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Top 4 Reasons Why You’ll Love Visiting the Smoky Mountains in September

August 11, 2023

If you want to enjoy warm days of sunshine without the peak summer crowds, September is a perfect month to visit the Smoky Mountains! This is a delightful time to experience the great outdoors and everything that the Smokies have to offer, including our white water rafting trips on the Pigeon River! Here are the top 4 reasons why you’ll love visiting the Smoky Mountains in September:

1. Fantastic Weather

You’ll find that the Smokies offer pleasant temperatures throughout the month of September, with average highs in the mid to high 70s! Whether you want to spend the day hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, white water rafting on the Pigeon River or exploring the streets of downtown Gatlinburg, this is a fantastic time to be outdoors! In the evening hours, the temperature dips into the 50s so that you can snuggle up by the fire at your campsite or your camping cabin rental! 

2. Fewer Crowds in the Smokies

hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National ParkAnother one of the top reasons why you’ll love visiting the Smoky Mountains in September is because there are far fewer crowds in the area! The peak summer season ends after Labor Day weekend when most schools have started back up, and the peak fall foliage season has not yet started (although you might be able to see the beginning of fall foliage colors in mid September). This means that you’ll be able to reap some awesome benefits, such as less traffic, easy access to popular hiking trails, lower lodging rates and more! 

3. Early Access to Fall Festivals

The Smoky Mountains come alive in fall with many exciting festivals, some of which kick off in September! Therefore, you can be one of the first guests of the season to experience these wonderful events! The Dollywood Harvest Festival starts in late September, which features delicious fall treats, live entertainment and more than 12,000 illuminated pumpkins! Another festival you won’t want to miss is Sevierville’s Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, which also begins in late September and features fall decorations, fun activities and plenty of autumn color! 

4. River Rafting Adventures

group rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors on the Pigeon RiverIf you’re lucky enough to visit the Smokies in September, you can join some of our last river rafting trips of the year before we close for the season in mid-October! Our rafting trips after Labor Day Weekend depend entirely on the natural flow of the Pigeon River, so you may experience anything from a leisurely float trip to some wild rapids! Regardless of what experience you have on the river, you can count on an unforgettable adventure with our professional guides who are dedicated to providing you with a fun and safe time!

Check out all of our rafting trips in the Smokies today to join us for the joys of rafting in the Smoky Mountains in September! We look forward to seeing you soon!