Your Complete Guide to Enjoying the Fall Foliage in Gatlinburg TN

Stunning fall colors in the mountains near Gatlinburg TN.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee offers some of the very best fall leaves in the nation! Located on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg attractions millions of leaf peepers each autumn. To help you make the most of your vacation, Stony Brook Cabins has put together a convenient guide to enjoying the fall foliage in Gatlinburg TN.

The Best Time to See the Gatlinburg Fall Foliage

When it comes to seeing the fall colors in Gatlinburg, timing is everything. If you arrive too early or too late in the season, the leaves won’t be particularly impressive. Fortunately, there is typically a pretty long window for seeing the foliage at its best.

In most years, the last two weeks of October are “peak season” for the fall colors. During this time, the lower elevations of the mountains are filled with brilliant red, yellow, and orange leaves.

If you arrive earlier in the autumn, you can still see the foliage, but you will have to visit the higher elevations of the Smokies. For instance, Clingmans Dome, the tallest point in the national park, offers breathtaking views of the fall colors around late September and early October.

To stay updated on the changing leaves in Gatlinburg, check out the National Park Service’s Fall Colors Report.

Best Scenic Drives for Seeing the Fall Fall colors along Little River Road near Gatlinburg TN.Foliage in Gatlinburg TN

Taking a drive is one of the very best ways to admire the fall foliage. The Gatlinburg area offers a number of roads with spectacular views of the autumn leaves in the trees and in the mountains. Here are some of the scenic drives you will want to check out during your vacation:

  • Clingmans Dome Road (late September)
  • Newfound Gap Road (late September – mid October)
  • Foothills Parkway (October)
  • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail (mid – late October)
  • Cades Cove Loop Road (mid – late October)
  • Little River Road (mid – late October)

(See Also: 4 Great Things to Do in Gatlinburg Tennessee if You’re a Nature Lover)

Fall foliage next to a river near Gatlinburg TN.Best Hikes for Seeing the Gatlinburg Fall Colors

Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a wonderful way to get up-close views of the fall leaves. With highs in the low 70s, the fall offers a comfortably cool climate that is ideal for exploring the national park. Here are some of the best trails to hike during the fall months:

  • Rocky Top (late September)
  • Andrews Bald (late September)
  • Sugarland Mountain Trail (early October)
  • Spence Field (early October)
  • Porters Creek Trail (mid – late October)
  • Alum Cave (mid – late October)
  • Little River Trail (mid – late October)
  • Abrams Falls (early November)
  • Schoolhouse Gap (early November)

Best Cabins for Seeing the Fall Foliage in The living room of the Ridge Haven cabin in Gatlinburg TN.Gatlinburg TN

When you stay at our cabins in Gatlinburg, you can admire the beautiful fall colors right from your deck! What could be more relaxing than sitting in a rocking chair or soaking in the hot tub while you enjoy the technicolor leaves in the mountains? To start planning your autumn getaway, check out six of our vacation rentals with the best cabin views in Gatlinburg!



Stony Brook Cabins and Chalets
1663 East Parkway Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA
Reservations: 800-633-5652
Local: 865-436-7428
Gatlinburg chalets and cabins in Tennessee