Cabins USA Logo
Loading Page
(800) 583-6168
Cabins USA Availability Search Icon Availability Search Small Icon

5 Great Ways To See Peak Foliage in the Smoky Mountains

Blog Home : Category Posts : Peak Fall Foliage Smoky Mountains

Timing is everything. Especially when it comes to seeing beautiful fall colors in the Great Smoky Mountains.

If you're planning on visiting Pigeon Forge in October, there's no doubt you'll need some insider information to truly enjoy the gorgeous autumn season. Luckily, we have this peak fall foliage guide on where to see fall colors on your Pigeon Forge vacation!

Peak Fall Smoky Mountains

When Is Peak Fall in the Smoky Mountains and Where Can you See it?

Compared to other parts of US, the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee has a relatively long window of opportunity to see fall colors.

Why is this the case? Well, it all comes down to one thing: elevation.

In the Smoky Mountains, dramatic changes in elevation create changes in climate. Since the national park has an elevation range of over 5,000 FT, this landscape has significant differences in temperature depending on where you go. 

The result? High elevation places in the park are cooler on average and low elevation areas are typically warmer. Once the cool winds come to the mountains, you'll start to see the forests display brilliant yellows, golden hues, reds, and oranges.

Peak Fall Folliage in the Smoky Mountains

Peak Foliage in High ElevationsOct. 7th – 14th

If you're visiting in early fall, drive (or hike) to the high peaks in the mountains. These include places like the Clingmans Dome and Newfound Gap areas of the national park.

Suggested Hikes: Andrews Bald, Charlie's Bunion, and The Jump Off

Peak Foliage in Mid ElevationsOct 15th – 21st

As fall continues, the colors begin to creep down the mountainsides. Excellent places to view the leaves during this time are at elevations between 5,000 and 3,000 FT. Newfound Gap Road past the Chimney Tops Trailhead is a prime place to explore middle elevation areas of the park to see some stunning fall colors.

Scenic drives like the Foothills Parkway, Cades Cove Loop, Parson's Branch Rd. or Newfound Gap are excellent ways to view all the gorgeous colors. At this point, much of the mountains will be showing fall colors; scenic overlooks are the best way to view the changing landscape.

Suggested Hikes: The Chimney Tops and Alum Cave Trail

Peak Fall Colors in Pigeon ForgeOct 21st – Oct 28th

Most low elevation places in the national park and surrounding communities like Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg should see peak fall colors around this time. Generally, you'll want to seek out areas below 3,000 FT like Cades Cove, Tremont, Elkmont, Sugarlands Visitor Center, Roaring Fork Motor Trail and the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic area.

By this point, the leaves may have fallen in high elevation areas of the Smoky Mountains. This part of the season is a great time to take a stroll through the woods as they fill with color.

Suggested Hikes: Walker Sisters Cabin, The Middle Prong Trail, Old Sugarlands Trail, and Laurel Falls.

Disclaimer – These are only estimates. Factors such as rainfall, temperature, and high winds can drastically influence the timing and duration of peak fall foliage in the Great Smoky Mountains. 

Beautiful Smoky Mountain Tunnel in Fall

5 Unique Ways to See Fall in the Great Smoky Mountains

Now that you have an idea of when and where to see peak fall colors in Pigeon Forge, here are some unique ways you can explore the beautiful colors for yourself!

1. Ride Rollercoasters in Dollywood

If you're a thrill seeker who loves beautiful fall foliage, then you're in luck! Some of the high roller coasters in Dollywood give you glimpses of the changing forest colors in the mountains. Step in line to Thunderhead, a classic wooden coaster to see for miles and miles. Other rides like The Tennessee Tornado and Wild Eagle will also yield gorgeous views (although you may find the mountains are upside down.)

As an added perk, Dollywood celebrates the fall season with special décor and musical performances – a great way to enjoy autumn to the fullest!

2. Cruise on a Mountain Coaster or Soar on a Zip Line

These roller coasters are built into the land and give you the feeling of flying down a mountainside. You'll see beautiful colors as you cruise down the mountain while having a great time, plus you can strap on a GoPro so you can share the beautiful scenery with your friends!

Zip lines and ropes courses are built into the forest canopy and allow visitors to get up close to the gorgeous fall scenery.

3. Sit in The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

If thrill rides and mountain coasters aren't a part of your relaxing vacation itinerary, you can also see beautiful views of the mountains from the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel in the Island. This Ferris Wheel is really an enclosed gondola that takes guests 200 FT in the air – the perfect vantage point for viewing peak fall foliage in the mountains.

4. Reserve a Helicopter or Aerial Tour

Get a bird's eye view of the Smoky Mountains by booking an aerial tour of the Smoky Mountains! Experienced local pilots know all the local landmarks and they'll give you an entirely new and exceptionally beautiful perspective on the Smokies. There are several outfitters that offer helicopter tours and one that will take you into the mountains in a restored biplane.

5. Book a Log Cabin With a View

When you book Pigeon Forge cabin rentals with beautiful mountain views, you don't have to go far to enjoy the gorgeous scenery. From sunrise to sunset, you can sit back in a porch rocker or a hot tub and take in the incredible fall colors that surround your cabin in the mountains.

Fall View From Pigeon Forge Cabin Rental

Final Thoughts

If you can't make it to Pigeon Forge in the fall, there's no need to despair. There's always next year! In the meantime, check out our webcam of Downtown Pigeon Forge so you won't have to miss the incredible colors this season! 

Additionally, the national park maintains an excellent webcam on Purchase Knob in the North Carolina side of the Smokies. Or simply check out this video of the Smoky Mountains in fall.

We'd love to know – what are your favorite things about fall in Pigeon Forge? And where are your favorite spots in the national park to see the colors?

Written by

Recent Articles

Pigeon Forge Dining: Top 5 Italian Restaurants

Top 5 Italian Restaurants in Pigeon Forge, TN

Add more flavor and zest to your next Pigeon Forge vacation by checking out our picks for the top 5 Italian restaurants in Pigeon Forge, TN.
Vacation Tips: Best Places To Get Drinks In Pigeon Forge

Top 9 Places to Get Drinks in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville

Up your Pigeon Forge vacation experience with your favorite people by checking out our picks for the top 9 places to get drinks in Pigeon Forge.
Vacation Tips: Best Family Restaurants In Pigeon Forge

Best Family Restaurants in Pigeon Forge, TN

Enjoy quality time with the family on your next vacation in Pigeon Forge by adding our picks of the best family restaurants in Pigeon Forge to your travel plans.


Fall In The Great Smoky Mountains | Pigeon Forge | Gatlinburg - Blog Post

Fall Activities

Check out the many activities to do in the fall in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Townsend, Wears Valley, and Sevierville.
Pigeon Forge Happening Now - Blog Post

Pigeon Forge Happening Now

We've got news, events, and tips to make your vacation in Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains better than ever! Check
Smoky Mountain Vacation Tips - Blog Post

Smoky Mountain Vacation Tips

Tennessee Smoky Mountain vacation tips great for planning your family vacation, honeymoon or group getaway in the Smok
Smoky Mountains Blog | Whats Happening Now - Blog Post

Smoky Mountains - Happening Now

Smoky Mountains blog posts covering events before and as they happen throughout the Tennessee Smoky Mountains area. S

Please Note: Cabins USA LLC's, hereinafter referred to as Cabins USA, area information, area events, and blog pages are provided as a public service. Cabins USA does not endorse any of the products, vendors, consultants, or businesses referenced in these web pages. Any mention of vendors, products, businesses, or services on the Cabins USA web site is for informational purposes only. Users of this web site are responsible for checking the accuracy, completeness, currency and/or suitability of all information. The inclusion of this information does not imply endorsement by Cabins USA. Furthermore, specific questions regarding any content should be directed to the appropriate organization and not necessarily to Cabins USA.

Cabins USA Official Logo
star star star star star
2140 Parkway
Pigeon Forge, TN  37863
(865) 429-4121

VLS #157
Pigeon Forge Cabins
Guest Reservations
(800) 583-6168
2 Night Minimum

Cabins USA Help Icon
Copyright 2013-2024, Cabins USA LLC, Pigeon Forge, TN

Welcome to Cabins USA! We hope you enjoy your stay with us and look forward to helping you make incredible vacation memories. To help you navigate your Guest User account, we've provided a helpful guide to walk you through the process.

Creating an Account

Creating a guest account is as simple as submitting your email and creating a password. Keep in mind the email used to create your guest account must match the email provided on your reservation.

If a different email is on your reservation, you'll need to create a guest account with that email to manage the reservation.

When finished, an email will be sent to confirm your email address. Follow the steps in the email to complete the creation of your account.

Note: If you need to change the email address on your reservation, please contact the reservations office for further assistance.

Managing Your Account

Once your account is created, you can start managing your reservations. Your guest reservations will show as follows:

Click on the view button to get more details about each reservation. Within the reservation, you'll be able to do three things, which are:

Submit a Trouble Ticket

Click the report issue button for maintenance needs or other concerns during your stay. Briefly describe your issue, provide contact information, and submit up to 3 photos detailing your situation if applicable.

Submit Cancellation Request

This must be done before check-in and per our policies. Within the request, provide a reason for cancellation and click submit. After submitting your request, one of our reservationists must complete the cancellation process before your reservation is canceled.

Make a Payment

For future stays with a balance open, you can make credit card payments from $50 up to the total cost of the reservation.

Additional Information

If you have a future reservation and haven't completed the Express Check-In, please send your confirmation number and email used for the reservation to to request an invitation to complete the process.

After you've signed all reservation documents and paid the balance in full, you'll receive an email with your active stay information 8 hours prior to arrival, which includes the following:

Note: If the reservation documents have not been signed electronically and/or the balance has not been paid three days prior to arrival via the credit card on file, you must check in at our 2140 Parkway office. Our office hours are currently 8:00am - 10:00pm, Monday thru Sunday.

Contact Us

Didn't find the information you needed? Contact Us for further assistance with your reservation or guest account.

Thank you for choosing us for your Smoky Mountain vacation! We look forward to helping you make your dream vacation a reality!

Warm regards,

Cabins USA

Interested in receiving our newsletter? Simply provide your full name and email address in these fields to begin receiving information. By doing so, you can learn about special promotions and events in the Smoky Mountains!

We respect our customer's privacy and feel it is disrespectful to bombard anyone with emails. We treat all information that customers share with us as private and confidential. Cabins USA never shares this information with third party sites.

Arrival Date: Mandatory, select or enter date you will arrive (MM/DD/YYYY)

Nights: Mandatory, select or enter the number of Nights you will be staying with us

Promotional Code: Must enter a valid code

Optional Search Items: (Amenties, Cities, etc)
Below are several boxes in which you can either select from a drop down list or click on a check box to the left of an item to select.

Changing the contents of any drop down list or selecting/deselecting a check box will broaden or narrow the number of properties displayed by your search. You don't have to wait until the search completes to select/deselect items for your perfect search.

You must hit the SEARCH button to start your first search. It is unnecessary to hit the SEARCH button after doing your first search, unless you changed to another web page, changed the Arrival Date or number of Nights.

Add to Favorites: As you visit individual property pages or pages with listings of several properties on them, you have the option to click on the "+ Favorites" for each particular property, which automatically adds the property to your list of Favorites for consideration. The number next to the Favorites tab, left sidebar, will increase up to 99 possible Favorites. When ready, click on the Favorites tab to view a list of your selected Favorites.

Remove from Favorites: You may de-select (remove) properties from your Favorites you no longer wish to consider by either clicking on the minus icon to the right or by clicking on the "- Favorites" displayed on property list pages and each property details page for properties listed in your Favorites.

Compare Favorites: Click in the check boxes to the left of the property name, in your Favorites, you wish to compare. No more than 3 boxes may be selected at one time. When ready, hit the Compare button for a comparison of the 3 selected properties.

Follow the above "Remove from Favorites" instructions to remove a property from the comparison and your Favorites.

To add another property from your Favorites list for comparison, click the check box to the left of the property name in your Favorites and hit the Compare button.

Repeat the above steps to find your ultimate vacation accommodations. Need assistance or have questions, please give us a call so we may better serve you!

View List: Displays a full list of all your Favorites with some details.

Remove All: Clears all properties from your Favorites so you may start over.