Downtown Gatlinburg
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Best Time to Visit Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is a great destination year-round. We’re here every month throughout the year, so here’s our recommendation:

We love visiting Gatlinburg anytime, even during the winter. But if we could pick one time to visit Gatlinburg, it would be late spring. The Smoky Mountains look beautiful, and the temperatures make exploring the outdoors pleasant. But we’ll cover everything to look at when booking your vacation!

Gatlinburg Overview
Downtown Gatlinburg
Anakeesta Tower

Gatlinburg Overview

Living near Gatlinburg, the Smoky Mountain area is one of our favorite places to go with our kids out of all the places we’ve traveled.

Top Thing To Do: Anakeesta

Where To Stay: Margaritaville Gatlinburg is our favorite resort in the area. While it’s not the cheapest, it’s a new resort with a nice pool and a great location.

Where To Eat: Ole Red (not because the food is amazing, but because of the live nightly entertainment)

How To Get There: The closest airport is Knoxville (TYS), which is about an hour away. A rental car is almost a requirement due to the distance between attractions. Click here for deals on Discover rental cars. Gatlinburg is also within a day’s drive of 2/3rds of the country’s population!

Key Takeaways

  • Gatlinburg has activities all year, like snow sports in winter and hiking in warmer months.
  • Our perfect getaway would be avoiding the summer heat, but we know this is the most popular time to visit. During the summer, get your outside activities done in the morning. Then head back to a resort with a pool or water park!

Gatlinburg Weather and Things to Do Each Month

Gatlinburg in January

Gatlinburg Snow In January
Snow in Gatlinburg

In January, Gatlinburg is your chance to see snow. Though it’s far from guaranteed, with an average low of 29°F and highs around 47°F., you’ve got the best chance of seeing it in January.

If you want to boost your chances of seeing snow, drive up (road conditions permitting) to Newfound Gap, which you can read more about in our guide on where to see snow.

January is a great time for snow tubing at Ober Mountain or Pigeon Forge. Cozy up in a cabin with an indoor pool and hot tub.

Gatlinburg Snowy Road. Gatlinburg In January
Gatlinburg snowy road

Gatlinburg in February

As winter continues, February makes Gatlinburg a great place for those who love cooler weather. The town has an average high temperature of around 53°F, but it can still get chilly. We’ve seen higher numbers in the 20s and 60s!

Gatlinburg Downtown In February
Gatlinburg crowds in February

We took the picture above in early February, on the first warm weekend day we’d had in weeks. And it was busy!

February is a great time to bundle up and explore fun outdoor things like scenic drives or visiting Cades Cove without the summer heat.

Rainfall is about 4.8 inches on average, so indoor activities like an aquarium day at Ripley’s Aquarium are a good idea.

Gatlinburg in March

Snow By River Large
Snow on the trees in March

Gatlinburg brings milder weather in March. Daytime temperatures average a pleasant 61°F. March brings its share of rain to Gatlinburg, with around 12 rainy days expected throughout the month.

But winter might not be done. Our first visit before we moved here was in March. In the picture above with snow on the trees, the kids had been playing in the creek in 70-degree weather two days before!

Enjoy hikes in the surrounding Smoky Mountains or stroll through downtown Gatlinburg, where early spring is starting to show its colors.

Gatlinburg in April

Gatlinburg is a spring burst with long, sunny days in April. The average daytime temperature hits 71°F, while nights cool to around 42°F. This makes it perfect for hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Flowers start to bloom, and trees turn green again. Dollywood is back open, and it’s a great time to visit the best theme park in the area.

Dollywood In April

We love April because the weather is just right—not too hot or cold.

You can walk around town or enjoy outdoor meals without getting chilly or breaking a sweat. With an average low of 44.8°F in the mornings and evenings, it’s cozy enough for a light jacket during early walks.

Gatlinburg in May

May brings warm days and cool nights to Gatlinburg, with temperatures often around 79°F in the daytime and dipping to near 50°F after sunset. This perfect weather makes it an excellent time for hiking through blooming wildflowers and vibrant green scenes.

You’ll find the outdoor adventures are endless— from fishing in sparkling streams to exploring trails filled with nature’s beauty.

Visitors love coming to Gatlinburg this month because they can enjoy the moderate climate while attending fun events and festivals that celebrate spring. The town is alive with energy as the natural world wakes up from winter.

Whether walking downtown or standing at the top of a mountain, May will surely give you great views and good times.

Gatlinburg in June

Gatlinburg Downtown

In June, Gatlinburg is warm to hot, with daily highs reaching up to 83°F. It’s not too hot for hikes in the morning, though. Get your outdoor activities done in the morning, then cool off at a water park in the afternoon.

Gatlinburg in July

Townsend Tubing Scaled

July is the hottest month, with temperatures reaching an average of 84°F, though they can get into the 90s. Expect a good chance of rain too– it is also one of the wettest months. If you plan on hiking, get in done early in the morning.

We still do lots of outdoor activities in July. We have Dollywood season passes, so we try to use them regularly but July isn’t our favorite month. We try to get there when it first opens and leave by mid-afternoon.

With warmer temperatures, it’s a great time to try some river tubing in Townsend. It’s busy there in July, but it’s a family-friendly activity that we do every year. July is also a good month to make sure your hotel has a pool!

Independence Day is a great time to be in Gatlinburg: On July 3rd, there is even a first-in-the-nation midnight parade (At 00:01 on July 4th) known for its unique lighting displays and festive atmosphere! Huge crowds gather to watch these shows, making it a busy time of year.

Gatlinburg in August

Great Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg In August

In August, Gatlinburg means warm sunshine and long days perfect for adventures. Highs often reach the 90s, making it another month for early morning outdoor adventures. Rain is usually pretty light in August, we’ve gone weeks without rain before.

August tends to be a bit less busy than July, as many Tennessee schools return at the very start of August (or even late July!) The downtown area is still busy, though.

Gatlinburg in September

September brings cooler weather to Gatlinburg, with highs in the 70s and 80s. This is one of our favorite times of the year.

Nights get chillier, perfect for campfires. It’s a great time to get back out hiking and explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Cades Cove

Take a drive to Cades Cove to see some incredible scenery and wildlife.

Car enthusiasts will love the Pigeon Forge Fall Rod Run, a classic hot rod and muscle car show at the LeConte Center. But it’s a popular event, so it’s also a weekend to make sure you have hotel reservations early.

Gatlinburg in October

Dollywood Pumpkins

In October there’s cool weather and fall colors. The high is usually around 74°F; at night, it can drop to about 42°F. This month is perfect for enjoying the outdoors.

Go to Anakeesta or Gatlinburg Skylift Park for some of the best views—October’s a great time to check out the fall festival at Dollywood, too.

There are also a few haunted attractions to check out in Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg in November

The leaves have mostly fallen, making November a wonderful time to ride horses or hike.

You’ll find November days suitable for exploring outdoors due to moderate weather, though nights get chilly.

If you climb higher elevations around Newfound Gap, prepare for colder winds and possible snow. Thanksgiving weekend is busy here, so book hotels early!

Gatlinburg in December

Dollywood In December

December in Gatlinburg is a magical time of year. The city sparkles with Christmas lights, and there’s (sometimes) a chill. Or it might be 75 degrees. Either way, you’ll have fun!

You can go snow tubing, even if it’s too warm for natural snow. December is the perfect time to visit Dollywood and see the Christmas lights.

You may find some snow in the mountains, but down in Gatlinburg, rain is more common than snowflakes.

Monthly Average Temperatures

MonthAverage High (°F)Average Low (°F)


Gatlinburg has something special every month. Warm summers and cold winters let you enjoy different activitiesHike in spring or ski in winterEvery season brings its own fun. Come to Gatlinburg and make great memories at any time of the year!

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