While we are closed for the season, there are still plenty of ways to stay active during the winter months in the Smokies! This is actually a wonderful time to be outside among the Smoky Mountains as the winter temperatures are generally moderate. Here are 5 fun Smoky Mountain activities you can enjoy during the winter months:
1. Snow Tubing at Ober Gatlinburg
One of the most popular Smoky Mountain activities during the winter is snow tubing at Ober Gatlinburg! Since this is a fun activity, everyone in the family can participate in the action! After tubing down the slopes, you don’t even have to walk back up the hill because the Magic Carpet escalator system takes you back to the top! Each of the snow tubing sessions are 90 minutes each and are held in sunshine, rain, sleet, and snow. Due to the popularity of this attraction, you should purchase tickets in advance and allow plenty of time to access Ober Gatlinburg via the Aerial Tramway.
2. Skiing and Snowboarding
You can enjoy skiing and snowboarding during the winter months in the Smokies, both which can also be found at Ober Gatlinburg! There are several ticket options available, including full day sessions, twilight sessions, night sessions, 2 day tickets, and 3 day tickets. Each of the sessions allows unlimited access to the ski slopes and the lifts that service them. Ober Gatlinburg offers convenient equipment rentals, as well as ski lessons for those who are interested in hitting the slopes for the first time! When planning your trip, be sure to check the Ober Gatlinburg slope report for the latest ski conditions and trail availability.
3. Smoky Mountain Winterfest
Winterfest is one of the most popular activities to enjoy when you visit the Smoky Mountains during the winter months. The lights stay on even after the holiday season has come to an end! Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville are decorated in more than 5 million twinkling lights, and you can take in all the sights with a drive or trolley ride down the Parkways! During Winterfest, you can also see holiday shows and so many other exciting activities. It’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit, and to keep the spirit alive even after Christmas is over!
4. Cross Country Skiing
If you are a fan of cross country skiing and the snow conditions are right, head over to Clingmans Dome Road! This 7-mile road leads to Clingmans Dome, which is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi! This road is ideal for cross country skiing because it is closed to all motorized vehicles from December 1st to March 31st, and there is usually plenty of snow due to the road’s high elevation. Just keep in mind that Clingmans Dome Road is accessed via Newfound Gap Road, so make sure the road is not closed due to ice or snow during your visit.
Another one of the fun Smoky Mountain activities you can enjoy during the winter months is hiking! There are hundreds of hiking opportunities available throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where you can explore the beautiful natural surroundings, view some fascinating historical structures and perhaps even spot some wildlife! Start your morning with a stop at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, which is open daily throughout the year. This is the perfect place to speak to a park ranger about the current hiking conditions and recommended trails. The Visitor Center also includes a free, 20-minute film about the park, a bookstore, and restroom facilities.
While enjoying these fun Smoky Mountain activities during the winter months, you can look forward to joining us in the spring on one of our thrilling white water rafting trips! The spring trips are some of the best because the water levels are less predictable and you may experience everything from level III – IV rapids to a leisurely trip down the river!