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December in the Smokies..

Treasure Island...
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December in the Smokies..

We will be in the Smoky Mountains at the end of December and would like to do some short- moderate hikes to some recommended sites, possibly waterfalls. We really wanted to go to Cades Cove, but apparently the road is closed during this time. I read through a few other posts, but didnt really find answers to what we are wanting to do. We are staying in Gatlinburg and would like to do one or two hikes during the day. What will be open during that time? Thank you in advance.

Tullahoma, Tennessee
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1. Re: December in the Smokies..

Alum Cave Trail---first section is along a lovely creek with gentle cascades. Trail may be icy.

Laurel Falls--watch for ice near falls.

Little River Gravel Road--nice streamside walk.

nashville
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2. Re: December in the Smokies..

are you sure about Cades Cove? they don't close it for the winter -- if that's what you mean -- unless there's a big snow that hasn't been cleared yet.

... i know Google Maps says it's closed in the winter, but they're incorrect

Edited: 15 November 2011, 22:21
Chicago
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for Pompano Beach
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3. Re: December in the Smokies..

Porters Creek trail is also very nice. I would second the Alum Cave Bluffs trail as well

Chicago, IL
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4. Re: December in the Smokies..

The gravel/dirt roads that traverse cades cove close. The campground closes. The loop does not unless as mentioned it becomes impassable by a large snowfall. The road crews for that area would make the loop a priority and I can't imagine it cl

Chicago, IL
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5. Re: December in the Smokies..

The gravel/dirt roads that traverse cades cove close. The campground closes. The loop does not unless as mentioned it becomes impassable by a large snowfall. The road crews for that area would make the loop a priority and I can't imagine it closing for any more than a day outside an unusually terrible storm.

Cullowhee, North...
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6. Re: December in the Smokies..

There is a gentle loop in Smokemont that we hiked last winter with snow on the ground. Great winter hike. I second the Alum Cave trail however, above the Alum Cave if you do not have yak traxs or crampon spikes on your boots and it is ice, do not go there.

Treasure Island...
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7. Re: December in the Smokies..

Thanks for all the advice. What about Cligmans Dome? Is the road open or closed? The maps show closed in December, but are there any other ways of getting there?

Chicago, IL
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8. Re: December in the Smokies..

The road is closed, you can ski the road if there is enough snow or you can hike it. Alternately you can hike various trails to it. No way to get there in a car until April 1.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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for Pigeon Forge
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9. Re: December in the Smokies..

We just did alum cave trail yesterday and continued on to Leconte lodge for a short visit. It's a great hike anytime but even better this time of year if the snow is t too deep. The first mile isnt too bad but get steep near and above alum. We had to put our slip-on spikes onto our shoes just above alum and they worked amazingly well in packed snow or ice which was pretty bad in spots. The spikes should be in your backpack for winter hiking.

It's true, cases cove main road does not close for the winter but may occasionally for short times due to snow/ice.

10. Re: December in the Smokies..

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