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Gatlinburg Weather in November: Is It a Good Time To Visit?

smoky mountains landscape in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. An autumn la

November is a transitional period in the Great Smoky Mountains (photo by Alejandro/stock.adobe.com)

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Even as someone who grew up on the outskirts of the Tennessee mountains, I still find myself being caught off guard by the weather at the beginning of every season. Maybe we as humans have short-term memories. Still, it almost never fails. At least once per year, I’m somehow caught out in the cold in the evening, unprepared for the cool November weather. I enjoy being in the Smokies this time of year. But do as I say, not as I do. Always bring a jacket.


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pumpkin head decorations in gatlinburg tennessee
In early November, you may still catch a few fall decorations. The town transforms into a winter wonderland in late November (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

Is November a good time to visit Gatlinburg?

Personally, I think November is a great time to visit Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. In fact, some of my family members say it’s one of the best times to visit. I might be a bit biased, but November represents the best of both worlds. In November, Gatlinburg is in a state of transition.

If you visit in early November, you have a chance to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Smoky Mountain fall foliage. You’ll also see some of the area’s fall decorations. If you’re visiting around mid-November or later, you’ll be just in time for the kick-off of the Christmas season. Downtown Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas of Pigeon Forge and Sevierville become a winter wonderland during the days of Winterfest, which officially kicks off on Nov. 9, 2023. November is not the busiest season for Gatlinburg, but it can be a tad crowded due to the holidays. If you don’t mind a few crowds, it’s a great place to spend the holiday season and enjoy the mountains.

lights at night with snow frosting in downtown gatlinburg
By mid to late November, Gatlinburg brings out the winter magic and the whole town is decorated in Christmas lights (photo by Alejandro Carnicero/shutterstock.com)

What clothes should you pack for Gatlinburg in November?

The best advice I can offer is brief and to the point. Bring layers. The weather will likely be nice during the day and cold at night. At the beginning of fall in the South, we Tennesseans are familiar with toggling between the heat and the air conditioning almost daily. Winter in the Great Smoky Mountains begins in mid-November, and overall, the weather is in a state of flux as it exits fall and enters the new season. Temperatures will finally start to cool enough to bring out the flannel, hot cocoa and space heaters on a regular basis. But that being said, there may still be a few days here and there where the weather will bring a perfect 70-degree day if the sun is out.

Gatlinburg, TNHighLowMonthly precipitationMonthly snowfall
Low elevations in November61°F33°F3.4 inches0.7 inches
High elevations in November42°F28°F6.4 inches5 inches
Source: NPS

What are the average temperatures in Gatlinburg in November?

As a rule of thumb, the average high temperature in November in Gatlinburg is 61°F with an average low of 33°F in the lower elevations. In December, temperatures will continue to drop down to an average high of 52°F and a low of 28°F. If you’re planning a trip, the best thing you can do is plan for anything in between. Anytime I go to Dollywood this time of year, I notice that the seasoned guests will usually have a jacket tied around their waist (or have one ready in the car).

If you plan to go on a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, check for closures on trails and roads. Remember, hours of daylight are more limited in November. If you’re looking for things to do, highlights of the month include the Great Smoky Mountains Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center and the Annual Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff. Check our calendar for more information and fun things to do in November.

snow covered cades cove road in the smoky mountains
Heavy snow is rare in the Smokies, but it is more likely to snow in higher elevations. Pictured: A cold morning in Cades Cove (photo by Betty Shelton/shutterstock.com)

Does it snow in Gatlinburg in November?

It’s somewhat unlikely to see snow in Gatlinburg in November. Still, your chances of seeing snow will increase as you climb higher into the mountains. In fact, the first snowfall last year came during the first week of November in high elevations. According to the National Park Service (NPS), Gatlinburg will see an average of 0.7 inches of snow in November. At Clingmans Dome, which is at a high elevation, the average monthly snowfall for November is 5 inches. Temperatures will vary 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit from mountain base to top, with January and February being the months that you will most likely see snow.

hiking boots on dirt with roots
Winter weather may be unpredictable. Pack some good shoes that are appropriate for any weather condition (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Tips for navigating November weather in the mountains

Overall, the best advice for planning a trip to Gatlinburg is three-fold when it comes to weather. First, monitor the 10-day weather forecast in the days leading up to your visit. This will give you the closest estimate of the weather for your trip. Second, pack outfits that work in layers and are easily portable. Third, bring an extra pair of walking shoes appropriate for any conditions. It may rain. It may snow. It’s best to be ready for anything. November may bring harsh swings when it comes to weather conditions.

child plays in snow area at pigeon forge snow
If your heart is set on seeing snow, consider an attraction like Pigeon Forge Snow (photo by Dr. Candi Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Where can I find snow in Gatlinburg TN?

If you’re hoping to see snow in the mountains on your vacation, your best bet is to keep an eye on the forecast and go into the higher elevations. And if all else fails, you can always visit Pigeon Forge Snow nearby, where you’re guaranteed to see snow on each and every operating day. It’s a great place to enjoy snow tubing and it’s almost certain to make you feel like a kid again. You can also consider taking a trip up to Ober Gatlinburg. It’s the perfect place to enjoy popular winter sports such as ice skating or take in views on the scenic Aerial Tramway. They also offer snow tubing, skiing and snowboarding when the winter season cools down enough.

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Have you been to Gatlinburg TN in November? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.

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