The Great Smoky Mountains are a sight to behold, but autumn in this part of the world is indescribable. When the leaves start to turn from green to yellow to orange and the weather starts cooling off, there’s no better place to be. But where should you go in the national park during this time of the year? Here are the top 5 places to visit in the Smoky Mountains in fall:
1. Cades Cove
One of the most popular destinations in the park is Cades Cove. It is especially popular in the fall. This little valley is surrounded by mountains, filled with history, and provides possible wildlife sightings. It’s also one of the best places to go to take in the beauty of autumn. People love to drive around the 11-mile loop, and exploring the historic buildings or stopping to snap photos of wildlife are popular things to do in Cades Cove. If you really want to experience the Smoky Mountains in fall, then you have to go through this area.
2. Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome is another popular spot in the national park. It is right near the Tennessee/North Carolina border, so people from both sides of the Smokies enjoy visiting the tower. This is one of the highest points in the entire park at over 6,000 feet, so you can see some of the first changing leaves when you hike to the top of the tower. On a clear day, you can see up to 100 miles away!
3. Roaring Fork Motor Trail
If you want to take a beautiful drive and know where to go in the Smoky Mountains in fall, you should explore the Roaring Fork Motor Trail. This is a 5.5-mile loop road that is located right outside of downtown Gatlinburg, making it easy to access. There are several places where you can stop and get out of your vehicle, like Place of a Thousand Drips or Noah “Bud” Ogle Cabin. You’ll love looking at the colorful trees as you drive by, and you might even see a hiking trail you want to explore along the way!
4. Alum Cave Trail
Anyone who wants to go hiking in the Smoky Mountains in fall should go on the Alum Cave Trail. This is a moderate hiking trail that is about 5 miles roundtrip, and it’s also one of the trails used to hike to the summit of Mt. LeConte. There are astonishing rock formations all along the trail, as well as beautiful views once you reach the bluffs. This is a great trail to take in the beauty of the Smokies in fall.
5. Grotto Falls
Grotto Falls is a unique waterfall in the national park that many people want to see in person. This is a fantastic trail to hike in autumn, because you’ll get to see leaves fall from the trees into the creek that follows along the path. The wooded views are unreal, and once you reach the falls, it’s picturesque with the red, orange, and yellow trees.
The Smoky Mountains in fall are a beautiful sight to behold. You’ll understand why it’s so popular once you visit and see them for yourself! If you’re ready to start planning your fall trip, you need a place to stay. Check out our Smoky Mountain cabin rentals, and book one for your vacation now!