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How safe is the mountain drive in winter

Miami, Florida
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284 posts
46 reviews
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How safe is the mountain drive in winter

IM looking to spend this winter a few days in TN mountains , I would like to stay in a high elevation ( around the 3000ft)

How bad/safe/impossible could be to drive out of the mountain if a snow storm shows ...

I will be driving a 4x4 loaded with all the traction controls but not chain/snow tires .

If so I may considerate to go in Spring

Covington, Georgia
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123 reviews
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1. Re: How safe is the mountain drive in winter

You should have no trouble at all. The roads are all pretty well maintained. The only one I'd question is 441, it's been closed several times for heavy snowfall , But the likelyhood of getting trapped is very small, so small I wouldn't even think about it. Even when there's heavy snowfall I75 & I40 are seldom closed for more than a few hours.

Cinn, OH
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2. Re: How safe is the mountain drive in winter

We were in PF one spring around Easter and it lightly snowed in the area and we were told that was the first snow they had that winter. It melted by lunchtime.Even if it did snow when you are there, if it bothers you, just wait and it will melt soon. If it is a light snow, you can drive, just remember on bridges, you might swerve if it is icy, so beware. Don't ride your brakes. I am not afraid of snow, it is ice that I hate and will stay home if it does.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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58 posts
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3. Re: How safe is the mountain drive in winter

Two years ago there was a huge snowstorm that hit the Smokies on Christmas Eve.. Alot of people couldn't get up the mountain and many who did couldn't get back down. We had reservations for New Years and worried a bit about being able to get into our cabin. But a few days before New Years a warm front moved in and almost all the snow was gone. The falls and streams were beautiful from the snow melt. On New Years Eve day it felt like spring and people were walking around Gatlinburg without a coat or sweater. You just never know what kind of weather you'll get. This will be our fourth year welcoming in the new year in Gatlinburg. The first year was cold with some snow in the mountains and two were above normal temps.

Tennessee
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2,503 posts
9 reviews
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4. Re: How safe is the mountain drive in winter

It is unusual to get a bad storm that last, but it does happen. If you are not used to driving in snow, there are lots of narrow roads with no guard rails. Some of the areas you were asking about could be dangerous if there was snow or ice.

Make sure you know the weather cancellation policy before you rent. Many cabins have a no refund policy if you can't get to the cabin because of snow. You make also want to check into trip insurance to see if it would cover you if you had to cancel due to bad weather.

Miami, Florida
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284 posts
46 reviews
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5. Re: How safe is the mountain drive in winter

@sunshine&sand : I will take the advise and check for the cancellation policy , Im from Miami so snow is a great addition to any vacations but as well as it be safe ...

In another note Im going to Wyoming in January so maybe I will wait for spring to go TN . What is a better time end/beg Nov/Dec or for spring break

BTW is the Zip line park in Gatlinburg open year around

@DianesfunOhio .. I remember that year a friend of mine went to TN at that time . They did rent a RV for the trip and couldnt go tho the cabin , had to rent a hotel and stay for two nights as there was no way to come up/down from the mountain . Also he told me that the road for an RV is really scary and more when is snowing .

I will be driving a 4X4 with great off-road and traction ability so maybe a little snow will be fun but not as that year

cincinnati, ohio
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6. Re: How safe is the mountain drive in winter

Snow isn't necessarily you're biggest problem - ice is. Either from snow melt and re-freeze, or freezing rain, it's more likely to happen than snow. Unlike up here in Ohio and the Midwest, Tn doesn't salt or sand its roads as ice control so you may get stranded in your hotel room from 3 days watching the Weather channel like we did one February

On 441 going to Cherokee, you;ll begin to encounter ice on the road about the Alum Caves Bluff parking lot all the way over until you hit the flatter part of 441 coming into Cherokee. This also impacts many of the rental units on the various hillsides thereabouts - and this fact is usually mentioned in the rental agreements so expect to lose your deposit if you aren't able to get up one of those steep mtn. roads to the hillside chalets you've rented. Many of the rental cos. tell you to bring 4 wheel drive or chains in winter.

So, don't trust your 4 wheel drive - many of the smashed in stone guard rails along 441 were hit by 4 wheelers!!

But, I gotta tell you, snow on those hills make a grand sight - absolutely!!!!!!!

7. Re: How safe is the mountain drive in winter

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