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little river road covered in snow

The Best Time and Places to See Gatlinburg Snow in Tennessee

DATE : November 12, 2022

It's been sung about in countless songs, idolized by the masses, and enjoyed by kids and adults alike. No, we're not talking about a movie star. We're talking about snow! Just like it makes things look a lot like Christmas and makes for a great winter wonderland to walk around in, it makes your view of the Great Smoky Mountains just that much more special when viewed in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. If you're wondering when you can see the most snow visibility, where you should go, and what to expect when you get there, we can help. We've created a guide for the best time and places to see Gatlinburg snow in Tennessee.

When is snow possible?

great smoky mountains national park sign with snowDuring the colder months, Gatlinburg has all the basic ingredients that you need for fun in the snow! It has temperatures that get below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has precipitation during that low temperature.

What that means is that it's not uncommon for Gatlinburg to welcome snow during the colder months. In fact, it's not been unheard of for Gatlinburg to get snow as early as October and as late as April.

Keep in mind, though, that while there has been Gatlinburg snow as early as before Thanksgiving and Christmas, this isn't very common.

While it is possible for there to be snow from October to April, we know you're more interested in the most common time for there to be Gatlinburg snow is so that your trip to the Smokies doesn't go wasted.

When is it likely to snow?

The National Park Service reports snow storms in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains happen mostly in February and January. This is because, on average, precipitation levels tend to be higher during these two months.

So how much does it snow, you might ask? Gatlinburg sees about 9 inches of snow each year, on average. Some months do have a higher total of average snow than other months, but no one can rule out snow from falling and sticking in the winter!

Where can I go to see snow in Gatlinburg?

snowy overlook in the smoky mountainsEven if you haven't come into Gatlinburg in the snowy season, it's still possible to see snow on the mountains, since the air is colder in higher elevations.

If you want to see snow in Gatlinburg, the best places to go are higher up! We recommend hiking to Mount LeConte via Alum Cave Trail, or going for a drive along Newfound Gap. You'll also have a great chance at spotting snow at mountaintop attractions, like Anakeesta and the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park. Of course, you can always visit Ober Mountain for some guaranteed fun in the snow during the winter!

Gatlinburg is the ideal place to visit during the winter because while the valley itself doesn't see as much snow, you'll still get a great view of the snowy mountains in the distance!

How much snow can I expect?

Gatlinburg, Tennessee sits at 1,280 feet in elevation and receives an average of nine inches of snow a year. Nearby Newfound Gap in the national park sits at 5,049 feet in elevation and garners about 69 inches of snowfall per year. Keep in mind that Newfound Gap is only 16 miles from downtown Gatlinburg. It's only a short drive away, and yet the amounts of snowfall in each place are nowhere near being close to each other. The higher in elevation you go, the better chances you have of seeing snow in Tennessee!

Newfound Gap viewDo note that Newfound Gap along with other places in the Great Smoky Mountain area will shut down due to winter weather events that might unfold during the course of the day. If you're trying to figure out just how much snow Gatlinburg got after a recent winter weather event, it's best for you to look into the Ober Mountain report. This slope mostly uses manmade snow for its slopes, but they do keep a good report of the snow that's fallen recently.

Now you have a better idea as to when you should go to have the most snow visibility, where you should go, and what to expect when you get there! Wondering what else you will do when you're here this winter? Check out these must-do winter activities in Gatlinburg!