We have said goodbye to 2019 and the holidays for now and hello to the new year and the second half of the Winterfest season in the Smokies. After the month-long celebration that is December, we do appreciate the quieter and more atmospheric period that follows, but Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Cosby and the nearby communities are not devoid of reason to visit our region – we have one thing we can reliably look forward to in January and February.
You guessed it: snow! Although we have gotten snow in late 2019 before Christmas and sometimes do each year, the months where we know we can expect it for sure are January, February and March. There may be only a handful of snowfalls per year, but that just makes it all the more special! From there, visitors and Deer Ridge guests often ask for suggestions of how to see snow when it falls on the distance peaks or here in town, and we have this article prepared for that.
Let’s take a look:
Ober Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Snow
The first recommendations are sort of a cheat, but if you want to be as close to guaranteed snow-styled fun in the Smokies, Ober Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Snow are the best places for them. The reason for this is they CREATE their own snow at their attraction establishments daily – Ober Gatlinburg from early-mid December to around the start of the March (give or take a week) and Pigeon Forge Snow all-year-round. Ober Gatlinburg creates snow so winter sports enthusiasts can get their snowboarding, skiing, snow tubing, ice skating and fill of more while Pigeon Forge Snow offers indoor snow tubing and a snow play area for the little’uns. And don’t forget the views you can see from the Ober Gatlinburg attraction and its gondola cars.
Newfound Gap is also somewhat tricky as it comes with the caveat that, often, when there is snow, the National Park Service will close sections of the road for safety. That being said, because Newfound Gap is the road that goes straight into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, connecting Gatlinburg to Cherokee, even if the road is closed at the Sugarlands Visitors Center, you will still get quite a lot of gorgeous views of the snow covering the dense and lush surrounding forest – and the Visitors Center itself and the outdoor trails to it are usually open during snowfall as well. This author himself has hiked the nearby trail when 2 or more inches of snow had fallen and shut down much of the rest of the town. It was an extremely memorable experience.
See the Sugarlands Visitors Center at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm.
Gatlinburg SkyLift and SkyBridge
The Gatlinburg SkyLift is one of the oldest attractions in town and has consistently provided decades of views and atmospheric wonder for Gatlinburg visitors. They have a much newer attraction and one that got national attention with the SkyBridge that was completed in 2019. The SkyBridge is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge on the continent and both the Lift and the Bridge will give you incredible views of snow-covered Smoky Mountains – some that were previously unable to obtain without a drone.
See more on the Gatlinburg SkyLift and SkyBridge at https://www.gatlinburgskylift.com.
Short of turning yourself into a bird, there is no better way to see the sights of Gatlinburg from the center of the city than the impossible-to-miss Space Needle. The Space Needle takes visitors over 400 feet above the ground of the downtown strip and allows for full 360 degree views of the city, the woods, the mountains and the peaks of the mountains as well as coin-operated super binocular stations that let you see incredibly close up on the city and those distant, white-covered peaks. Practically no visit to Gatlinburg is complete without going to the Gatlinburg Space Needle.
See more on the Gatlinburg Space Needle at https://www.gatlinburgspaceneedle.com/.
And of course, Deer Ridge condos provide the BEST views of the Smokies from our condo porches and you will be able to get more than a handful of wonderful snow pictures of the Smokies onsite alone. Get some ideas of what our views look like at https://deerridge.com/photo-gallery/.