Snow is in the forecast for my trip – what should I do?
You never go out without checking the weather. Seeing snow in the forecast for your vacation isn’t a reason to cancel a trip to the Smoky Mountains. While every season is beautiful here, seeing the mountains blanketed in a fluffy snow is something beautiful to behold. Lower elevations don’t tend to see as much snow. While there may be snow accumulating in the mountains, chances are only a dusting will hit in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. However, if your family doesn’t feel comfortable in wintery conditions, your best judgement is always best.
If snow is predicted for your trip to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, there are some things you can do for an easier trip. We always recommend bringing bottled water, flashlights, and extra blankets on any trip. For a winter weather advisory trip, we’d also recommend packing a few extra items:
- Hand and foot warmers
- Extra layers – including gloves, socks, and hats
- Ready-to-eat snacks
- Easy to prepare meals that require no electricity to make
- An ice scraper with a snow brush for your car
- Snow chains for car tires
- Bottled water for drinking, bathing, and hygiene purposes
Take advantage of third party trip insurance you can purchase during your My Bearfoot Cabins booking process. While no one person can truly predict what the Smoky Mountain weather will do, trip insurance will give you peace of mind no matter what the weather decides to do.
What is there to do in the winter in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge?
Unlike years ago, many businesses are open year-round in Sevier County. Gone are the days of hotels, restaurants, and shops closing their doors for the winter months. There’s plenty to see and do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in the winter. January and February are great times to visit with smaller crowds and plenty to do and see – often at a discount.
Winterfest lights last until around Feb. 15. This true winter wonderland continues in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. Millions of small, twinkling lights come together on streets throughout the mountain towns to form elaborate displays that will leave you in awe.
A drive down the Pigeon Forge parkway will treat you to a view of the 12 Days of Christmas in lights. Head to Gatlinburg to see intricate displays of animals that are native to the Smoky Mountains. Pigeon Forge Winterfest takes the bite out of the winter cold and makes for smiles all around in a metropolis of winter fun.
Located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg with mountain views and 70 forested acres of fun and relaxation, Anakeesta is a mountain playground for all ages. When the sun sets in the Smokies, Anakeesta comes alive with a celebration of lights for its Enchanted Winter celebration. Gather around the fire with family and friends for hot cocoa or your favorite hot toddy. Then stroll through the magical villages to shop and eat and take in the scenery and a mountain of light displays. All of this is included with general admission to the park. Ride to Anakeesta at 576 Parkway in Gatlinburg.
Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Resort is a “mountaintop of fun, excitement and beauty.” Little and big kids alike AND all the adults can find entertainment at Ober – outside or warm and cozy inside.
Start your day at Ober Gatlinburg by boarding the Aerial Tramway in downtown Gatlinburg and avoid the drive up the mountain while taking in, arguably, the best views as you soar above Gatlinburg for more than 2 miles. The cable car has been taking passengers from downtown Gatlinburg to the Ober amusement park and ski area since August 1973.
Once you reach the top, outdoor adventures at Ober Gatlinburg include Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and the children’s play area – Cubbies Snow Zone – where younger children can just, well, play in the snow.
Ober Gatlinburg offers ski and clothing rentall, along with lessons for young and old. Ober Gatlinburg has 10 trails from beginner to advanced, including a freestyle Terrain Park. There are seven lifts to get you there.
With more than 12.3 million annual visitors coming through The Great Smoky Mountains National Park annually, winter is one of the BEST times to avoid the crowds and take in mountain views normally obscured by trees at other times of the year.
Here are tips for a safe winter hike:
~Set a Turn Around Time
~Dress in Layers Layers Layers
~Have All the Proper Navigation Equipment
~Let someone know your plans
It may be considered “off season” right now, but we think it’s a great time to visit the Smoky Mountains! If a winter time mountain getaway is calling your name, check out My Bearfoot Cabins.
Pat and Don Kirchhoefer, Owners