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When Do Leaves Change in Gatlinburg?

Smoky Mountain Leaf Forecast

Fall View of mountains and cabins in a Gatlinburg Falls Resort, Gatlinburg TN
Simple Maple Leaves
Simple Maple Leaves

Are Leaves Changing in
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge?

While it's impossible to predict every time,
the leaf changes are not always on an exact schedule.

Here is my formula:
Mid to Late October & Early November!
That is...Your best bets are the last 2 weeks of October
and the first week of November.

IF you are staying at a very high elevation, go for earlier dates,
such as 10-15 of October.
For mid to lower elevation, go for the 15 -30 of October dates.


See All My Favorite Cabins Here

Things to Do in Fall/Autumn Around Gatlinburg, TN

See Fall Colors on a Scenic Helicopter Tour

Roaring Fork Sightseeing Tours by Jeep

A Walk in The Woods Fall Color Tour & More

1.)  Leaf colors change at the highest points first, so you will see the first changes at the mountaintops and highest peaks about mid-September to early October                                                   

2.)  As the last part of September rolls out, the tip tops of the mountains will reach their peak color, but hold on!  Mid to late October holds your best chance to see the best color all over!                  

3.)  During early October, it gets exciting, because the leaves will begin their change further down into lower areas of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Gatlinburg                      

4.)  As mid October arrives, Gatlinburg will start to become the wonderland everyone dreams of in Autumn.  Middle October until the end of October, and the first 1-2 weeks of November will hold the best colors of all!  


My Personal Suggestion:

No matter what year it is,

I'd suggest booking the 3rd or 4th week in October

OR the first days of November on any given year for the best chance to see the best fall colors.

Remember, if you are staying at higher elevations,

go for mid-October.

If you are staying in lower elevations, go for later October.

Don't forget to get a cabin with a beautiful Fall Mountain view because this is usually the most popular time of the year in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.

Simple Maple Leaves
Simple Maple Leaves

Don't forget a good camera for unforgettable fall trip or vacation photos!

I use a Canon Power Shot that I absolutely love. It has an unbelievable zoom and is pretty easy to learn to use.  Below are just a few pictures I've taken during Fall.



But the rest is easy, and here are a few excellent ideas just to get you started, for some of the best places to take Fall photos in the Great Smoky Mountains and around the Gatlinburg area:

  • Great Smoky Mountain National Park Overlooks

  • Wears Valley (pretty much anywhere!) 

  • From the top of The Wheel at The Island, Pigeon Forge 

  • Skybridge and SkyTrail in Gatlinburg

  • The view from the Space Needle, Gatlinburg

  • The Foothills Parkway

  • The AnaVista Tower at Anakeesta

  • Cade's Cove, Townsend

  • The Old Mill, Pigeon Forge

  • The Ober Mountain Aerial Tram

  • Gatlinburg Bypass Overlooks

  • Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

  • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

  • Any of the many hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

  • Quiet Walkways labeled in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Note! For those who cannot see colors well or have colorblindness, Ober Mountain (Formerly Ober Gatlinburg) has installed special viewfinders that allow the color blind to see colors!  It's absolutely amazing! You can find more information here.


For more fun things to do around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in Fall,

check out Best Things to Do During Autumn in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

This photo below was taken on Twin City Way in Pigeon Forge.

Brightly colored photograph of mountain fall foliage and fall colors in Autumn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, A Cabin rental in Pigeon Forge, fall colors in a Smoky Mountain woods and fall forest

Check out this beautiful cabin nearby the one above!

What is the Weather like in October for Gatlinburg?

Maybe you are wondering how cold is Gatlinburg in the Fall season?

The temperatures for October in Gatlinburg can be anywhere from the 70's and low 80's all the way down to freezing. But normally you will have a very comfortable, 60's during the day, and 50's at night.  Higher elevations will be about 10 degrees chillier.  So if your cabin or chalet is up high, or you are heading up to Ober Mountain, SkyBridge, or Anakeesta, you may want an extra layer.

According to historical data, the weather in October for Gatlinburg ranges, on average, between 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit. 

What Fun Events During October in Gatlinburg?

There are a lot of fun events during the popular fall months in the Smoky Mountains! 

  • Oktoberfest at Ober Mountain

  • Wears Valley Fall Festival

  • Harvest Festival at Dollywood

  • Hallow Mountain, Anakeesta

  • Boo Bash at SkyPark

  • Gatlinburg Fall Craftsman's Fair

  • Trick or Treating on Halloween Downtown Gatlinburg

  • Kyker Farm Corn Maze

See Best Things to Do in Fall Around Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge for more Ideas!

I took the photo below while doing cabin inspections.  You can also experience these views at
the Preserve Resort that sits above beautiful Wears Valley

Fall Foliage at it's peak in The Preserve Resort, in Wears Valley, Tennessee
A Fall scene and photgraph i took of a winding mountain road in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, with fall leaves all around
Ripley's Discount tickets

If you can't be here, you will LOVE these live webcams in the Smoky Mountains I have put together in one of my most popular videos, "Gatlinburg TN Live Webcams".  You can see the Smoky Mountains from anywhere in the world, and I'm always on the lookout for new ones to add!

You can also check out this video of driving up beautiful Bluff Mountain in the Fall that I made a few years ago. 


Or this autumn drive through breathtaking Wears Valley in October.

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