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 start of every season.
Maybe we as humans have short-term memories.
But 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.
Still, I enjoy being in the Smokies this time of year. But it’s important to not let the daytime temperatures fool you.
Is November a good time to visit Gatlinburg?
Personally, I think November is a great time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains.
While I might be a bit biased, November represents the best of both worlds.
In November, Gatlinburg is in a state of transition.
If you choose to visit early enough, you have a chance of catching the last glimpse of the beautiful Smoky Mountain fall foliage.
And if you’re there around mid-November or later, you’re there for the kick-off of the Christmas season.
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. 11, 2021 this year.
Note that while November is not officially the busiest season for Gatlinburg, it can be crowded due to the holidays.
What clothes to pack for Gatlinburg in November?
The best advice I can offer is brief. Bring layers.
The weather will likely be nice during the day and cold at night.
At the beginning of the fall in the South, we Tennesseans are familiar with toggling between the heat and the air conditioning almost daily.
When November hits, I can (usually) leave the heat on consistently.
Winter in the Great Smoky Mountains begins mid-November, and overall, the weather is in a state of flux as it exits fall and enters the winter 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.
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 35°F.
January is traditionally the coldest month in Gatlinburg.
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 among us will usually have a jacket tied around their waist (or have one ready in the car).
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 in 2021 came on Thursday, Nov. 4 in the high elevations.
According to the National Park Service (NPS), Gatlinburg in November will see an average of 0.7 inches of snow.
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.
Overall, the best advice for planning a trip to Gatlinburg is three-fold when it comes to weather.
First, monitor the 10-day 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.
Where can I find snow in Gatlinburg, TN?
If you’re hoping to see snow in the mountains, 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.
Have you been to Gatlinburg in November? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.