Kick off the new year with a visit to the Smoky Mountains. Here are some of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in January that the whole family can enjoy.
Christmas is over and the winter has set in for the Smoky Mountains. Does that mean there’s no more fun to be had in these Appalachian mountains until the Spring? Absolutely not. In fact, winter in the Smoky Mountains can be one of the best times to break away from the winter doldrums and enjoy smaller crowds.
Whether you’re a nature lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply want to experience some of the area’s best attractions and activities, there is something for everyone in this beautiful mountain range.
Check out these special things to do in the Smoky Mountains in January!
Does it snow in the Smoky Mountains in January?
Yes, it does indeed snow in the Smoky Mountains during the month of January. The weather in the Smoky Mountains in January is typically unpredictable, but most snowstorms occur during the winter months between December and February.
During these months, temperatures tend to be colder and precipitation levels are much higher than during any other time of year.
What Festivals Are Happening in The Smoky Mountains in January?
The Smoky Mountains and surrounding gateway towns, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Townsend, and Cherokee offer numerous festivals throughout the year.
While there aren’t as many festivals to visit in January, there are some really interesting one.
Winter Heritage Festival Townsend, TN ( Jan 28, 2023 @ Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center)
Enjoy a series of demonstrations, storytelling, and live music in their historic village located in Townsend, TN. Activities include Open Heart Cooking, Blacksmithing, Weaving, Spinning and Live Musicians.
Winterfest (Nov 11, 2022 – Feb 20, 2023)
The Christmas season kicks off with the Winterfest in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in late November and runs through early February most years.
If you don’t make it for Christmas, don’t worry. You have the whole month of January to still come out and enjoy the Smoky Mountains Christmas lights.
Wilderness Wildlife Week (Jan 24-28, 2023)
This exciting week is back for 2023! Join the Park Rangers and volunteers for a week-long festival celebrating what makes the Smoky Mountains truly special: The Wildlife.
This completely free event is open to the public and features talks, hikes, and hands-on sessions celebrating the abundance of wildlife, variety of plants, trees, and wildflowers, and rich history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.
If you’re looking for more fun things to do while in the Smokies in January, be sure to check out our list of fun activities and attractions down below!
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
Get Our FREE Winter Packing Checklist For The Smokies!
Related Smoky Mountain Resources
- Pigeon Forge Vacation Guide
- Gatlinburg Vacation Guide
- 125+ Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains
- Great Smoky Mountains Family Vacations Facebook Group
More Related Resources
The Smoky Mountains is a beautiful destination no matter what the season. Check out our guide to the Smoky Mountains Attractions For Every Season so you can plan your trip with ease.
Try this fun national park photo scavenger hunt idea to take photos of your visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.