The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the perfect place to spend the wintertime and holiday season. We all know how beautiful the Smokies really are, but now they have been nationally recognized for their picturesque landscape.
Fox News has included the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in a top 7 list of must-visit national parks for the winter season. The article claims the Smoky Mountain landscape appears to have come from a movie scene. We couldn’t agree more! The mountains are absolutely breathtaking. and a great place to retreat for relaxation in the cold, winter months.
In addition to the natural scenery and great views, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for having an abundance of wildlife. While the spring and summer months is much more abundant, you can still see some wildlife, like deer and elk, in the wintertime.
This isn’t the only thing that has people talking about the Smoky Mountains, though. For the month of October 2014, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park broke a record number of visitors. So, it’s not surprising that the national park would be making national headlines as one of the best to visit this winter.
Hiking in the winter can be great! It’s a perfect time to explore the mountains without a lot of crowds, but it can also be very cold. So, this winter season, make sure you are prepared before you rush into the national park for a hiking trip. Here’s a few things you should know before you start your day in the mountains:
- The temperatures may be colder in the early morning hours, but if you are planning a long hike, it’s best to start early so you have enough daylight to make the hike. Start at the earliest daylight hours and make sure you plan to return back to your vehicle by the time the sun starts to set in the evening. Chances are, you aren’t planning to hike for that amount of time, but if you are, be sure to plan ahead.
- Pack plenty of extra water. You’ve probably heard it over and over, but we can’t stress it enough. There aren’t any safe streams, rivers or water sources in the national park, so you will want to make sure you have plenty of water. In this case, it’s definitely better to have more water in your backpack than not enough. Even in the winter months, your body will dehydrate quickly when you’re on the trails.
- Like always, dress in layers. Make sure you bring enough clothes that you can wear multiple garments. You may wonder why this is necessary, but it’s extremely helpful when you are experiencing different temperatures throughout the day. When you start your hike in the lower elevations, temperatures may not be as cold as the upper elevations. Also, when the sun starts peeking through the trees, you may get a little warmer than expected since you’re exercising. So, it’s a good idea to go ahead and dress for the coldest temperatures, so when you warm up, you can take those heavier layers off and carry them in your backpack.
- When you are choosing which clothes to wear, it’s best to choose items that repel moisture. If you visit any of the hiking stores or visitor centers in the area, they will tell you it’s best to choose items that are not made from cotton. These materials will soak up the moisture from your body and will hold it in for hours. It’s best to invest in items that will keep you warm and keep the moisture away from your body.
Even though the winter months may not seem like a great time to visit the Smokies, it’s actually a very pretty season. Even when there’s no snow on the ground at the lower elevations, there’s a chance you may be able to see snow at the upper elevations. You can hike to the upper elevations if you’re adventurous, or you can see the mountaintops from many of the attractions and cabin rentals in the lower elevations.
When you are planning your trip, make sure to take a look at all of Stony Brook Cabins’ three bedroom Gatlinburg cabin rentals. Featuring stunning mountain views and plenty of space for family and friends, you will have the most relaxing vacation to the Smokies yet!
Take a look at these 4 Reasons to Choose a Gatlinburg Cabin Rental for Your Smoky Mountain Vacation if you need some helpful reasons for planning a vacation.
We guarantee excellent customer service and outstanding amenities, so make sure to give us a call if you have any questions about our cabins. We look forward to seeing you in the Smokies!