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Best Time To Visit Smoky Mountains

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When is the best time to visit Smoky Mountains? Let us help you answer this question in this Smoky Mountains vacation guide.

The great thing about the Smokies is that there’s never a bad time to visit. Whether you’re looking for breathtaking views of the fall foliage or want to experience the park’s wildflowers in bloom, there’s always something to see.

Best Time To Visit Smoky Mountains
Best Time To Visit Smoky Mountains

The Smokies are a beautiful place to visit any time of year. However, the best time to visit the Smoky Mountains depends on what you’re looking for. Here’s a quick guide to help you plan your trip.

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How many days do you need for the Great Smoky Mountains?

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers so much to do and see that it’s hard to fit into one day. To really experience the park and its beauty, we recommend visiting for at least 4 days or more if you have the time! This will help you make the most of your trip and ensure you get to explore all this beautiful park has to offer.

Read our guide on How many days do you need for the Great Smoky Mountains to learn more.

When To Visit Smoky Mountains?

The best time to visit the Smoky Mountains really depends on what you are looking for in your vacation. Many consider the summer months(June, July, August) and the fall (October)to be the best time to visit the Smoky Mountains.

smoky mountains best time to visit
Best Time To Visit Smoky Mountains

These months offer most activities and events, but they are also obviously the busiest. However, the seasons of spring and winter can be just as lovely, with fewer crowds and lower rates.

Best Time To Visit Smoky Mountains

What month is best to see bears in Smoky Mountains?

Visiting the Smoky Mountains in the spring and summer will provide the highest chances of seeing bears in their natural habitat. Early morning and late evening hours provide the best opportunities for seeing black bears.

During the heat of summer days, black bears tend to rest in shady spots or climb high up into trees. Mating usually occurs in July, so visitors may be lucky enough to see a black bear mating ritual during this time.

Where To Stay When Visiting Smoky Mountains?

There are many different lodging options available in and around the Smoky Mountains, so it is important to choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.

One popular option for lodging is renting a cabin in the Smoky Mountains.

Bear’s Wilderness Lodge at GSM Family Vacations is a luxurious mountain retreat located in the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts district less than 10 minutes from Downtown Gatlinburg. This stunning mountain home is the perfect place for large families and is close to the National Park and the top attractions in the area.

Another option for lodging is staying at a Smoky Mountains campground. There are many campgrounds located throughout the Smokies, so you can easily find one that is close to the attractions you want to visit.

The peak season for tourism in the Smokies is from June to August, so lodging prices will be higher during this time. If you are looking to save money on your lodging, consider visiting the Smokies during the off-season(January, February, and March).

Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary

I understand how difficult it can be to plan a trip, especially if it’s your first time going. That’s why I created this 7-day itinerary for the Smoky Mountains. It outlines all of the best places to go in the area and comes with insider tips that will save you a lot of stress–trust me, they saved me when I was planning my own trip!

  • Our 7-day itinerary takes you to the best places in the Smoky Mountains.
  • You’ll get to see all the best sights and attractions with driving directions
  • The itinerary is designed to show you the most scenic routes.
  • Packing Checklist for every season.
  • You’ll have everything you need to make the most of your trip.
  • Insider Tips!

Here’s a quick overview of our Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary.

  • Day 1: Cades Cove Loop
  • Day 2: Rich Mountain Road
  • Day 3: Cataloochee Valley
  • Day 4: Newfound Gap Road
  • Day 5: Roaring Fork Motor Trail
  • Day 6: Little River Road
  • Day6: Foothills Parkway

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Related Smoky Mountain Resources


Now that you know the best time to visit the Smokies, it’s time to find out the best activities and attractions in the area. Check out our post on 125+ amazing things to do in the Smoky Mountains for some great ideas.

If you’re looking for ways to make your trip to the Smoky Mountains more exciting, try this 4 seasons photo scavenger hunt that will surely keep kids entertained. Who knows, you might just have a budding photographer on your hands!

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