does it snow in gatlinburg

Does it snow in Gatlinburg? Gatlinburg is a beautiful place with different types of weather throughout the year.

Those visiting for the first time often wonder, “Does it snow in Gatlinburg in December?”

In Gatlinburg, whether there is snow or not can really affect your visit, especially if you are planning a winter vacation.

So, it is important to know the answer to “Does it snow in Gatlinburg in November or December?” as it helps to plan your visit accordingly.

Yes, it does snow in Gatlinburg, and it sometimes can be as early as October, but no matter when you visit during winter, you can always find snow close to the mountains. 

Does It Snow in Gatlinburg?

does it snow in gatlinburg

Yes, it does. It may not be that frequent and is rather unpredictable, but Gatlinburg does get snow in the winter.

If you want to increase your chances of seeing snow, go to places that are higher up. And speaking of snow, Gatlinburg has the perfect weather for it.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is located at an elevation of about 1,280 feet above sea level. It typically receives around nine inches of snow per year on average.

So, the higher you go, the more snow you will find.

Fact: Snow is common in Gatlinburg and can occur anytime between October and April.   

Where Does It Snow in Gatlinburg?

smoky mountains national park

So, even if you do not visit Gatlinburg when it is snowing a lot, do not worry. There is still a good chance you can see some snow up in the mountains!

Before you plan anything, keep in mind that some places in Tennessee are less likely to get a lot of snow.

They include:

  • Gatlinburg
  • Pigeon Forge
  • Areas in the National Park

But, still, there are many alternatives to consider. For instance, you can head to the Newfound Gap in the national park, which is pretty close, only 16 miles away.

It is way up high at 5,049 feet and gets a lot of snow, about 69 inches yearly. Just so you know, places like Newfound Gap might shut down when the winter weather gets really bad.

If you want to know how much snow has fallen recently, look at the Ober Mountain report. They mostly use artificial snow but also keep an eye on the natural snow. 

When Does It Snow in Gatlinburg?

the snow in gatlinburg

Snowstorms usually happen in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains during February and January because there is more rain and snowfall during those months.

Usually, Gatlinburg gets about 9 inches of snow every year. But some months get more snow than others.

To see the beautiful snowy views in Gatlinburg, you can:

  • Go to Mount LeConte using the Alum Cave Trail, take a drive along Newfound Gap.
  • Visit popular places on the mountaintop like Anakeesta and Gatlinburg SkyLift Park.

Even though the valley does not get a lot of snow, Gatlinburg has a really nice view of snowy mountains.

The National Park Service says that snowstorms usually happen in February and January. 

How Much Does It Snow in Gatlinburg?

snow in gatlinburg amount

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has recorded a total of 37.6 inches of snowfall in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in a single calendar year.

But that was back in 1987, and things are not exactly the same today.

Here is a bit about the average snowfall totals in Gatlinburg since 2000:

Avg Snowfall0″1″4″2″1″1″

Here is a bit more about the historical data of snowfall in Gatlinburg:


It shows that the amount of snowfall in Gatlinburg is rather unpredictable.

So, it can be tricky to plan your trip, but no matter when you visit, you can always find some snow in the mountains.

Is Gatlinburg a Good Place for Winter Vacations?

gatlinburg winter vacations

Gatlinburg is a great place to visit during the winter because it has:

  • Resorts
  • Ski lifts
  • Cabins
  • Indoor winter activities

It is also the perfect time to participate in many events and festivals. For instance, out of all the fun things to do in Gatlinburg during winter, the Gatlinburg Winterfest is one of the best.

You will love those 4 million Christmas lights that cover the whole town of Gatlinburg from November to February.

These amazing light shows are part of Gatlinburg’s Winter Magic Festival, a big party to celebrate Christmas and winter. 

Can You Ski in Gatlinburg?

is skiing in gatlinburg possible

While you may not find any ski resorts exactly in Gatlinburg, you can find many nice opportunities to have fun skiing in higher elevations.

Nevertheless, Gatlinburg is still a popular place in Tennessee because it serves as the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains.

This means it is conveniently located near several ski resorts in the Appalachian region.

One is located close to Gatlinburg, while the others are in North Carolina and West Virginia, not too far away.

No matter if it is a short drive or a longer one, there are lots of options for skiing near this town in the Smokey Mountains.

Best Ski Resorts in Gatlinburg?

If you are ready to explore the snowy side of Gatlinburg, you will find more than enough accommodation options to plan your trips.

Here are some great options to consider to be close to the best ski resorts around Gatlinburg. 

#1. Gatlinburg Inn

the gatlinburg inn

The Gatlinburg Inn is a budget-friendly place located about a 10-minute walk from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and around a 15-minute drive from Dolly Parton’s Stampede.

 If you like watching shows, The Grand Majestic Theater is about 15 kilometers away, and the Country Tonite Theatre is about 16 kilometers from there.

But here’s the cool thing – this place is only 4 miles from Ober Gatlinburg. And you know what? Ober Gatlinburg is the finest place to choose for skiing.

It is named “Ober,” the German word for “upper,” because it is located right at the top of Mount Harrison.

You can get there by driving for about 13 minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, or you can take a fancy tram ride.

Ober Gatlinburg has 10 different paths for skiing and snowboarding that cover an area of 38 acres. They even set up weekly races where people can race down a hill for fun and excitement.

And here’s the deal – even though the place only naturally gets about 35 inches of snow in a year, they have machines that can make snow on every slope.

So, get ready for some seriously snowy fun!

Fact: Ober Gatlinburg has plenty of shopping, dining, and fun activities to keep you entertained, including a roller coaster on a ski mountain.

#2. Gatlinburg Mountain Inn

the gatlinburg mountain inn

Gatlinburg Mountain Inn is a nice 4-star place, only 1 kilometer from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and about 10 kilometers from Dolly Parton’s Stampede.

If you are into skiing, Gatlinburg Mountain Inn is the place to go for a fun snowy adventure.

You can totally plan a fun day trip from Gatlinburg, go skiing, and have a great time.

You won’t be far from the Cataloochee Ski Area, located in Maggie Valley.

It is about 64 miles away, and it takes about an hour and a half to drive there.

They have 18 different paths to ski on and even a cool area with ramps and jumps for those who like to do tricks.

The highest point is 5,400 feet, and there is a lot of space to ski on, about 50 acres.

If you do not have all the skiing equipment, do not worry about it.

Cataloochee has a rental shop where you can get all the gear you need, including helmets and jackets. 

Fact: You will find different types of trails at the Cataloochee Ski Area, with 44% for beginners, 39% for experienced, and 17% for advanced skiers and snowboarders.

#3. Quality Inn and Suites Gatlinburg

the quality inn and suites gatlinburg

Quality Inn & Suites Gatlinburg is about 2 miles from Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

And if you like amusement parks, Dollywood and Splash Country are only about a 10-minute drive from here.

And it is also in close proximity to the Ober ski area.  The ski season here usually starts in December and goes until March.

But here’s the catch, the specific dates rely on the weather.

Still, you can always engage in snow tubing. It begins on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and continues until March.

Moreover, you can also have a spinning ride with horses, and even ice skating – all the fun stuff to do when you are not skiing.  

If you really enjoy skiing and snow, then Quality Inn & Suites Gatlinburg is the perfect place for you to have a great time in the snow!

#4. Courtyard by Marriott

the courtyard by marriott

Courtyard by Marriott is a great place to stay when your ultimate goal is to have a day trip to the Wolf Ridge Ski Resort.

It is about 96 miles away, taking about 2 hours to drive there.

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort is right next to the I-26 highway. It lets you enjoy skiing in about 72 acres with as many as 15 different slopes.

And guess what? Half of the slopes are great for people who sort of know how to ski, they call them blue slopes.

You can also find 4 slopes specifically for beginners, which are called green. And for the experts, there are 3 super tough slopes known as black diamond runs.

And there is even more! If you want to learn how to ski or snowboard, affordable lessons are available for you and your family.

They also offer you lower prices on lift tickets and equipment rentals.

Fact: You can also go skiing in the evening because the Wolf Ridge Ski Resort has a special night skiing option.

How Cold Does it Get in Gatlinburg?

gatlinburg coldness

The weather in Victorville can be pretty unpredictable.

 One day, it might be around 51°F, so you might want to wear a light jacket. But then it could suddenly drop to around 34°F.

And sometimes the temperature might go up to around 68°F on certain days.

There have been instances when the temperature dropped to a bone-chilling 14°F, so be prepared to dress warmly.

January is usually very cold, with a high temperature of only 47°F, with a night time temperature around 29°F.

If you are getting ready to pack for Victorville, remember to bring a variety of clothes. Pack some shorts and sunglasses for the warm weather, but also bring hoodies and blankets because the weather there can be unpredictable! 

Things to Explore in Gatlinburg During Winter

You can explore other things in Gatlinburg during winter when you are not skiing.

For instance:

Go Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

hike in the great smoky mountains national park

During the winter, even the busiest trails in the national park become empty and quiet.

You can go for a walk on the Gatlinburg Trail near your hotel or hike up to the top of Mount LeConte.

Either way, you will get to see the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

Fact: You can get information about trails and the winter gear you need at both the NOC Gatlinburg and the Sugarlands Visitors Center.

Head Downtown for Some Relaxing Time

visit downtown for some relaxing time

If you are an adult planning a winter getaway to Gatlinburg, you will love all the places downtown.

Here, you can try moonshine, taste different wines, and have a great time.

You should definitely visit these cool places in Gatlinburg, where they make their own wine.

And be sure to visit Ole Smoky’s Holler for some free music!

Arrange a Trip to the Ripley’s Aquarium

visit the ripley's aquarium

If you are in town on a really cold or rainy day and have kids who need to burn off some energy, Ripley’s Aquarium is the perfect place to go.

Here you get a chance to interact with the animals, get some BTS tours, and attend live shows as well.

Do not forget to stop at the Cargo Hold Gift shop to get something unique and exciting.

Go to the Wild Bear Falls

visit the wild bear falls

Wild Bear Falls is an awesome indoor waterpark in Gatlinburg with a ton of fun water activities for everyone to enjoy.

This awesome place has lots of fun things to do, like:

  • Fast water slides that will make you feel excited
  • Relaxing hot tubs to chill out in
  • A slow river for a relaxing float
  • An excellent swimming pool for a classic splash

Overall, it is a great place for families, friends, and people who love water to have a good time and make memories.

What is the Best Time to Visit Gatlinburg?

best time to visit gatlinburg

The ideal time to go to Gatlinburg is during the fall season, specifically from September to October.

The busiest times in Gatlinburg are during the summer months (June, July, and August) and in October when the leaves change color.

July is the most crowded month in the summer, and October weekends are the busiest in the fall. 


Does it snow in Gatlinburg? Yes, it snows in the area, but it is quite unpredictable, making it harder for people to plan their vacations.

But, it is still an outstanding spot for winter vacation, as you are in close proximity to various ski resorts.

The best part is reaching Ober Gatlinburg, which is one of the best with artificial snow to keep you entertained even when it does not snow as predicted.

So, pack some warm clothes and get ready for an exciting snowy fun in Gatlinburg.