GATLINBURG: Playing in the Snow

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What happens if you get to Gatlinburg…and it snows? Well, you play in it, of course.  What happens if you were hoping for snow and don’t see any when you get here?  Well, you have to find the snow.

Play in the Snow at Squirrel's Nest atop Ski Mountain!Snowfalls of an inch or more occur on average only one to five times per year in the valleys of the Great Smoky Mountains although Gatlinburg has already had two of these snowfalls in December alone.   In the high country, over five feet of snow falls most years.

If the Newfound Gap Road has not been closed because of snow, a trip to Newfound Gap is your best bet for finding snow.  At nearly a mile high, the gap is usually ten to fifteen degrees cooler than Gatlinburg or Cherokee, and it receives much more precipitation.

Clingmans Dome Road is located 0.1 mile south of Newfound Gap, and although it is closed to vehicles in the winter, it is open to visitors who want to tromp through the snow, build a snowman, or go cross-country skiing.  However, the road will close this coming year to all visitors on February 15th of 2010 for construction.

Play in the Snow at Squirrel's Nest!If Newfound Gap Road is closed by weather, snow seekers may wish to try the Cherokee Orchard Road area south of downtown Gatlinburg or the trails around Smokemont Campground (five miles north of Cherokee).

Now that you know where you’re going…how are you going to keep warm?

Winter weather is extremely variable in the Smokies.  Days may be sunny and 70 degrees or well below freezing in the high country with howling winds.  In case you haven’t recently needed to dress for chilly winter weather, here are some tips:

Let it Snow!1.  Avoid wearing cotton, especially next to your skin (ie. t-shirts, sweatshirts, socks_.  When cotton becomes wet from precipitation or perspiration, it will not keep you warm.

2.  Dress in layers. Avoid getting too warm or cold by wearing several light layers of clothing that can be easily removed or added.  Materials such as wool, polypropylene or “fleece” are excellent for layering because they provide warmth even when damp.

3.  Wear a hat, gloves, and warm socks.

4. If hiking, always carry good rain gear. Getting wet can quickly lead to hypothermia.  Rain gear also makes a good wind breaker.

ERA In The Smokies Realty & Rentals!Special thanks to the Smokies Guide, official newspaper of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for providing the winter update.

This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

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One thought on “GATLINBURG: Playing in the Snow

  1. Pingback: Groundhog Day 2013 and Winter Activities | A Day In The Smokies

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