fauna of the region.
  • River Tubing: Start the tubing season on the Little Pigeon River for a refreshing adventure.

June:

Hiking Smoky Mountains by kirk thornton

Weather: Average high temperatures of 84°F and lows of 62°F

Activities:

  • Hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park: June is a fantastic time to explore the park’s numerous hiking trails. The weather is warm, and the lush greenery is in full bloom.
  • Dollywood’s Splash Country: Cool off at Dollywood’s water park, which opens in June. It’s a great way to beat the summer heat. They also run their Summer Celebration festival all Summer long
  • Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community: Explore the largest group of independent artisans in North America. You can find unique, handcrafted items in this historic 8-mile loop.
  • Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair: This event, held in early July, features over 180 of the finest craftspeople from around the United States. You can see and buy their work, and even watch some of them demonstrate their craft.
  • Summer Shows and Concerts: Many theaters in the area start their summer season in June. Enjoy live music, comedy, and entertainment.

July:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 87°F and lows of 68°F. Note that it can get relatively humid during the day and especially in the sun.

Activities:

  • Independence Day Celebrations: Both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg host spectacular Fourth of July celebrations, including fireworks, parades, and live music.
  • River Tubing: Rent a tube and float down one of the scenic rivers in the area. It’s a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors.
  • Dollywood: Enjoy the Splash Country as well as the Summer Celebration festival all Summer long
  • Cades Cove Loop Road: Take a scenic drive through this beautiful valley, known for its abundant wildlife and stunning mountain views.
  • Ober Gatlinburg: While known for skiing in the winter, Ober Gatlinburg offers a variety of summer activities, including an aerial tramway, alpine slide, and wildlife encounter.
  • Outdoor Adventure Activities: Try activities like ziplining, white-water rafting, or horseback riding for an adrenaline rush.

August:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 86°F and lows of 67°F. Note that it can get relatively humid during the day and especially in the sun.

Activities:

  • Tunes & Tales: Enjoy live street performances by costumed characters, musicians, and artisans in downtown Gatlinburg.
  • Dollywood’s Summer Celebration: This event features extended park hours, nighttime shows, and a fantastic fireworks display.
  • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail: This one-way loop road offers some of the best opportunities to view the park’s lush forests, streams, and historic buildings.
  • Gatlinburg SkyLift Park: Take a ride on the SkyLift to the top of Crockett Mountain for stunning panoramic views of the Smokies.
  • Fishing: August is a great time for fishing in the streams and rivers of the area, especially for trout.

Still looking for the perfect family cabin in the Smoky Mountains?

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Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

September:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 80°F and lows of 60°F

Activities:

  • Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival: This juried art show features fine artists from around the country displaying their work in downtown Gatlinburg.
  • Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair (Fall Edition): Similar to the July fair, this event showcases the work of talented artisans.
  • Horseback Riding: Explore the beauty of the Smoky Mountains on horseback with guided trail rides.
  • Harvest Festivals: Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg both host events celebrating the harvest season with decorations, entertainment, and special activities.
  • Fall Foliage Viewing: While the peak of the fall colors varies each year, late September can be a great time to start experiencing the vibrant autumn foliage.

October:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 72°F and lows of 49°F

Activities:

  • Hiking with Fall Foliage: October is often the peak month for fall colors, making it an excellent time for hiking in the Smokies.
  • Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center: Learn about the cultural history of the region at this museum, which often hosts special events in October.
  • Haunted Attractions: Experience the spooky side of the Smokies with haunted houses and ghost tours, especially popular in the lead-up to Halloween.
  • Fall Festivals: Numerous fall festivals take place in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, featuring crafts, food, music, and more.
  • Apple Orchards: Visit one of the nearby orchards for apple picking, cider tasting, and other seasonal treats.

November:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 60°F and lows of 38°F

Activities:

  • Winterfest Kickoff: Both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have festive events to mark the beginning of their holiday celebrations, with millions of twinkling lights.
  • Christmas Shows and Events: Enjoy special holiday-themed shows, parades, and events throughout November and December.
  • Holiday Shopping: Explore the unique shops and boutiques for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts.
  • Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas: Experience the magic of the holiday season with millions of twinkling lights, festive decorations, and special holiday shows at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge.
  • Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights: Take a guided trolley tour through the beautiful holiday light displays in downtown Gatlinburg. It’s a delightful way to get into the holiday spirit.
  • Hiking and Outdoor Activities: The cooler temperatures make November an excellent time for hiking and outdoor activities in the Smoky Mountains. Consider trails like Laurel Falls or Alum Cave Bluffs for scenic beauty.

December:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 53°F and lows of 31°F. Average snowfall is about 1″ for the month.

Activities:

  • Winterfest in Gatlinburg: Witness the spectacular Winterfest lights that adorn Gatlinburg’s streets, creating a festive atmosphere. Don’t miss the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade.
  • Christmas Shows: Enjoy special Christmas-themed performances and shows in Pigeon Forge theaters. The Smoky Mountain Opry and Country Tonite are popular choices.
  • Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort: If the weather allows, engage in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding at Ober Gatlinburg. It’s a great way to experience the winter wonderland.
  • Gatlinburg SkyLift Park: Take a ride on the SkyLift and walk across the SkyBridge for incredible panoramic views of the snow-capped Smoky Mountains.
  • New Year’s Eve Celebrations: Join the festivities in Gatlinburg for the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show. It’s a memorable way to ring in the new year amidst the mountainous scenery.

Above are general temperature averages and typical events and activities month by month, actual conditions may vary. Always check local forecasts and conditions before planning outdoor activities. What are your favorite month by month adventures in the Smoky Mountains? Comment below!

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