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Mount LeConte covered in snow.

Top 6 Tips for Visiting the Smoky Mountains in Winter

If you’ve never been to the Smoky Mountains in winter, you should plan your winter trip now! The Smokies are beautiful any time of the year, but there’s nothing like seeing them covered in frost and snow. The chill in the air will make you wish for a warm drink, and there’s nothing quite like it! Look at our top 6 tips for visiting the Smoky Mountains in winter:

1. Check Road and Trail Closures

smoky mountain road in the snowOne of the most important things you can do when you visit the Smoky Mountains in winter is to keep up with the road and trail closures. If you want to go hiking on one of your favorite trails, you should check the terrain to see if you need to prepare differently. That being said, you should always check road conditions to see if you can get into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at all. Some roads are closed in the winter that are normally open, so just keep an eye out before you head out!

2. Keep Up With Weather

The weather can be unpredictable during this time of year in the mountains. Before you make plans or decide to leave your hotel or cabin, you should check the weather. By doing this, you’ll know what you should take with you to your destination and if you can even get there at all.

3. Pack for Cold Weather

Woman packing for vacation to the Smoky MountainsThis tip is kind of obvious, but you should pack for cold weather! Sometimes the temperature can drop drastically from one day to another. Bring heavy coats, warm pants, thick socks, and proper shoes. If you’re hiking in the mountains in winter, you’ll really want to be sure you pack enough warm clothes and proper gear to keep you warm. You should also leave blankets in your car in case you break down and maybe even a fire starter kit.

4. Bring Extra Water

Did you know you can actually get dehydrated more quickly in the winter than in summer? When you visit the Smoky Mountains in winter, you should always pack a few gallons of water or water bottles to bring with you in the car. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere without a reliable water source, so be sure to bring some with you!

5. Do Winter Exclusive Activities

Ober GatlinburgThere are some attractions and activities you can only do in the winter in the Smoky Mountains. At Ober Gatlinburg, you can enjoy snow tubing during this time of year, as well as snowboarding and skiing when the slopes are open. Winterfest is going on in winter in the Smoky Mountains, so you can drive around and check out all the cool lights displays! You can also go for a winter hike, or enjoy Winterfest events at popular attractions, like Anakeesta and the SkyLift Park.

6. Stay in the Car

A great way to explore the Smokies in the winter and stay warm is to go on a drive! All winter long, you can enjoy the Winterfest lights from Sevierville all the way to Gatlinburg. Little River Road that runs from Gatlinburg to Townsend is another great drive, where you can pull off to see some waterfalls and enjoy the forest in winter. Don’t forget to check road closures!

We hope these tips for visiting the Smoky Mountains in winter help you on your next trip! Want even more tips and tricks? Find out how you can save money when you visit the Smoky Mountains here!