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A group of people hiking in the Smoky Mountains during the winter.

5 Tips for Winter Hiking in the Smoky Mountains


The Smoky Mountains are one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. With rolling mountains one after the other, you will be in awe over the beauty before you. What is great about the Smoky Mountains is that the gorgeous scenes do not diminish just because the trees shed their leaves. Actually, the amazing mountain sights are even more beautiful during the winter, because the mountains are covered in a breathtaking layer of snow.

Like the gorgeous views, the outdoor activities do not diminish just because the winter season has arrived. There are many great activities for you to enjoy during the winter, but the best winter activity is hiking in the Smoky Mountains. The hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains become a beautiful winter wonderland of snow, icicles and even frozen waterfalls that you don’t want to miss. To help keep you safe, here are a few tips on winter hiking in the Smoky Mountains.

1. Make a Plan

The reason you take a trip away from home is so you can have new experiences at your vacation destination. Since you have made your plans around these great attractions, you know which ones you want to visit on certain days. This same planning should go into where you want to go within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The national park covers over 500,000 acres of land, so there are a lot of great hiking locations for you to check out. By knowing where you want to go hiking in the Smoky Mountains, you can plan accordingly, and figure out the best way to get to your location.

2. Tell Someone Where You’ll BeA woman in a light blue jacket with a big red backpack hiking in the winter.

When you go hiking in the Smoky Mountains, it is important to tell someone where you will be and how long you expect to be there. This way in the event that something does happen to you, there is someone else out there who can notify the right authorities. Once your hike is over, all you have to do is send your friend or relative a quick text saying that you got back alright; it doesn’t take long, and it helps keep you safe.

3. Take a Friend or Relative

Hiking in the Smoky Mountains is one of the best activities in this region. Of course, you are going to want to share this experience with your friends and family. By taking a loved one hiking with you, you will have someone to talk to along the way, to share these beautiful hiking memories with.

4. Dress in Layers

Don’t forget to bundle up! Winter hiking in the Smoky Mountains can get a bit cold, since you’ll be spending some of your time in the upper elevations. Just because it is a comfortable temperature at the lower elevations, doesn’t mean the higher elevations will feel the same way. At the higher elevations, you can experience much colder weather, even the possibility of snow, so it is important for you to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw your way. We recommend dressing in layers, so if you get too warm, you can take off your jacket and carry it with you.

5 Hike Early in the Day

Two kids enjoying a winter hike.As we are sure you have noticed, since Daylight Saving Time, it gets dark much earlier in the day than it did during the summer months. Since night arrives earlier in the day, it is important to plan your hike ahead of time, so you aren’t hiking in the dark. Leave yourself plenty of time to get in and out of the woods before the sun sets. Even better, hike in the morning, giving you plenty of time to hike the entire trail without having to worry about when the sun is going down.

Hiking in the Smoky Mountains is one of the most beautiful and amazing experiences that you won’t want to miss. If you want to spend multiple days winter hiking, check out our Smoky Mountain cabin rentals; they are guaranteed to help you relax after a busy day out on the trails.