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October In The Smokies

Frederick, Maryland
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5 posts
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October In The Smokies

What is the best time to visit the Smokies for the spectacular Fall Color?

I have gotten wide ranging answers as to what time of the year to go. Suggestions? Basically I want the best time within the park, not outside in Gatlinburg or Cherokee,,,,Thanks! :' )

Edited: 05 September 2011, 20:20
East Tennessee
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632 posts
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1. Re: October In The Smokies

The answer will be October for inside the GSMNP. The issue is when during October- as the answer that you seek changes with the elevation within the GSMNP. Inside the GSMNP around Cades Cove and the streams and rivers usually peaks near the end of October and the higher elevations inside the GSMNP peak a week or two earlier. The Park will tell you of their best estimate as too when the various elevations inside the Park will Peak. So check with them.

Very beautiful and popular!

Frederick, Maryland
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2. Re: October In The Smokies

True, every year is different, elevations make a big difference as well. Does anyone know the highest elevation of the roads in SMNP?

Mississippi
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3. Re: October In The Smokies

nps.gov/grsm/…grsmmap1.pdf

This PDF formatted map shows some elevation near the roads. I have a National Geographic Hiking Map that is much more complete, but this should give you an idea of the changes throughout the national park.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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4. Re: October In The Smokies

We were there in late October, and the colors were past their peak. It was still pretty and we loved hiking and driving in the Park.

nashville
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5. Re: October In The Smokies

clingman's dome road is just over 6000ft at its end at the parking lot

Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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6. Re: October In The Smokies

Catching peak color in October is a crap shoot each year, as there's no definite answer; every year is somewhat different.

Conditions such as rainfall amounts, drought conditions, air temperature, and amount of sunlight are major factors along with the elevation factors.

Frederick, Maryland
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7. Re: October In The Smokies

Thanks for all your help! I can fly in on a Monday for 3 days, that being said, given these options, suggestions? Any guidence would be great! Unfortunately I can't wait until the last minute, airfare, hotel, etc,,,Looking specifically for peak times within the park, not Gatlinburg or Cherokee.

Monday 10th

Monday 17th

Monday 24th

Monday 31st

Edited: 06 September 2011, 20:04
Grove City, Ohio
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1,544 posts
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8. Re: October In The Smokies

I would choose either the 17th or the 24th. Like everyone else has, said, it's hard to tell about peak color. My experience is, the later the better, but that is not set in stone. Take a chance. October in the Smokies is great.

Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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9. Re: October In The Smokies

I would probably choose the 24th myself, just to make sure you have the greatest chance of the most color.

The massive amounts of rain we just got from T.S. Lee may throw things out of sync a bit, but hopefully it will help more than hurt. At least water flows in the park will be spectacular for the next little bit.

10. Re: October In The Smokies

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