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. You might want to know when you should go to have the most snow visibility, where you should go, and what to expect when you get there.
To help you out, we're going to answer those questions in a handy little guide. Let's get started so you can get to planning your trip as soon as possible.
When is snow possible?
Gatlinburg has all the basic ingredients that you need for fun in the snow. It's got weather that gets below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and it has precipitation during that low temperature.
What that means is that Gatlinburg can get snow anytime there's precipitation during freezing temps. 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 want to find out when 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 represented in Gatlinburg's list of average precipitation, which got four inches in January and two in February, higher than all the other months.
So how much does it snow, you might ask? Well, annually this town will receive around nine inches of snow. 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?
Even 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 up there.
If you want to see snow in Gatlinburg, you're really going to have to run to the hills. Run for your life and grab your camera, because you aren't going to want to miss any of this gorgeous snow.
As a rule, snow tends to stick around better in higher elevation areas. The valleys have their share of beauty, but it's not going to be the same as what you can see over in the hills. Gatlinburg is in one of the valleys, so it doesn't get as much snow. At the same time, it does still receive snow. The snow it does get is much more manageable and traversable than what you'll see in higher elevations. Really, it's all a tradeoff.
The hills tend to get plenty of snow, but the mountains get even more. That's why it's ideal to stay in Gatlinburg where you won't get too much snow and you'll still get a great view of the snowy mountains in the distance.
How much snow can I expect?
For instance, 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 a whopping 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.
As a result of all this, the best places to see snow in Gatlinburg are going to be in places like Newfound Gap. Some of the high-elevation trips like the Appalachian Trail, Chimney Tops, and Alum Cave Trail will all feature beautiful winter views.
There are even winter rain events like what can be seen at Grotto Falls, where a waterfall is surrounded by plenty of beautiful snow.
Do 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 Gatlinburg report. This slope mostly uses manmade snow for its slopes, but they do keep a good report of the snow that's fallen recently.
If you're looking for some fun in the snow, you can always check out Ober Gatlinburg. They feature skiing, snowboarding, or even tubing. This is a really good chance to get the family all together to have some fun in the snow. It's nice and fun to watch the snow and take pictures, but sometimes the family wants to get a little more active and try something fun. Depending on where you live, you might not even have the opportunity to do these things at home. This is the perfect location to have some snowy winter fun.
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. 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.
Located near the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Bearskin Lodge On the River. This Gatlinburg hotel is a convenient spot to stay while vacationing here because it's also near skiing, snowboarding and tubing at Ober Gatlinburg.