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Fall Colors?

Central Illinois
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32 reviews
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Fall Colors?

Any speculation on when/how fall colors will be this year? Will the drought mute the colors and hasten the schedule? We were there in the last week of October last year which was just about perfect at lower elevations. Which week do you think will be best this year?

Nic

Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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1. Re: Fall Colors?

Well, the mountains have gotten more moisture than most parts of the state, so the drought may not be as prevalent there, but we still have August and September to go. The rain amount during those months will tell the real story. We also need to hope for no more bad wind storms like just happened that downed so many trees in the SE part of the park.

Last year, the colors peaked about Oct 20th or so, if memory serves, so you shouldn't be too far behind it. The varying elevations cause a gradual change based on elevations.

BTW, it seems to me, based on multiple trips in autumn that the NC side of the park has better color than the TN side, so maybe a drive over to that side may render more color for you.

Central Illinois
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2. Re: Fall Colors?

Thanks! Very helpful insight!

nashville
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994 posts
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3. Re: Fall Colors?

too early to know but you can see fairly regular updates here:

smokiesinformation.org/nature-wildlife/…

and the webcams are pretty good ways to keep track:

this one's at like 3000ft:

…nps.gov/air/…grsmcam.cfm

this one at 5000ft:

…nps.gov/air/…grsmpkcam.cfm

Grove City, Ohio
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1,544 posts
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4. Re: Fall Colors?

Www.discoverthesmokies.com always does a fall colors progression. They usually start sometime in September. They'll post pictures from all around the area and from various elevations.

Boulder, Colorado
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5. Re: Fall Colors?

There are many factors that determine peak colors. In my experience, as much as rain impacts timing, you can always find 'peak' by hiking through various elevations in the oldest forests in the park. The Ramsey Cascades and Albright Grove Loop trails both pass through some of the oldest cove hardwood forests in the Smokies, and vary enough in elevation so that you have a bigger window to catch the colors:

protrails.com/trails/…ramsey_cascades

protrails.com/trails/view/453/great_smoky_mo…

Edited: 26 July 2012, 14:26
Paris, Tn
Destination Expert
for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge
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6. Re: Fall Colors?

Judging by past years experience, the best time for "leaf looking" is anywhere tween mid-Oct to the final days of October. Hense, the crowds are at their heaviest. However, many times when we show up the first week in Nov.,there's still plenty of leaves left on the trees. A lot has to depend on the moisture and cool conditions. (much of which I don't understand.)

Illinois
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38 posts
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7. Re: Fall Colors?

If I wanted to see the fall colors at elevations around cades and roaring fork would I be better off going there the week of October 14th or 21st?

Thanks

Atlanta
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8. Re: Fall Colors?

21

9. Re: Fall Colors?

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