Fabulous Fall Colors in the Great Smoky Mountains

September 9th 2016

Regarded by many as one of nature’s most majestic scenes, the beautiful fall colors and changes in the Great Smoky Mountains are truly a sight to behold! Due to its’ breathtaking foliage and diversity, the Great Smokies have been a hotspot for both tourists and locals for generations! Here are a few tips on how to plan your visit so you won’t miss out!

Early Season Transformations

Changes in the leaves of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park typically occur over several weeks. Traveling down the sides of the mountains and ultimately filling in everywhere in between, this beautiful painting is certainly worth the wait! While a “peak” date in terms of the ideal “postcard view” is something that can never be pinpointed on a calendar, each fall season brings vivid colors and changes that occur as early as mid-September in the higher elevations. Trees such as the American beech, hobblebush, mountain maple, pin cheery, and yellow birch begin to change during this period of time.

Peak Season

When it comes to specific vantage points and the utmost abundance of color, the Great Smoky Mountains traditionally come alive in full force around mid-October. Fall colors that seemingly paint this wonderful canvas of nature develop over 4,000 feet during this particular time in the fall season. During this pinnacle time frame, which stretches into early November, the Great Smoky Mountains are filled with the colors of notable trees such as the red maple, scarlet oak, sugar maple, and sweet gum, just to name a few. Observers can view mountain foliage in all of its splendor by driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, Clingmans Dome Road, or the Foothills Parkway.

Color Diversity

With a variety of roughly 100 species of native trees residing in the Great Smoky Mountains, the park itself has diversity like no other! In respect to the transformation process, as summer comes to a close in this area of the deep south, the green pigments in every treasured tree slowly begin to deteriorate thus giving each distinct and vibrant color the opportunity to steal the show! Gorgeous hues of reds, purples, and yellows ultimately decorate the mountains and capture the attention of anyone and everyone in sight.

Tracking the Color Changes

Similar to routine weather forecasts, it is possible to track the color changes within the Great Smoky Mountains courtesy of various media outlets. As the fall season approaches, you can enjoy several bi-weekly videos courtesy of professional personnel who monitor the local weather as well as foliage developments. Are you interested in more in-depth reports? Check out the host of various webcams that can easily be accessed online. You’ll be able to keep a close eye on the changing colors, even if you are hundreds of miles away. Whether you are planning a trip and are eagerly anticipating the most vibrant of colors of the season, or you are simply daydreaming and longing for a Smoky Mountain getaway, you can find it all in real time by choosing from a variety of webcam selections. Notable areas such as the city of Gatlinburg and Look Rock observation ledge are just two points of interests amongst a vast assortment of options.

Plan Your Fall Visit

While the Great Smoky Mountains have been a tourism hotbed for generations, regardless of the season, the wonderful fall color change is what many people come to enjoy! The annual show of fall colors during the last three weeks of October has been a huge draw for many years. While there are no motels or cabins for rent in the park itself, many surrounding communities offer an abundance of lodging and superb accommodations, such as Maggie Valley Creekside Lodge . Additionally, as it relates to traffic congestion during the peak season, it is important that you are patient and give yourself ample time to experience the Great Smoky Mountains in all of its glory. Quite a visual showcase, the fall colors appeal to many people from all across the country! Whether you are an eager tourist or simply a local who wants to enjoy what your part of the world has to offer, the Great Smoky Mountains and its wonderfully painted landscape is calling your name! Plan your trip this fall and prepare to be amazed!

Call Creekside Lodge at 800-621-1260 and let their professional staff help you schedule your visit! Rooms book up fast, especially during this season, so don’t hesitate! Call today!


  • We went with a large group to the Maggie Valley Creekside Lodge and they were incredibly helpful and hospitable. The accommodations were great. The large foyer area was wonderful for the group and the staff was incredible. They made us welcome in so many ways. The rates were incredibly reasonable and the room had all the necessary amenities.

    Chip T.

  • We loved our visit here! We just got home last night and we all wish we were still there! The staff is extremely helpful and the rooms are nice and clean. We spent a lot of time by the stunning creek cooking dinner on the grill and roasting s'mores over the fire pit. It is centrally located to many attractions. We went on many day trips and didn't spend all day in the car getting there. It's also within walking distance of restaurants and shops, but you may find yourself eating by the rushing creek instead!

    Amie M.

  • Really enjoyable place to stay. Room had a balcony overlooking the creek. Spacious room with comfortable bed. Staff was very nice and friendly. Took only 35-40 minutes to reach the Valley at Cataloochee where the elk were in rut. Awesome stay and can't wait to go back.


  • Clean, friendly, quiet, relaxing. Heartfelt thanks to Carol and her entire staff for making our group feel at home again this year. They went out of their way to make sure we had what we needed to make our event a success. We will be back again!

    Ricky Y.

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