Great Smoky Mountains National Park Info

Winter Weather Closures

During winter weather, park roads and facilities are subject to occasional closures. Click “more” for information, including how to access the road information phone line or receive text updates.

A Wondrous Diversity of Life

Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America’s most visited national park.

Hiker relaxing at overlook. Ken Voorhis photo.
Things to Do

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker’s paradise with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short leg-stretchers to strenuous treks that may require backcountry camping. But hiking is not the only reason for visiting the Smokies. Car camping, fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing, and auto touring are popular activities.

Black bear

Most visitors come to the Smokies hoping to see a bear. Some 1,500 bears live in the park. From the big animals like bears, deer, and elk, down to microscopic organisms, the Smokies have the most biological diversity of any area in the world’s temperate zone. The park is a sanctuary for a magnificent array of animal and plant life, all of which is protected for future generations to enjoy.

A snowy river scene in the park.
When Will It Snow?

Winter is a fickle season in the Smokies. Days can be sunny with high temperatures of 65° Fahrenheit or snowy with highs in the 20s. In the lower elevations, snows of 1″ or more occur rather infrequently—usually only a few times each winter. Typically this snow melts within a few hours of falling. At higher elevations, the climate is significantly cooler and the mountain peaks receive more snow.

Ranger-guided programs are offered from late spring through early fall in the park.
Ranger-Guided Programs and Special Events

Ranger-guided programs give visitors the opportunity to explore the wonders of the park with a Ranger. Programs are offered in spring, summer, and fall.

Write to

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738Phone

Visitor Information
(865) 436-1200


Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a moderate climate, typified by mild winters and hot, humid summers. When planning a trip to the Smokies, keep in mind that elevations in the park range from just over 875 feet to 6,643 feet and that the topography can drastically affect local weather. Temperatures can vary 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit from mountain base to top, and clear skies at lower elevations do not guarantee equally pleasant weather on the higher peaks.

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