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fall foliage in the Smoky Mountains

2023 Smoky Mountains Fall Foliage and Forecast

Fall in the Smoky Mountains is one of the most beautiful times of the year. This is when the air begins to cool off a little and visitors from all across the country come to witness the Smoky Mountains fall foliage transform from deep greens to vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange.

The tricky part about visiting during this time of the year, however, is planning your trip around the peak fall color times. You don’t want to come too early before the colors change, and you don’t want to come too late when the trees have already shed their leaves for the year.

We want to help you and your family experience fall colors in the Smoky Mountains, so we have put together our 2023 Smoky Mountain fall foliage and forecast report. We have searched high and low to bring you all the up-to-date information on the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains to help you plan your trip!

2023 Smoky Mountains Fall Foliage Forecast

As the new school year begins and the summer heat starts to ease up, a big question on everyone’s mind is, “when will the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains be at their peak this year?” Although we cannot quite give you an exact date, we can give you our predictions.

As of right now, we’re expecting the leaves to turn to gorgeous fall colors in higher elevations around mid-October, and continue into lower elevations until about mid-November. Fall foliage is most vibrant when temperatures are in the 70s during the day and drop into the 40s at night. As summer temperatures fade and temperatures get cooler, the leaves turn brighter reds, oranges, and yellows! Smoky Mountain fall foliage is expected to be at its peak in lower elevations around the third week of October, but we’ll update you as the leaves start to change.

How to Follow the 2023 Smoky Mountain Fall Foliage

fall colors in the Smoky MountainsTo stay up to date on the 2023 Smoky Mountains fall foliage and weather forecasts, be sure to follow our Smoky Mountain weatherman, Paul Poteet. In his weekly weather videos, Paul Poteet gives guests a summary of what to expect in terms of weather for the upcoming week, as well as a preview of any exciting upcoming Smoky Mountain events.

Be sure to check out all of his Smoky Mountain weather videos.

Smoky Mountain Webcams

In addition to Paul Poteet’s reports, you can also follow the progress of the leaves by tuning in to one of the many Smoky Mountain webcams aimed to capture the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains. These webcams offer views of spots in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as around downtown Gatlinburg. The Clingmans Dome webcam is one of the best to watch early on because of its high elevation!

You can view all the best Smoky Mountain webcams here.

What to Expect From This Year’s Fall Colors in the Smoky Mountains

If you have never visited the area during the fall in the Smoky Mountains, be prepared to be amazed by the beautiful colors and scenery. Words cannot describe just how unbelievable the mountains look when the leaves change from the deep greens to the bright oranges, reds, and golds.

For a special look at what fall in the Smoky Mountains is like, be sure to check out this video:

An added bonus to the beautiful fall colors is that the color change makes it easy to identify trees in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Each species of tree adapts its own fall shade this time of year, and visitors can easily pick out their favorite based on the leaves.

Here is a quick cheat sheet of which leaves belong to which trees based on their fall color:

  • Tulip Poplar: golden yellow
  • Birch: bright yellow
  • Black Cherry: yellow
  • Dogwood: deep red
  • Sourwood: brick red
  • Shining Sumac: red
  • Hickories: golden-bronze
  • Oaks: red, brown, or russet
  • Maples:
    • Sugar Maple: orange-red
    • Black Maple: glowing yellow
    • Red Maple: bright scarlet or orange

Autumn Breeze cabin during fallThe area does see an increase of car traffic this time of year from visitors in town to see the Smoky Mountain fall foliage. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to experience the Smoky Mountains, so you can enjoy all of the colors.

Don’t miss your chance to see the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains this year! Take a look at all of our Smoky Mountain cabin rentals to start planning right away! We can’t wait to see you soon in the Smoky Mountains!