Peak colors typically occur during the last two weeks in October, but that is dependent upon fall temperatures and in particular, the first frost date. The color change begins at higher elevations (4000′ and above) where you see the earliest changes in late September, and continue all the way into mid-November at the lower elevations.
The higher elevations such as the Cherohala Skyway, US 441 through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway will have the first colors. Take a jacket because temperatures can be 10 degrees colder at 5,000 feet. Remember that sightseeing will bring more traffic and it’s moving slower.
Falling leaves can be a problem in wet weather. Once the roads dry, the leaves usually clear fast. We have seen snow as early as Halloween but it doesn’t stick long. First snow is generally during the very end of October and first part of November, of course warmer temps followed.
WATCH OUR FALL COLOR WEBSITE and keep up to date on the this years Fall Color Show and see what happened in previous years. For the 2013 color forecast, photos and updates will added weekly starting in late September.
Check out our Weather Underground Weather Station with up to the minute data from our Tail of the Dragon T-shirt Shack.
Print off our PRINTABLE SMOKY MOUNTAIN TOURING MAP which includes the Cherohala Skyway, Tail of the Dragon, Moonshiner28, and the Smoky Mountain Loop through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.