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Fall Color in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The breathtaking beauty of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains during autumn is almost impossible to put into words. In fall, the mountains are washed with brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds as the fall leaf season brings glorious color to Gatlinburg and east Tennessee. Come enjoy fall in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains and see why these are the "Great" Smoky Mountains.

Frequently asked questions about fall foliage in the Gatlinburg area are:

When is the best time to see the fall color in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge?
Altitude affects the fall color schedule, the fall color display usually reaches peak at mid and lower elevations between mid-October and early November. This is Gatlinburg’s most spectacular display as it includes such colorful trees as sugar maple, scarlet oak, sweetgum, red maple, and the hickories. At higher elevations, color displays start as early as mid-September with the turning of yellow birch, American beech, mountain maple, hobblebush, and pin cherry.
What makes for good fall color in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge?
Both temperature and moisture can cause the fall color come earlier or later, and when the first frost occurs can determine the intensity and timing of color. A dry summer can make leaves change earlier, and dry summers with a wet September can cause brilliant, extended fall color. To put it simply, there is no way of knowing exactly when the color will begin or how long it will stick around.
Why are fall colors so remarkable in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge?
One reason is the park’s amazing diversity of trees. Some 100 species of native trees live in the Smokies and the vast majority of these are deciduous.
How do leaf colors change?
As summer ends, the green pigments in leaves deteriorate, giving other colors a chance to shine. Carotenoids, the pigment that makes carrots orange and leaves yellow, are exposed as the green fades. Reds and purples come from anthocyanins, a pigment that is formed when sugars in leaves break down in bright autumn sunlight.
Where can you find the best color in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area?
Great color can be found almost anywhere within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Wears Valley, the foothills parkway, the Blueridge Parkway and the road to Clingman’s Dome provide some of the best fall color viewing. Also try the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in Gatlinburg or the loop in Cades Cove.
To avoid the gridlock that occurs in the most popular areas--including Cades Cove, Newfound Gap Road, and Roaring Fork Motor Trail, get an early morning start and you can enjoy the annual fall color show without so many license plates in front of you.

There are no rental cabins located within the national park. However, American Patriot Getaways offers a variety of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge cabins, chalets and condos close to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. October is a busy month in Gatlinburg and the park, so it is advisable to book your cabin, chalet or condo with American Patriot Getaways as early as possible.

To increase your chances of hitting peak color, book your Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge cabin with American Patriot Getaways in the middle of October to early November.

For more information about Fall foliage in the Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge area and where to stay for the best views please call American Patriot Getaways at today!