When Is Gatlinburg Least Crowded? Details Explained

The National Park Service, which runs Gatlinburg, says a handful of the busiest weekends this fall will be in early to mid-October. So, when is Gatlinburg least crowded?

The peak is typically around Thanksgiving, but the park service is planning for that date earlier than normal because of milder weather in the eastern U.S. as we head into October. Are you looking for a place to visit this Thanksgiving where the crowds will be minimal? If so, Gatlinburg may be the right choice for you!

Gatlinburg is usually one of the most crowded places in the area during the holiday season, but thanks to the recent wildfires, it has been less crowded than usual.

If you are looking to visit any of the tourist spots in Gatlinburg, make sure to plan your trip well in advance as the crowds tend to get bigger and bigger as the days go on. You can check out the weather forecasts to make sure it isn’t going to rain during your trip and plan accordingly.

Gatlinburg Least Crowded

The Population of Gatlinburg

The Population of Gatlinburg

First things first: as of 2011, the population was 6587 ( read “2011 Census Data Shows 2012 Number Trending Downward For Sevier Co. Despite Making 60% Growth in Population Since 2000”).

That figure was based on a countywide enumeration done Oct. 1 of that year and reflects just official residents who were registered to vote at the time- those figures aren’t available by statehood until then anyway but you can bet it will be in the thousands by then.

Locally, an estimated 60% of current residents live in Sevier County while 40% currently call another county home (and likely will because these numbers increase quickly when people decide to make Gatlinburg their permanent address).

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When Is Gatlinburg Least Crowded? Explained

When it’s the coldest, kinda snowiest and widely underestimated by visitors. I’m usually not a fan of cliches but sometimes they’re right on (this is one). You see , almost everybody thinks Gatlinburg is packed year round. Not quite true.  Most folks think that July/August or January-February are peak seasons yet these newcomers from other parts of the country arrive around.

Halloween time and in May for school sports. If a crew of visitors comes here in December for some warmth, there are plenty of vacancies to fill…but by then it’s mid-March and snow is clearing.

Amount Of  People Visit Gatlinburg Each Year

Amount Of  People Visit Gatlinburg Each Year

This is the most commonly asked question. Recent census data shows that an average of half a million people come to Gatlinburg annually (read “Largest Growth in Visitation Since 2000, In Depth”). The stats don’t cover this entire year but break them down by month and they look like this:

300K visitors yearly in May; 500-600K November through late January when school has started again at Christman Middle School and students come home for break; 1MM- 2 MM in February, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Of course, those numbers will rise significantly from now on as the school year progresses.

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Popular Attractions In Gatlinburg

Popular Attractions In Gatlinburg

The day’s popular attractions can be found in any one of the Seven sisters: Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Below are some specific favorites you might or might not seek out while spending a few days in wine country.

Gatlinburg’s Off Season

Gatlinburg's Off Season

Gatlinburg’s “off season” can be a great time to visit the city. Here are a few tips to make the most of your visit:

  1. Check the weather forecast – Knowing what to expect can help you plan your trip accordingly. Check the weather forecast online or on your phone before you leave home, and pack accordingly.
  2. Plan your route – When you arrive in Gatlinburg, take a look at the map and plan your route. It can be helpful to have a general idea of where you want to go and when, in order to avoid crowds and maximize your time in Gatlinburg.
  3. Use public transportation – If you’re traveling by car, note that traffic can be congested during peak hours. Instead, try using public transportation like buses and trains. You’ll be able to see more of Gatlinburg this way, and it won’t cost you a fortune!
  4. Get creative – If you’re looking for something to do outside of the typical tourist attractions, try getting creative and exploring Gatlinburg on your own. There are many amazing trails that are perfect for hiking or biking, and there are also plenty of museums and shops to explore if you’re interested in learning more about the area’s history. And don’t forget – there’s always plenty of delicious food options available!

Avoiding Crowds in Gatlinburg on Your Family Vacation

Avoiding Crowds in Gatlinburg on Your Family Vacation

There’s no doubt that visiting Gatlinburg is a great family vacation option – the scenery is absolutely stunning! However, as with any tourist destination, there can be some dangers lurking if you’re not careful. Here are five tips to help you stay safe while in Gatlinburg:

  1. Stick to well-known tourist attractions – While it’s fun to explore all of Gatlinburg’s hidden treasures, it’s important to be aware of the dangers involved. Avoid crowds by sticking to the well-known tourist attractions, where safety is guaranteed.
  2. Use caution when hiking and biking – Both hiking and biking are great ways to see Gatlinburg’s beautiful landscape, but be careful not to get lost or injured. Use common sense when navigating and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  3. Pay attention to your personal safety – Don’t let yourself get stranded or lost in the city without any means of escape. Always carry a phone with you in case of emergencies, and keep an eye out for strangers who seem suspicious.
  4. Stay informed – Make sure you know what’s happening in the area by following local news sites and social media channels. This way, you’ll be able to stay informed about any potential dangers and take appropriate precautions accordingly.
  5. Enjoy your time – Just because there are dangers lurking doesn’t mean you have to avoid all fun and activities! Instead, use common sense and enjoy your time while staying safe and healthy!

Winter are the Best Time to Go to Gatlinburg

Winter are the Best Time to Go to Gatlinburg

Yes, winter is the best time to visit Gatlinburg! Not only is the weather beautiful and mild, but the tourist season is also relatively low-key. This means that you’ll have more flexibility to explore the area and find the perfect attractions for you. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your trip:

  1. Make a reservation – One of the best ways to avoid any crowds and long lines is to make a reservation in advance. Not only will this save you time, but it will also guarantee that you get a spot at one of Gatlinburg’s top attractions.
  2. Plan your route – When planning your route, be sure to include Gatlinburg in your itinerary. Not only will this give you a better idea of what to see, but it will also help you avoid any traffic congestion.
  3. Bring snacks and drinks – No matter how well-prepared you think you are, chances are there will be moments when hunger and thirst strike. Make sure to bring along snacks and drinks so that you won’t have to miss a moment of your trip!
  4. Pack appropriate clothing – Just like anywhere else in the world, it’s important to pack appropriate clothing for winter weather conditions in Gatlinburg. This means things like warm coats, hats, and gloves. You might also want to bring an extra pair of jeans or boots just in case something happens along the way!

Hopefully, these tips will help make your trip even more enjoyable! If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to help!

Gatlinburg Visitor’s Guide

Gatlinburg Visitor's Guide

Welcome to the Gatlinburg Visitor’s Guide! This guide is designed to help you plan your trip and get the most out of your time in Gatlinburg. Here are some of the main things you’ll want to keep in mind while visiting:

  1. There is a lot of activity happening in and around Gatlinburg at all times, so be prepared for crowds and long lines. Make sure to plan your visits accordingly, and try to avoid peak times.
  2. The weather in Gatlinburg can be unpredictable, so make sure to pack appropriate clothing and gear for all conditions. Be sure to also bring a hat and sunglasses, as sunlight can be brutal during summer months.
  3. Always use caution while hiking, biking, or sightseeing – stay aware of your surroundings and always take precautions when visiting nature.falls.
  4. Gatlinburg is a great place to visit with friends or family – make sure to schedule enough time for fun activities and adventures!

Traffic In Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg

Traffic In Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg

Traffic in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg can be a little tricky to predict. That’s because tourist season varies from year to year, and the number of visitors who come to these areas can vary depending on a number of factors, including the economy. However, there are a few things that can give you an idea of how busy the area may be:

-Local businesses can often predict how busy they’ll be based on historical data. This data can help them plan their marketing and staffing accordingly.

-Google Trends can tell you how often certain keywords are being searched for online. This information can give you a general idea of what types of businesses are doing well and which ones may be struggling.

-Visitor reviews on TripAdvisor can provide you with an idea of what people thought about their experiences in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. This information can help you make informed decisions about where to stay or eat.

Less Crowded Scenic Drives in the Smoky Mountains

Less Crowded Scenic Drives in the Smoky Mountains

There are a few scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains that are less crowded than others. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. The Cherohala Skyway – This scenic drive traverses the eastern side of the Smoky Mountains and is known for its breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  2. The Blue Ridge Parkway – This parkway runs through the central part of the Smoky Mountains and offers visitors many opportunities to view nature in its purest form.
  3. The Nature Conservancy’s Watauga Trail – This trail is a short but wide path that starts in Cleveland, Tennessee and winds its way through the Watauga Valley, one of the most beautiful parts of the Smoky Mountains.
  4. The Dirt Road to Nowhere – This dirt road is located in Haywood County, North Carolina and leads to some of the most beautiful scenery in all of the Smoky Mountains. It’s a great place to go if you want to get away from it all!

Each of these drives has its own unique beauty that is worth exploring, so don’t be afraid to try out a few before you settle on one as your favorite. And if you’re ever stuck on what to do when you’re in the Smoky Mountains, give these drives a try! You won’t regret it!

Best Time Of Year To Avoid Crowds Gatlinburg Area

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best time of year to avoid crowds in the Gatlinburg area will vary depending on your interests and preferences. That being said, here are some general tips that may help you:

  1. Avoid the peak season – The busiest times of year in the Gatlinburg area tend to be from May through September. This is usually when the tourism industry is at its peak, and there can be quite a lot of traffic congestion and crowds. If you can, try to visit during off-peak times or during winter when the crowds are smaller.
  2. Check the weather forecast – In order to plan your trip accordingly, it’s important to check the weather forecast and factor in potential cancellations due to bad weather. If you’re worried about crowds, try to visit during non-peak seasons when there’s a lower chance of inclement weather.
  3. Use public transportation – If public transportation is an option for you, take advantage of it! Not only will this ease congestion on roads, but it can also save you a lot of money on parking fees.

Hopefully, these tips will help you plan a trip that is both enjoyable and avoids long lines and congestion!

Things To Do In Gatlinburg

Things To Do In Gatlinburg

In Gatlinburg:

  • Slot car racing at the Small-town Raceway on Mt. Cammerer or visitors can test their skills around Paul Reagans Last Video before it closes for good (December 2014)  at Balsam Mountain Ski Area & Lodge;
  • Hiking trails abound in and near Gatlinburg, including Diamond Falls Trail with a beautiful gorge giving way to open green pines above you as you’re trapped in an instant. Also try up behind our resort on the Upper parking lot of Woodland Park just past Forest Service Road 488 to Wedge Top Falls, a beautiful cascade that drops about 30 foot into rocky gorge with waterfall 36′-52″ high
  • Gatlinburg is home to one of Tennessee’s finest waterfalls within The Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Roaring Fork Falls. Watch as torrential white spray froths over the series of cascades that is the Great Smoky Mountains’ most photogenic waterfall. Don’t be overwhelmed, though – Roaring Fork Falls is easily navigable and not high or technical at all.
  • Take a ride on The Maury River Rail-Trail from Gatlinburg to Townsend before turning around again and arriving back in Gatlinburg; breathtaking scenery time after time along this natural trail through dense forested hills with rushing creek waters and unobstructed views at every turn.
  • Bike the Upper or Lower American Road for an easy leisurely 2 mile ride on rolling green hills in beautiful lush woods and trees that was originally built as a country road connecting mountain communities from Knoxville to Pigeon Forge, but now can only be toured by foot.

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Where Can I Find A Map Of The City Of Gatlinburg?

Where Can I Find A Map Of The City Of Gatlinburg?

The best way to find the map is to look around. The City of Gatlinburg has numerous laminated sheets that can be found throughout downtown and at a number of restaurants, which contain all sorts of businesses, services & even GPS marked locations on them.

Professionally printed maps are also available in most shops through their display racks; whereas if you’re really particular about what you want, please contact Teton Outfitters (info below) for the most recent and updated maps.

Where Can I Find Hike Information In The Gatlinburg area?

Where Can I Find Hike Information In The Gatlinburg area?

Please visit: Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trail Information

Then, if you are more of a weekend warrior and looking for more detailed advice on specific hiking trails through East Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP), please contact one of the following three specialty travel companies in Gatlinburg.

1) Hazelnut Hiking Adventures – 336-658-1701 [email protected] the best resource to get accurate up- to-date trail information. Hazelnut is not only the most experienced local company but they are also one of the top rated organizations in all three major Tennessee state tourism publications which feature them highly on the pages and online.

2) Bike Gatlinburg –  865-544-0844 [email protected] The best resource to get accurate up-to-date bike serving information, as well as biking trails that are marked with TOPO.


Gatlinburg is a popular tourist destination in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. It’s most famous for its yearly “Gatlinburg Christmas” celebration and for being one of the only places in the world where you can see the sunrise over the Great Smoky Mountains.

The area around Gatlinburg is a National Forest, so you’ll find plenty of trails and things to do when you visit.

I hope now you know about when is Gatlinburg least crowded. Gatlinburg is easily accessible by car, the Appalachian Trail.

It’s best known for its local spots like The Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival, but it can entertain visitors of all kinds and ages with numerous attractions that are sure to leave a lasting impression and plenty more things yet unseen (like this answer section…).


Is It Better to Visit During Spring or Fall Season in Gatlinburg?

The best time to visit Gatlinburg is during the fall season because it offers the most color and you can experience a wide range of attractions.

During spring, everything is green and new. The weather is warm and there are a lot of things to do like hiking or mountain biking. However, there isn’t much color which means that you won’t be able to enjoy some of the local activities as much as in fall.

Which Season of the Year Is Most Suitable for Visiting Gatlinburg, Tn?

The most suitable season for visiting Gatlinburg, TN is the summer. The average high temperature in this city during the summer months is about 68 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low temperature is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

During this time of year, the city gets an average of 10 inches of rain each month which makes it a perfect destination for a rainy day!

How Do I Know When Is Gatlinburg the Least Crowded?

This is a tough question to answer. There are no clear answers and each year the number of visitors changes.

Here are some factors that can help you decide when is Gatlinburg the least crowded:

The weather in Gatlinburg depends on what time of the year it is, for example, wintertime will have less visitors than summertime.
If there’s an event happening in town like a festival or concert, then that would be another reason why the city would be less crowded.
Traffic can also make or break a trip to Gatlinburg. If traffic is heavy, then the likelihood of finding parking close to your destination becomes slim.
Crowds vary greatly from season to season and when you check their individual tourist advisories, it might be best for you visit Gatlinburg at the end of summer or during a rainy day.

What Are the Best Times to Visit Gatlinburg?

There are many times of the year that Gatlinburg is open for visitors.

The best time to visit gatlinburg is during spring and fall because it is the busiest time of the year. In spring, tourists flock to take advantage of all the activities like hiking, mountain biking, golfing, boating, etc.

In fall, when leaves start changing colors and temperatures cool down a bit, there are many festivals like Arts & Crafts Festival in October or Festival of Lights in November that attract thousands of people from around the world.

Is There a Way to Find Out the Busiest Days in Gatlinburg?

There are many ways to find out the busiest days in Gatlinburg. One way is to use Google Trends which will give you an idea of what times are most popular for searches on a particular topic.

Another way is to use Google Calendar, where you can search for dates and see when they have the highest number of visits.

Finally, there is a good chance that this question has already been answered by someone else in the comments section.

Michael C. Herrera

I’m a travel blogger with a focus on safety. I’ve been to all seven continents, and I love sharing my tips for staying safe while traveling. I also have a lot of experience with travel hacking and finding the best deals on airfare and hotels. My blog features reviews of restaurants, hotels, and attractions around the world.

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