Autumn is right around the corner and brings both a beautiful and busy time to the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s the annual show of colors in the fall that attract sightseers in huge numbers to the area. As the summer comes to an end, the green pigments in the leaves of nearly 250 species of native trees to the area start to break down and give other colors a chance to be seen.
Elevation affects the specific time this change of colors happens. Higher elevations in the park have a different climate, one that resembles that of New England. Color starts to display as early as mid-September here. Elevations above 4000 feet start to join in on the action between early to mid-October. The peak of fall color reaches the mid to lower elevations between mid-October and early November.
The Best Places To Catch The Show
Early – Mid-October: Clingmans Dome Road, The Blue Ridge Parkway, or The Foothills Parkway.
Mid-October – Early November: Cades Cove and Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) **Expect the longest traffic delays in these areas. If you are looking for a little less crowded area to enjoy the show during this time a couple of scenic drives can be found. We recommend the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail or The Blue Ridge Parkway.
If you want to hit the trails some suggested hikes include: The Appalachian Trail, Inspiration Point on Alum Cave Trail, Oconaluftee River Trail, Look Rock Tower, and Sutton Ridge Overlook.
More information on these suggested drive and hikes can be found here.
It’s Best To Book Your Stay Early!
Fall is a busy time of year for the area and we advise our guests to make their lodging reservations as early as possible. Give American Patriot Getaways a call today to plan your getaway this autumn and experience this show for yourself.