As the days become shorter in the Great Smoky Mountains national park as winter closes is so does you list of choices of where to take an auto tour, where to go horseback riding, where to go site seeing and where to go camping in the GSM national park.
The highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National park Clingmans Dome and the road leading up to it closes until weather permits in March. This steep winding road is dangerous enough without snow and ice so deep winter driving on this high altitude road is out of the question.
One of the nicest and most popular frontcountry developed campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains national park is located in Elkmont Tennessee and it closes until spring at noon December 1st. A quick check today revealed less than a handful of campers in the Elkmont Tennessee campgrounds today.
Backcountry campsites in Elkmont Tennessee will remain open throughout the winter. Note that Elkmont backcountry campsite 20 still has an active black bear warning posted but the site still remains open.
The Roaring Fork Motor trail located in the Roaring Fork area of the park located adjacent to Gatlinburg Tennessee is also closed as of December 1st. This one way winding motor trail offers splendid wooded views, historic residences, mountain vistas and some popular trailheads.
Only the motor trail is closed in the Roaring Fork area so to get to Grotto Falls, Baskin Creek trail, the Baskin Creek Waterfall, Grapeyard Ridge, and the Trillium Gap trail you need to park your vehicle in one of the Rainbow Falls parking areas and then walk to the trailhead.
Last but not least the last of the horseback riding stables in the Great Smoky Mountains national park that was open; the Smoky Mountain Riding Stables has just closed for the winter.