When to Go
There's not a bad time to visit the Smokies, though summer and the month of October are the most popular times. The biggest month for visitation in the park is July, followed by June, and then October, which is peak fall-color season. Weekends in October are especially crowded, and you should expect traffic delays on U.S. 441 and traffic jams in Cades Cove. Beat the crowds by coming on weekdays and also early in the day, before 10 am. Mid- to late spring is a wonderful time to visit the park, as wildflowers are in bloom, and it's before the heat, humidity, and crowds of summer. Winter in the park can be beautiful, especially when there's snow on the ground or rime frost on the tree limbs. The air is usually clearer in winter, with less haze, and with leaves off the trees the visibility is excellent. Some park roads, including Clingmans Dome Road, are closed in winter due to ice and snow.