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Best Time to Visit Gatlinburg (Best Weather & Outdoor Adventures!)

Plan your Gatlinburg trip with our guide on the best times for weather and adventures! Ideal for travelers seeking the perfect balance of climate and fun.

Tobi Miles
July 22, 2022
Best Time to Visit Gatlinburg (Best Weather & Outdoor Adventures!)

The mountain town of Gatlinburg, Tennesse, is nestled in the Smoky Mountains and offers moderate temperatures and unique festivals year-round. With spring wildflowers, fall leaves, and winter activities, this location is a beautiful nature-lover dream for those looking to explore the Appalachians.

The best time to visit the mountain town of Gatlinburg is September when the temperatures peak in the 70℉ range and tourism dips after the summer rush. Hotel prices are reasonable and stay around $170 a night. You will be able to enjoy early fall in the Smoky Mountains and festivals such as the Annual Taste of Autumn.

This surprising town has a lot to offer visitors. In the springtime, you can find festivals of flowers, specialty wines, and crafting skills as you soak in the fresh mountain air. The fall season features incredible changing leaves and even an Oktober fest celebration. So let us discover what this little town has to offer at all times of the year!

When Not To Visit Gatlinburg

The high season for Gatlinburg runs from June to August, but you will also find many tourists in October. To avoid crowds, you will want to avoid these months as the warm weather and natural views draw people in.

The influx of tourists brings higher prices as well, with hotels costing between $190 and $250 a night. The town itself will have streets full of people perusing boutique shops and unique museums.

These are the best months to visit to enjoy the natural views surrounding the town and to participate in their many festivals. However, they do come at a high price so be wary if you plan on visiting during these months.

Cheapest Month To Visit Gatlinburg

If your priority is affordability, February is the cheapest month to visit Gatlinburg. The cold weather keeps many tourists away as it is in the off-season for the towns, as temperatures are often around freezing point.

Hotel rooms are the cheapest of the year in February. You can get a nice hotel room in a mountain resort for $150. Restaurants will also be cheaper in the off-season, so this is the best time to go if you are on a budget.

One of the best experiences this time of year is to enjoy some winter sports at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. As the only ski resort in Tennessee, you will find a unique winter experience that count be found in the rest of the state!

Best Month To Visit Gatlinburg

If you like mild weather, crowds, and prices, September is the best month to visit Gatlinburg. This month is nestled in between two very busy times for the mountain town but oddly has lesser crowds.

You will be able to enjoy the temperate weather and the beginning shift into the colors of fall. Prices are also pretty affordable, with a night in a decent hotel room costing 170 dollars a night. September has some interesting festivals to visit as well as the pristine national park nearby.

It is not the absolute cheapest time to visit, but you get the best combination of weather, price, and tourist population than any other month. Nature lovers and cultural explorers alike will find something to love in Gatlinburg’s September lineup.

When is the Best Time To Visit Gatlinburg: Monthly Breakdown

January: A Quiet Winter Vacation

January is the coldest month of the year in this beautiful mountain town. Average temperatures stay between 48℉ to 25℉. The snow season begins to pick up with the town seeing about 4.6 inches of precipitation.

This is also one of the cheapest months of the year to visit Gatlinburg. Prices tend to be around $150 a night for a standard room in a 4-star hotel. Tourism is low in this part of the offseason, but there are many activities to still enjoy.

This is one of the best times to explore Gatlinburg without crowds. This tourist town has charming shops, unique museums, and delicious restaurants to walk around to. The Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort is another great place to enjoy winter in Tennessee.

  • Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights
  • Visit the Guinness World Records Museum

Related Read: 27 Best Romantic Getaways In Tennessee

February: Best Prices

This month is still quite cold in Gatlinburg, with temperatures staying between 53℉ to 28℉.  There is a little bit of snowfall this month with an average of 4.7 inches of precipitation.

The absolute cheapest month to visit Gatlinburg is in February. There are not many events to draw in tourists, so you will find very low crowds as well. Prices for a night in a standard room in a 4-star hotel will be around $140.

The month of love brings special activities to Gatlinburg. Experience the Love Is In The Air Event at the Gatlinburg SkyLift. The park is decorated with white, pink, and red lights that are fit for lovers to enjoy the holiday.

  • Enjoy Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort
  • Explore Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum

March: Affordable Offseason

The weather is still a bit chilly this time of year in Gatlinburg. Temperatures range from 61℉ to 33℉, so it’s best to have a nice jacket with you when you visit. Rain and snowfall far very similar to that of February with an average of 4.7 inches of precipitation throughout the month.

As a part of the off-season prices and crowds remain low before picking up in spring. A single night in a standard room in a 4-star hotel will be roughly $170. You may run into a few spring breakers here and there, but this is a very relaxed time to visit.

  • Go on a Gatlinburg Dark History Walking Ghost Tour
  • Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Related Read: 20 Top Treehouse Rentals in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

April: Springtime Adventures

Temperatures begin to warm up in April with averages falling between 70℉ to 41℉.  However, there will not much much rain, with an average of 4.2 inches falling throughout the month.

As spring tourism increases, so do the prices in Gatlinburg. You will likely see prices around $190 for a night for a standard room in a 4-star hotel. Crowds begin to grow as more events such as the Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament take place nearby.

If you visit this month, you will surely come across the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. April is the best time to see the Smoky Mountains covered in large varieties of wildflowers. Visitors from all over come to see this natural phenomenon and celebrate the beginning of spring.

  • Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest
  • Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show
  • Earth Day Festival

May: Annual Beans and Cornbred Festival

May in Gatlinburg is a perfect temperate time to visit the mountain town. Average temperatures stay between 77℉ to 50℉, making it a perfect time to enjoy the area without the summer heat. However, this is the heaviest month of precipitation with about 5.9 inches of rain.

As the final month of the off-season travel to Gatlinburg is very affordable. A night in a standard room in a 4-star hotel in May will cost about $170Crowds will be at low or medium levels, as people begin to make their way to the mountains to enjoy early summer.

  • Visit the Gatlinburg Space Needle
  • Appreciate the Museum of the Cherokee Indian
  • Gatlinburgs Beans and Cornbread Blast

June: Beginning of High Season

This month tends to be a bit wet and very warm, with temperatures reaching 83℉ and dipping to 58℉. You will also see a good amount of rain with an average of  5.5 inches falling. However, the rains are not constant so you will still be able to enjoy the mountains.

Prices are similar to those of May, with a night for a standard room in a 4-star hotel costing $170June is also the beginning of the high season and you will see many more tourists begin to arrive than before.

  • Discover Gatlinburg’s Historic Ogle Log Cabin
  • Enjoy the mountains on the Gatlinburg Skylift Park
  • Smoky Mountains Tunes and Tales

July: Hottest Time of the Year

This is usually the hottest month of the year. Temperatures range from 86℉ to 63℉. You will also run into several rainy days, with roughly  5.8 inches of rain falling throughout the month. However, the foliage is plentiful and is a great time to explore the Smoky Mountains.

The heat and humidity this time of year are what give the Smoky Mountains their name, making the area very popular. As the busiest month of the year for Gatlinburg, it is best to plan far in advance as hotels book up fast. A night for a standard room in a 4-star hotel will cost about $200.

  • River Raft Regatta and Fireworks on the 4th of July
  • Hike Clear Creek Falls
  • 4th of July Midnight Parade

Related Read: 40 BEST Places To Visit In Tennessee

August: Peak of High Season

The temperatures in Gatlinburg begin to dip ever so slightly in August. Average temperatures stay between 85℉ to 61℉. You will also find the least amount of rainy days of the high season with only 4.6 inches of rain measured throughout the month.

Prices for a night for a standard room in a 4-star hotel go for roughly $210. Much like in July there are lots of tourists around so prepare for crowds in town as well as in the nearby parks. Families are looking to do their last vacation before schools begin so there are lots to enjoy but for a high price.

  • Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival
  • Take a Zipline Canopy Tour

September: Best Time To Visit Gatlinburg

Temperatures begin to cool as fall approaches with averages between 80℉ to 55℉. With the cool winter breezes, you will likely not run into too much precipitation. It rains an average of  4.3 inches this month.

September is an odd month for Gatlinburg, as it rests between the high season and the very busy month of October. Making traveling in this month much cheaper than the surrounding months. Costs for a night for a standard room in a 4-star hotel are around $190.

  • Annual Taste of Autumn
  • View the Pigeon Forge Hollywood Wax Museum

October: Best Time To Enjoy Fall

The October weather is perfect for fall lovers in Gatlinburg. Temperatures stay between 71℉ to 43℉ and you will only see an average of 2.7 inches of precipitation this month.

This month is extremely popular for visitors as the deciduous leaves are at their peak colors before they fall. Explore the Smoky Mountains to enjoy beautiful fall leaves and wonderful fall ambiance in October, but with high prices and many tourists.

This can be the most expensive month to visit Gatlinburg due to the high tourism response to the enchanting fall leaves. Prices for a night for a standard room in a 4-star hotel are around $250. Restaurants and excursions will also increase to meet the demand.

  • Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg
  • Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair

November: Enjoy Holiday Festivities

You can sometimes find some amicable weather this time of year, with temperature highs reaching 61℉ and lows 34℉. Light snowfall begins in November with an average of  4.1 inches of precipitation.

With fall colors still on display as well as Thanksgiving vacations, this is another costly time to visit Gatlinburg. Prices for a night for a standard room in a 4-star hotel are around $240.

  • Great Smokey Mountains Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show
  • Take A Top Rated Wine and Shine Tour
  • Trolley Ride of Lights

Related Read: 40 BEST Things To Do in Pigeon Forge, TN

December: Experience a Snowy Christmas

Temperatures officially cool down in December in Gatlinburg. Average temperature range from 51℉ to 28℉, with about 4.3 inches of precipitation throughout the month.

Prices begin to fall in December, with a night for a standard room in a 4-star hotel costing around $170. Rooms may be more expensive during the week of Christmas, but you will have many holiday-related events to experience.

  • Winter Magic Tunes and Tales
  • Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade
  • New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show from the Gatlinburg Space Needle

When Is The Best Time To Avoid Crowds in Gatlinburg?

If you are looking to avoid large summer crowds, January and February are the best months to visit. The weather can be quite cold and there are not many festivals or events happening this time of year. So your visit will be quiet and affordable.

Hotel prices stay between $130 and $150 each night, and you will likely share the town only with skiers visiting the nearby resort. It is a great time to enjoy your peaceful winter retreat in Gatlinburg.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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