Great Smoky Mountains: When will it snow?

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We are often asked:

When is the best chance to experience snow in the Smokies? 


Winter is a capricious season in the Smokies. Days can be sunny with high temperatures of 65° F or snowy with highs in the 20s. In the lower elevations, snows of 1" or more occur relatively infrequently--usually only a few times each winter. But we did have winters when we had almost a foot of snow on the ground where our cabins are. Typically this snow melts within a few hours of falling, but there can be one or two snow storms per season that freeze the roads and snap the power lines. The best chances to experience snowfalls with accumulation are typically in January and February. 



How often does it snow in the Smokies? 


In a typical year, we see at least 3 snowfalls with accumulation per season at the elevation where our cabins are located.

At higher elevations, the climate is significantly cooler than in the surrounding lowlands and the mountain peaks receive much more snow. At nearly a mile high, Newfound Gap (elevation 5,046') receives an average of 69" of snow during the winter season. When winter precipitation is falling, however, travel conditions can quickly become very hazardous in the park. Newfound Gap Road (US-441) and other park roads are often temporarily closed during winter storms due to snow and ice on the roadways.

Get the latest information about road closures in the Smoky Mountains.


Before visiting the park in the winter, please call (865) 436-1200 for road closure and weather information. Dial extension 631 for updates on temporary road closures and extension 630 for a weather forecast. Or follow road status updates on Twitter at Updates are available for Newfound Gap Road (US-441), Little River Road, Laurel Creek Road, and Cades Cove Loop Road.

If Newfound Gap Road is not closed due to snowy or icy conditions, opportunities exist for cross-country skiing and hiking in the snow along Clingmans Dome Road, which is closed to vehicles in winter. This road starts 0.1 miles south of Newfound Gap.