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Top 4 Places to View Fall Colors in the Smoky Mountains

fall colors in the smoky mountains

When it comes to viewing gorgeous fall foliage, there is no better place to be than the Smoky Mountains! For several weeks in the fall, the Smokies put on a spectacular display as fall colors travel down the mountainside from high elevation to low. While you can see the fall foliage virtually anywhere throughout Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, there are some locations that are particularly recommended for leaf peeping! Here are the top 4 places to view fall colors in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Clingmans Dome

clingmans dome overlook during fallOne of the best places to view fall colors in the Smoky Mountains is at Clingmans Dome, which is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! In fact, it is the highest point in Tennessee and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi! The views can expand for over 100 miles on clear days, so be sure to check the latest weather forecast when planning your visit! Clingmans Dome features an observation tower on the summit where you can enjoy stunning 360-degree views of the Smokies, but keep in mind that there is a steep half mile walk to access the tower at the top.

2. Cades Cove

The Cades Cove section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is popular all year long, but the fall season is particularly impressive with the magnificent fall foliage! This broad valley is surrounded by mountains, making it the perfect place to view fall colors in the Smoky Mountains. Tour the area on the 11 mile loop road that circles the cove, which makes it easy for you to enjoy the beauty at a leisurely pace. As a bonus, Cades Cove is also one of the best places in the park for wildlife sightings, so keep an eye out for black bears, white-tailed deer, coyotes, turkeys, raccoons and other animals!

3. Gatlinburg Space Needle

fall in downtown gatlinburgIf you prefer to stay in downtown Gatlinburg to view the fall colors, just head over to the Gatlinburg Space Needle! This 407-foot-tall observation tower overlooks Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains, providing a phenomenal bird’s eye view of the area! When you want a closer look at the fall foliage, take advantage of the FREE viewfinders located on the observation platform! The Gatlinburg Space Needle is served by 2 glass elevators where you can immediately start to enjoy the scenery on your way up to the top.

4. Gatlinburg SkyBridge

The newest way to view the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains is on the Gatlinburg SkyBridge at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park! This is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America and literally crosses the sky as it stretches 680 feet across a deep valley! The bridge reaches a height of 140 feet at its midpoint, where you can look directly down into the valley through the glass floor panels! Feel free to walk along the bridge at your own pace and enjoy the incredible views for as long as you want! Access the Gatlinburg SkyBridge by taking the Gatlinburg SkyLift from downtown Gatlinburg to the top of Crockett Mountain.

Now that you know the best places to view fall colors in the Smoky Mountains, you can get excited about visiting the Smokies this autumn! Check out all of our cabin rentals in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge today to plan your Smoky Mountain vacation! We look forward to seeing you soon!