horse in a pasture surrounded by mountains

4 of the Best Ways to See the Fall Colors in the Smoky Mountains

September 20, 2023

It’s no secret that the fall is one of the best times of year to come and visit the Smoky Mountains. Throughout the fall, visitors to the area are able to witness the stunning transition of the trees from the lush greens of summer to the vibrant red, orange, and yellow hues of fall. If you’re planning to come visit during this amazing time of year, you might be wondering where the best spots are to see the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide of some of the best places in the Smoky Mountains to see the fall foliage:

1. Hike in the National Park

fall in the smoky mountains

With over 850 miles of hiking trails , the Great Smoky Mountains National Park presents countless opportunities for visitors to enjoy the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains. If you’re looking for long sight lines, you’ll enjoy hikes with mountain views like the Chimney Tops Trail. Or if you want something easier that the whole family can do together, you’ll love trails like the Gatlinburg Trail and the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail. With these great options and so many more available at the Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll have plenty of options for how you see the fall colors.

2. Go for a Scenic Drive

Another fun way to see the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains is by taking a scenic drive along some of the spectacular roads and paths accessible to vehicles here in the Smoky Mountains. Soak in views for miles when you drive along Newfound Gap Road, including the spot where the National Park was first dedicated by FDR! Or check out the relaxing and scenic Cades Cove Loop, an 11-mile one-way road that passes by trailheads, historic cabins, and more. Wherever you decide to go driving, you’ll love being surrounded by the beautiful fall colors in the Smoky Mountains.

3. Visit Sightseeing Attractions

gatlinburg in the fall

There are plenty of ways to see the fall foliage right in the heart of Gatlinburg! One of the best options is the Gatlinburg Space Needle , an observation tower that stands at over 400 feet and offers sweeping views of the nearby mountains. Another great choice is the Gatlinburg SkyPark , where you can take a lift up to the mountaintop and cross the SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian cable bridge in North America! Visitors can cross the bridge, enjoy views of Gatlinburg and the surrounding area, and get some incredible photos at this popular attraction. Attractions like the Gatlinburg Space Needle and SkyPark present fun and exciting ways to see the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains!

4. Rent a Cabin with Mountain Views

There’s no more convenient way to see the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains than right from your very own cabin rental! Many of our cabins in the Smokies offer incredible mountain views, which means you can soak in the sights of the fall colors from the porch of your cabin as you enjoy your morning coffee or an evening drink. There’s nothing quite like waking up to the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains, which is why visitors love staying at our cabins in the Smokies each fall!

When you check out some of these great ways to see the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains, you’ll be able to enjoy this gorgeous changing of the seasons in plenty of fun and interesting ways. And if you’re looking to plan a vacation to the Smoky Mountains this fall, check out our specials page for the best deals and discounts! We look forward to welcoming you.

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