Does It Snow In Gatlinburg?

Yes, Gatlinburg does experience snowfall, but it occasionally occurs during winter. However, the amount and frequency of snowfall can vary from year to year. The higher elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which surrounds Gatlinburg, tend to receive more snow due to the increased elevation. 

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a popular tourist destination known for its breathtaking scenery and proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg experiences a diverse climate throughout the year. 

Does It Snow In Gatlinburg?

Gatlinburg is located at an elevation of around 1,289 feet (393 meters). Due to its elevated levels, the city experiences moderate temperatures in each season. On average, Gatlinburg receives around 5-10 inches of snow annually

It is important to note that these numbers are averages and can vary significantly from year to year. So, if you are planning a trip to Gatlinburg during the winter season, there is a chance you may get to experience snowfall and enjoy the winter wonderland atmosphere.

Many visitors wonder whether it snows in Gatlinburg and if they can enjoy winter activities during their visit. Here we are exploring the facts on the climate of Gatlinburg, the likelihood of snowfall, and the opportunities for snow-related activities in this charming mountain town.

Geography and Climate of Gatlinburg

The geography and climate of Gatlinburg play a significant role in the occurrence of snowfall. The city is nestled in the southeastern part of the United States, exposing it to various weather systems.

Gatlinburg is located in a region known for its humid subtropical climate. This means the city experiences four distinct seasons: mild to hot summers and cool to cold winters. The climate in Gatlinburg is greatly influenced by its elevation and proximity to the mountains. 

The geography of Gatlinburg, including its elevation and mountainous terrain, significantly influences snowfall in the area. Gatlinburg’s higher elevation and location in the Great Smoky Mountains create conditions for snow accumulation. 

Localized effects and occasional lake-effect snow from nearby bodies of water can also impact snowfall in Gatlinburg. However, snowfall can still vary from year to year based on weather patterns.

Winter in Gatlinburg

Winter in Gatlinburg usually begins in December and extends through February. During this time, temperatures can vary significantly, with average highs ranging from the mid-40s to the low 50s Fahrenheit and average lows dropping to the mid to upper 20s Fahrenheit. These temperatures make it possible for snow to occur in Gatlinburg, especially at higher elevations.

Snowfall in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg receives snowfall during winter, but the amount and frequency of snow can vary yearly. The higher elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which surrounds Gatlinburg, tend to receive more snow due to the increased elevation. 

On average, Gatlinburg receives a minimal amount of snow each year, which is recorded below 10 inches annually. However, it is important to note that the amount of snow each year varies significantly and can fluctuate. The variability of snowfall in Gatlinburg adds an element of unpredictability, making each winter unique.

Winter Activities in Gatlinburg

When snow blankets Gatlinburg, it transforms into a winter wonderland, offering visitors a range of exciting activities to enjoy. Here are some popular winter activities in and around Gatlinburg:

  • Skiing and Snowboarding

Ober Gatlinburg, a renowned ski resort just minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, offers slopes for beginners and experienced skiers and snowboarders. With snowmaking capabilities, Ober Gatlinburg ensures optimal snow conditions throughout the season.

  • Tubing and Sledding

For those seeking a thrilling downhill experience without the need for specialized equipment, snow tubing, and sledding are excellent options. Several locations in and around Gatlinburg offer designated tubing and sledding areas, providing fun for the whole family.

  • Winter Hiking

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers an extensive trail system that can be enjoyed year-round, including during the winter months. Winter hiking allows visitors to experience the serenity of the mountains while enjoying beautiful snowy landscapes.

  • Scenic Drives

Gatlinburg is surrounded by scenic routes that provide stunning views of the snowy mountains. The Newfound Gap Road and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail are two popular drives that showcase the winter beauty of the area.

  • Festive Events

Gatlinburg embraces the holiday spirit during the winter season, hosting events such as the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights and the Gatlinburg Winterfest. These events feature dazzling light displays and festive activities for visitors of all ages.


Does it snow in Gatlinburg? While Gatlinburg may not receive as much snow as some other mountainous regions, it does experience occasional snowfall during the winter months. The picturesque landscapes, combined with the range of winter activities available, make Gatlinburg an appealing destination for those seeking a winter getaway. 

Whether you are a fan of skiing, snowboarding, tubing, or simply appreciating the beauty of snow-covered mountains, Gatlinburg has something to offer. So, if you are planning a trip to Gatlinburg during the winter season, keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared to enjoy the enchantment of a snow-covered mountain town.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What months does it snow in Gatlinburg?

Snow in Gatlinburg happens mostly in February and January. This is because, on average, precipitation levels tend to be higher during these two months. 

Q: Is Gatlinburg better in summer or winter?

The best time to visit Gatlinburg is between September and October. The two seasons of the year are most loved by the residents and tourists as well. The peak seasons in Gatlinburg are summer (June, July and August) and the month of October when fall starts.

Q: What is Gatlinburg known for?

Gatlinburg is the gateway community for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, America’s most visited national park. With three park entrances in town, Gatlinburg serves as a basecamp for many of the 14 million park visitors annually.