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The Cades Cove Loop Road is one of the most popular places to visit in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Cades Cove Loop Road circles the cove so drivers have a chance to see all of the historic points along the way. If you plan to go driving through Cades Cove, there’s a few things you need to know about Cades Cove hours, so you can choose the best time to visit.
Cades Cove Hours
Update: The only route to drive to Cades Cove, Laurel Creek Road, will be closed from Jan. 3, 2020 through the end of February. Crews will be making repairs to Bote Mountain tunnel. The road will be closed to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. To get to Cades Cove, you have to hike one of the trails, which is at minimum an 8-mile trek. The Cades Cove campground will be closed during this time as well.
Cades Cove is open year round from sunrise to sunset, weather permitting.
The Cades Cove Loop Road is only closed on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, from May through September, until 10 a.m. This allows bicyclists and pedestrians a few hours at the Cove without vehicles.
Cades Cove Hours for the Visitor Center
|January||9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.|
|February||9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.|
|March||9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.|
|April – August||9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.|
|September – October||9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.|
|November||9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.|
|December||9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.|
The Cades Cove Visitor Center is located near the middle of the Cades Cove Loop Road.
Cades Cove Picnic Area
The Cades Cove Picnic area is open year round. There’s not a pavilion, but there’s over 80 spots for picnicking. The Cades Cove picnic area is open until sunset, except May through August when it is open until 8 p.m.
Best Times to View Cades Cove Wildlife
We know one of the main reasons you enjoy Cades Cove is because there is so much wildlife in that area of the national park. It can be difficult to see wildlife in many areas of the park due to the dense forests, but Cades Cove is a wide open space, so it’s easier to see animals.
The best hours for wildlife viewing really depend on the types of animals you want to see. Many animals are most active in the evenings, so there’s usually a good amount of wildlife wandering around at night.
We recommend getting up and making your way to Cades Cove early in the morning for the best chances to see wildlife. Cades Cove can be a pretty busy place, especially in the summer months. When it gets really busy, animals tend to stay somewhat hidden, so it’s a good idea to arrive a little early to sit and watch for the animals. If you plan to have a picnic in the area, that’s another great way to see the animals. Just remember to keep all of our animals in the national park safe by removing your garbage.
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