yellowstone national park

Have you ever been to a place that was so beautiful and majestic it took your breath away? Yellowstone National Park is one of those places. With its geysers, hot springs, and an incredible landscape full of wildlife, it’s no surprise why Yellowstone has attracted visitors for decades.

It’s an extraordinary place full of natural beauty that promises adventure each time you visit.

From stunning hikes to unique attractions, there are plenty of activities and sights to explore in this fascinating park —all waiting to be discovered! Let’s look at the top things to do while visiting Yellowstone National Park.

1. Lone Star Geyser Trail

For those seeking a less crowded view of Yellowstone’s geysers, the hike to Lone Star Geyser is well worth the effort. Unlike other geothermal areas in the park with multiple geysers, Lone Star Geyser stands alone in the beautiful landscape.

A 2.4-mile hike is required to reach it, but the experience is unforgettable. The star of this trail is the regular, impressive eruptions of the geyser,  shooting water up to 45 ft into the air every three hours.

The surrounding country landscape is equally breathtaking, with scenic trees, marshland, and the Firehole River leading the way. Recent travelers have raved about this trail, describing the flat, easy terrain and stunning natural surroundings. If the geyser is not in eruption mode upon arrival, some have reported that it can start again after a short wait.

2. Grand Prismatic Spring

Check out the Grand Prismatic Spring, located within the Park’s Midway Geyser Basin, as one of the best things to do at Yellowstone National Park– it’s one of the coolest things to see in the area! The hot spring is enormous, measured at approximately 370 feet wide, with a depth of around 121 feet (that’s taller than a 10-story building, you all!).

However, the great thing about it is the rainbow of colors surrounding the waters. You’ll notice a blue center, with vibrant reds, greens, yellows, and fiery oranges encircling the edges thanks to happy bacteria thriving on minerals produced by the water.

It’s a bustling spot, though, so tote your patience. Why not aim to beat the crowds by heading over early in the morning (if the fog isn’t lingering), so you can get the whole experience? And, if you want the best views, check out the Fairy Falls overlook – your Insta will thank you!

3. Yellowstone Lake

Want to know one of the things to do in Yellowstone? Visiting Yellowstone Lake is a great place to start! It’s the biggest body of water in the park, covering a whopping 20 miles long and 14 miles wide.

You can’t swim here cause it’s too cold and could be fatal, but you can check out the scenery by hiking, fishing, or renting a boat. Remember, the lake’s frozen over by December till early June, making the start of the summer the perfect time for boating and fishing.

There are great hikes, like:

  • Pelican Creek Nature Trail
  • Storm Point Trail for a more leisurely hike
  • Elephant Back Mountrail Trail

These are a bit more challenging, offering superb lake views from their summits. If you want to go boating, take note of the cold temperatures and unpredictable winds, or join Yellowstone National Park Lodges on a guided tour.

Did you know that Yellowstone Lake is home to the largest population of cutthroat trout in North America, drawing most of the park’s anglers? Have fun fishing and admiring the beautiful scenery around the lake. Recent visitors shared they loved Yellowstone Lake and its clear waters and drove around, stopping at West Thumb Geyser Basin and other attractions and lookout points all the way around.

4. Mystic Falls Trail

Who says trails can’t be fun? Yellowstone actually has 900 miles of them. Mystic Falls Trail is a favorite, thanks to its 2.4-mile distance, which takes around 2-4 hours. It might not be the longest, but it’s certainly not short of fantastic scenery.

Before arriving at Mystic Falls, you’ll pass by a creek and mixed conifer forestry cascading down 70-foot-tall rocks. Pretty awesome, right? If you need a challenge (you wild adventurer, you), try the switchbacks that lead to an iconic overlook of Upper Geyser Basin.

Visitors who’ve embraced the extra 1.5 hikes to Upper Geyser Basin warn that it’s no walk in the park. Bring water, sunscreen, bug spray, and bear spray. One visitor almost came face-to-face with a bear! Friendly reminder, bears are pretty common in Yellowstone, so you’ve got to be switched on, even on the trails less traveled.

5. Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center

If you want to learn about Yellowstone’s awesome wildlife without going into the wilderness, visit the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. It’s a non-profit organization just outside of the park’s West Entrance in West Yellowstone, Montana, and it houses:

  • Bears
  • Fish
  • Snakes
  • Amphibians
  • Wolves
  • Raptors
  • Otters
  • And more

You’ll see live animals up close and learn about them with informative exhibits. They even have programs for kids! It can get cramped inside, but seeing the bears and wolves is worth it. If you’re worried about the crowds, go during the off-season.

6. Trout Lake Trail

Are you ready to explore Yellowstone but overwhelmed about where to hike with the fam? Look no further because Trout Lake Trail is your low-maintenance, low-risk, perfect trail. Check out the easy 1.2-mile flat loop, where you’ll be charmed through a forest with some of the best views of Douglas fir trees and hills exposing cliff faces.

Soak up the peaceful vibes at Trout Lake itself, where the surroundings are lovely, and so might the view that reflects at the topmost section of the lake if you’re lucky. Hikers have even spotted some cute faunas like river otters and bison! Besides the beautiful views and wildlife spotting, hikers love the secludedness of this trail.

Fewer visitors make for a welcome change from other crowded spots in the park. The climb at the start to the river may be challenging, so keep that in mind before hitting the trail.

Get an Up-Close and Personal View of Yellowstone National Park with Caravan

Yellowstone National Park is an awe-inspiring escape into the beauty of nature. Whether it’s marveling at the Old Faithful Geyser or escaping from the hustle and bustle of modern life on a hike through Yellowstone’s backcountry, there are many things to do in Yellowstone Park.

That’s why a guided tour with Caravan makes your Yellowstone experience even more special, as our knowledgeable tour guides provide easy access to the park’s natural wonders. So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to enjoy everything that Yellowstone has to offer!

Join us as we explore this natural wonderland, as we provide the best way to experience all this incredible national park has to offer! Call us at 1-800-CARAVAN or +1-312-321-9800 today and be part of a wilderness adventure like no other, knowing you’ve made the right choice in Caravan!

jasper national park

If you want a unique outdoor experience in Canada, head to Jasper National Park! From turquoise glacial lakes to snow-capped mountain peaks and beautiful wildlife, it is no wonder why this UNESCO World Heritage site continues to attract thousands of tourists each year. In the following blog post, we’ll explore the park’s best activities.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker searching for adventure or simply someone who loves nature and wants to take in stunning landscapes – there are plenty of things to do in Jasper National Park! Your next unforgettable exploration awaits: learn more about what makes this national park special.

1. Whitewater Rafting

Ready to get your heart racing and experience Jasper National Park like never before? Hop on a raft and conquer those rapids! Even families will enjoy the Athabasca River’s Class II rapids while staying cozy in provided wetsuits.

Feeling brave? Take on the Fraser or Sunwapta rivers, where the rapids reach Class III and will leave you breathless. Past adventurers rave about the stunning views and how fun it was for the whole family.

2. The Maligne Canyon

Looking for top things to do in Jasper National Park? Check out the Maligne Canyon, a narrow chasm that runs through the park for almost a mile. With a depth of over 150 feet and some sections only seven ft. wide, you’ll be blown away by the unique geological features. Plus, the canyon is surprisingly lush with plant life.

If you’re up for a hike, two trails guide you through this beautiful area. The shorter one takes you over four bridges, while the longer option includes two extra bridges and is slightly less crowded. Bear in mind that the parking lot near the trailhead fills up quickly, so try to arrive early.

Access to the canyon is included with park admission. Also, the trailhead area has the following amenities:

  • Restrooms
  • Gift shop
  • Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen (an excellent spot for a tasty lunch or dinner)

3. Glacier Skywalk

Want to experience the ultimate adrenaline rush and one of the best things to do in Jasper National Park? You can’t afford to miss the Glacier Skywalk! The skywalk spans the Sunwapta Valley at the park’s southern end. Brave adventure-seekers get to step into thin air over the natural edge of a 918-ft cliff, with nothing but a glass floor underfoot!

Drive your way to Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre, park your car, and hop on the complimentary shuttle to transport you every 15 minutes to and from the Skywalk. Hours vary, but you can usually experience the thrill from mid-April to mid-October. Make sure to add Glacier Skywalk to your itinerary to commemorate the best adventure of your life!

4. Athabasca Falls

Fancy a trip to Jasper National Park? Be sure to check out Athabasca Falls! It is photo-ready and conveniently located next to the Icefields Parkway — only 20 miles south of Jasper’s downtown. You won’t have to hike up a mountain to find these falls – parking is available mere steps away.

Don’t worry if the waterfall isn’t the highest — its incredible flow more than makes up for it. Photographers love this place, as there are loads of spots to snap that perfect shot.

Want to take it easy? Plenty of nearby trails are perfect for taking in the scenery. Visitors agree – Athabasca Falls is a must-see spot in Jasper National Park. You won’t need to clear your whole day for this spot but don’t miss checking out all the viewpoints. One last thing — this amazing place won’t cost you a dime!

5. The Jasper SkyTram

Ready for some jaw-dropping views in Jasper National Park? Jump on the Jasper SkyTram! In just over 7 minutes, you can fly high on Canada’s longest and tallest guided aerial tramway. Upon reaching The Whistlers mountain summit, feast your eyes on the following:

  • Mountain ranges
  • Vivid rivers
  • Lakes
  • Even the town of Jasper

That’s not all – with the company of one flight attendant (tour guide!), you’ll get inside scoops, answer fun questions and point out hidden gems. Now, let’s talk fashion! Past travelers suggest that wearing hiking shoes will give you an added advantage for hiking to the mountain’s peak, where you can enjoy more stunning panoramas.

If you’re planning your trip, the best time is on a clear, sunny day so you don’t miss anything. The Jasper SkyTram is a quick detour from the Icefields Parkway and is only 5 miles south of the center of Jasper. The tram’s operating hours vary according to the season, so it’s good to check beforehand.

The tram is closed from late October to late March, so plan your trip accordingly. Trust us; you’ll want to spend at least two hours here because this is one experience you sure wouldn’t wanna rush!

6. Maligne Lake

Cruise or paddle through the world’s second-largest glacier-fed lake, Maligne Lake, known for its turquoise waters and remarkable views of the Canadian Rockies, and include this in your top things to do in Jasper National Park.

Spirit Island is a must-see spot that can be reached by foot or rented watercraft. You can even join a motorcycle tour to visit this spectacular lake in Jasper National Park.

Even though this place is expensive, travelers who visited before advise you to carry a camera to take pictures of nature’s beauty. Along with exploring, you can also rent a canoe, kayak, or rowboat to roam around the cool water body while enjoying its scenic beauty.

All-Inclusive Experience for the Best Things To Do in Jasper National Park

There is no better way to experience the beauty of Jasper National Park than with Caravan tours. With our all-inclusive services, you’ll be able to experience all this Canadian gem has to offer without worrying about anything. Relax and enjoy the incredible scenery, spots for outdoor activities, majestic wildlife, and historical sites that make Jasper such a beloved park.

From getting picked up at your door to having all the equipment you need during your tour—everything is sorted out so you can just relax and enjoy! Explore with us and discover why Jasper is one of Canada’s most popular treasured destinations. So don’t wait! Call us at 1-800-CARAVAN or +1-312-321-9800 today to start planning your next once-in-a-lifetime memory at Jasper National Park!

banff national park

Ready to take on the majestic beauty of Canada’s Banff National Park? Before you start packing, let us give you a hand! With over 6,500 square kilometers of mountain wilderness and countless activities available, planning for the perfect trip can be challenging since there are many things to do in Banff National Park.

Worry no more! Before you embark on your journey, some items should be at the top of your packing list — from comfortable garments to helpful gadgets. Remember everything as we take a closer look at the essential things to bring on your Banff National Park tour!

1.  Pack for the Weather

Remember to be prepared for any type of weather. Even in summer, the temperatures vary significantly between day and night, so you’ll want to bring layers to stay warm when the sun goes down. A waterproof raincoat or anorak is also essential if you plan on exploring the trails during wetter months.

Remember a wide-brimmed hat, too — with all the outdoor activities available in Canada’s first national park. It’s important to protect yourself from too much sunshine! Don’t forget a good pair of walking shoes that can handle rough terrain. You’ll need them during your adventure!

2. Consider What You Need for Hiking

When hiking in Banff National Park, you want to ensure you have the right gear. Investing in a good pair of shoes is well worth it – the last thing you want is blisters on your first-day trekking! If you plan long hikes, trekking poles can be incredibly helpful for navigating tricky terrain and keeping a steady pace.

Don’t forget to bring snacks with you, too that can give you the fuel you need for long trails:

  • Energy bars
  • Nuts
  • Other light snacks

Preparing won’t just help keep your energy up but will also ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible! Additionally, if you plan on exploring some of the most remote parts of the national park, you’ll want to bring a few extra items.

A map and compass are essential for navigating your way through unfamiliar terrain. Getting plenty of water and extra layers is also important in case of sudden weather changes. When hiking in Banff National Park, being prepared is key!

Finally, don’t forget to pack:

  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • A hat

These items can make all the difference in an enjoyable experience outdoors! With the right equipment and supplies, your next tour of Banff National Park will be an unforgettable adventure.

3.  Don’t Forget Your Camera or Smartphone

When it comes to things to do in Banff National Park, you’ll want to make sure you have the right gear. Be sure to bring a camera or smartphone to capture this stunning national park’s incredible sights and sounds!

From majestic mountains and pristine lakes to wildlife sightings and hiking trails, plenty of photo ops will have you wanting to take more snapshots than ever before. After your tour is finished, you’ll be able to look back on these treasured memories for years to come! Always pack up your camera or smartphone when touring the park. It will make your trip even more memorable!

4. Think Comfortably

When visiting Banff National Park, make sure to think comfortably and wear breathable clothing appropriate for any weather conditions. This way, you can explore and enjoy all of the fantastic things to do in Banff without sacrificing comfort!

From taking a scenic drive through the mountains to going for a hike or walk, there are many ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of this national park. You can keep up with all your adventures with comfortable clothing suitable for any season, so plan and pack smartly!

5. Fully equipped with First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is necessary for any outdoorsy adventure and things to do in Banff, Canada. Whether taking a scenic hike on the mountain trails, rafting down the Bow River, or simply exploring the city streets, having a handy first aid kit is essential to ensure your safety.

It should include all necessary items to treat minor injuries, such as bandages and antiseptics to protect you from environmental hazards. Be sure always to keep it fully stocked and with you when adventuring in this beautiful corner of Canada! You never know when an unexpected accident could occur – so be prepared by keeping your first aid kit close!

6. Get an Even Closer Look With Binoculars

If you already have a list of things to do in Banff and want an even closer look at the park’s beauty during your tour, consider bringing a pair of binoculars. Binoculars will help ensure you don’t miss any of the park’s scenic wonders!

Whether spotting a herd of elk grazing in the meadows or watching a bald eagle soar above you, binoculars will give you an up-close and personal experience with nature. Not only can they be used for wildlife watching, but they can also be used to marvel at the stunning vistas Banff offers from afar.

7. Fun Extras

To make the most of your time in this awe-inspiring mountain paradise, it’s worth bringing some fun extras that will help enhance your trip. A thermos or portable coffee maker will be helpful for those early morning hikes when a hot drink is needed to get you going.

If camping is part of your plans, remember to bring a campfire cooking set to enjoy some delicious gourmet meals while enjoying the stunning views. If you have extra space, why not take an inflatable kayak or canoe to explore the inland waterways?

Pack a hammock and hang it between two trees for some serious relaxation time. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy watching the stars come out at night! There are tons of things to do in Banff, Canada, for everyone, and these fun extras will help make your trip truly unforgettable.

Experience Canada’s Banff National Park Like Never Before With Caravan Tours!

Now that you know exactly what to bring with you on your Banff National Park Caravan tour, all you have left to do is book your trip! Caravan is the CostCo of tour companies that will provide exceptional views, memories, first-rate comfort, and convenience.

Indeed, this once-in-a-lifetime voyage could be a major highlight in your life – so don’t miss out! Whether a solo trip or a family outing, this Canadian landmark has something for everyone. The beauty of the landscape, the variety of activities, and the accommodating accommodations all make it an unforgettable experience.

Now that we’ve broken down what to bring on this fantastic expedition, all that’s needed is for you to call us at 1-800-CARAVAN or +1-312-321-9800 and book today! Your Canada tour awaits!

Unsurprisingly, Nova Scotia is one of the most breathtaking places to visit year-round. However, when it comes to exploring scenic views during the autumn months, there’s nothing quite like the sights of this Canadian province! The brilliant fall foliage lighting up all corners of this gem in Eastern Canada will take your breath away and create a lifetime memory.

When planning a trip to witness these beautiful fall colors, it helps to know what times are optimal for experiencing them at their best. For your reference, we will share our expert advice on when you should plan your trip and what sites you need to see while in Nova Scotia during autumn.

Get ready for a fantastic experience of orange trees, vibrant red maples, gold sugarbushes, and even some purple ash trees – they won’t disappoint!


Nova Scotia’s Fall Foliage and Why It Is a Must-see Destination

If you want to witness fall foliage and a unique travel experience, look no further than Nova Scotia. With its coastal scenery, vibrant colors, and warm hospitality, it’s easy to see why this region of Canada is becoming increasingly popular with visitors worldwide. The views of the forests are unparalleled – you can expect to find trees illuminated in oranges, reds, and yellows as far as the eye can see.

In addition to being a beautiful sight, plenty of activities are available to enjoy during your visit. Hiking trails will take you through some of the most scenic parts of Nova Scotia while keeping you safe from any wildlife encounters. There are also numerous festivals throughout autumn celebrating the season’s bounty – be sure to check out the October Apple Festival in Wolfville or the Pumpkin People Festival in Mahone Bay.

With abundant activities, stunning scenery, and vibrant communities, Nova Scotia is a must-see destination for anyone looking to experience fall foliage at its finest. Grab your camera, book your tour, and head off on a memorable journey! You won’t regret it.

When is the best time to visit Nova Scotia for fall colors?

The best time to visit Nova Scotia for fall colors is mid-October. The second week of the month offers you the most vibrant palate of autumnal hues that will take your breath away! With its diverse tree species, beautiful viewpoints, and mesmerizing water basins, Nova Scotia truly comes alive during this season. If you’re looking for a stunningly colorful display of nature’s beauty, make sure to plan your trip around this time.

Where can I see fall colors in Nova Scotia?

If you’re looking for fall foliage in Nova Scotia, the good news is there are plenty of amazing places to enjoy it. From urban parks to remote nature reserves and world-famous oceanfront drives, every corner of Nova Scotia offers incredible views of autumn colors. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Kejimkujik National Park & National Historic Site: Located in south-central Nova Scotia, Kejimkujik is a beautiful park where you can see everything from bright red maple trees to orange birch and yellow poplar trees. There are plenty of hiking trails and picnic spots to enjoy.
  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park: Located on the island’s northern tip, this park is renowned for its rugged coastal beauty and dramatic cliffs. It’s also home to some of Nova Scotia’s most spectacular fall foliage displays. Here, you can drive along the ‘Cabot Trail’ for stunning views of autumnal colors in every direction.
  • Halifax Public Gardens: The capital city’s public gardens offer an ideal space for admiring nature in all seasons, including fall. Take a walk around the beautiful Victorian-style gardens and enjoy the sight of colorful trees reflected in the pond beneath them.
  • Annapolis Valley: The region’s rolling hills, orchards, and vineyards provide a perfect backdrop for viewing the seasonal change in foliage. As you drive along the valley’s winding roads, be prepared to stop at every turn for stunning views of red maple trees, orange oaks, and yellow birch.

With so many beautiful places to see fall foliage in Nova Scotia, you’ll never have to wonder, “Where can I see fall colors in Nova Scotia?”. Why not get out and enjoy the colors of autumn? It’s time to unwind and have fun in this paradise during this season.

What types of activities can be enjoyed during the fall season?

Fall is among the best times to explore Nova Scotia and its beautiful scenery. Many activities can be enjoyed during this season, from outdoor sports to cozy evenings spent inside. Here are some of the activities you can enjoy:

  • Outdoor Adventure: The crisp air and changing leaves make fall an ideal time for outdoor exploration in Nova Scotia. Hike along a coastal trail, drive through rolling hills dotted with colorful foliage, or kayak on one of the province’s many rivers or lakes – all perfect family-friendly activities for fall!
  • Indoor Activities: If you’re looking for something more low-key but still want to enjoy the sights and sounds of autumn, there’s plenty to do indoors in Nova Scotia as well. From checking out a local museum or art gallery to attending a theatre show – there’s always something to entertain and engage.
  • Fall Food: Autumn starts the harvest season in Nova Scotia, meaning it’s time for delicious food! Take a trip to a nearby farmers market, enjoy classic dishes like pumpkin pie or apple cider donuts, or sample some of Nova Scotia’s famous seafood chowder, lobster rolls, and smoked salmon dishes.


Get an all-inclusive tour of Nova Scotia!

For travelers looking to experience the fall foliage of Nova Scotia and take advantage of cost savings, an all-in tour is a perfect way to do both! Since 1952, Caravan has offered fully guided tours and everything included at one flat rate.

From lodgings and activities to food and transportation all across Canada, we have you covered – no options or add-ons to worry about. Moreover, Caravan prides itself as the “Costco of tour companies,” offering fantastic value, broad appeal, and a wide range of destinations. With our tours open to people from all over the world, these exciting opportunities await!

If an authentic ‘fall color’ experience is what you seek, contact us at 1-800-CARAVAN or +1-312-321-9800 for your next adventure filled with incredible memories!

best time to visit the great smoky mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spanning over 800 square miles of lush greenery and rugged terrain, is a hub for breathtaking scenery, wildlife, and outdoor adventure, drawing millions of visitors every year.

Figuring out the best time to visit can be challenging, but ultimately, it’s all about what you want from your trip. Spring offers wildflowers and pleasant weather, while fall tempts with vibrant foliage and cooler hiking conditions.

But with so many things to see and do in the Smoky Mountains, it can be challenging to determine the best time to visit in a short answer. In this blog post, we will explore each season and the activities that make it the best time to visit the Smoky Mountains.

Spring (March – May)

Spring is an ideal time to visit the Smoky Mountains, as the park comes to life with the blooming of wildflowers, trees, and shrubs. The weather is mild, and the days are longer, making it the perfect season for hiking, camping, and outdoor exploration.

March is the beginning of the blooming season, and you can see colorful flowers like trilliums, violets, and lady slipper orchids. April is when the Dogwood trees bloom, creating a beautiful backdrop for hiking trails and scenic drives. May is the best time to see the synchronous fireflies, a unique natural phenomenon where thousands of fireflies flash in unison.

One of the most popular events in the Smoky Mountains during spring is the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. This event, which usually takes place in April, is a week-long celebration of the park’s wildflowers and other natural wonders. During this time, visitors can participate in guided hikes, workshops, and seminars led by experts in various fields of natural science.

Another activity that makes spring an ideal time to visit the Smoky Mountains is fishing. The park’s rivers and streams are stocked with rainbow, brown, and brook trout, making it a popular destination for anglers. March and April are the best months for fly-fishing, while May and June are ideal for spin fishing.

Summer (June – August)

Summer is the peak tourist season in the Smoky Mountains, and for a good reason. The weather is warm, and the park is bustling with activity.

June is the best time for wildflower enthusiasts, as you can see the blooming of Mountain Laurel, Rhododendron, and Flame Azaleas. July is a great month for fishing, as the park’s rivers and streams are stocked with rainbow trout. August is the best month for berry picking, as blackberries and raspberries are in season.

One of the highlights of summer in the Smoky Mountains is the Fourth of July celebration. The park hosts several events during this time, including parades, picnics, and fireworks displays. Visitors can also enjoy outdoor concerts and other performances at various locations throughout the park.

Summer is also the best season for camping in the Smoky Mountains. The park has numerous campgrounds, ranging from backcountry sites to fully equipped RV parks.

Some of the most popular campgrounds in the park include Elkmont Campground, Cades Cove Campground, and Smokemont Campground.

Fall (September – November)

Fall is the most popular time to visit the Smoky Mountains, as the park transforms into a sea of vibrant colors. September is the beginning of the fall foliage season, and the park is filled with hues of red, orange, and yellow.

October is the peak of the foliage season, and you can see the park’s iconic vistas like Clingmans Dome, Cades Cove, and Newfound Gap. November is a quieter time to visit the park, and you can still catch the tail end of the foliage season.

One of the most popular events in the Smoky Mountains during the fall season is the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair. This event, which takes place in October, is one of the largest gatherings of artisans and craftsmen in the region. Visitors can browse through thousands of handcrafted items, watch demonstrations, and even participate in hands-on workshops.

Another popular fall activity in the Smoky Mountains is hiking. With the cooler temperatures and breathtaking fall foliage, hiking in the park during this season is an unforgettable experience.

Some of the most popular hiking trails in the park include the Alum Cave Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and the Laurel Falls Trail.

Fall is also a great time for wildlife viewing in the Smoky Mountains. The park is home to over 60 species of mammals, including black bears, elk, and white-tailed deer. Visitors can also spot a variety of birds, including hawks, eagles, and wild turkeys.

Winter (December – February)

Winter is the least popular time to visit the Smoky Mountains, but it has its own charm. December is the best time to see the park’s Christmas lights and decorations, especially in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

January and February are the best months for snow activities, like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. The park’s higher elevations also provide excellent opportunities for winter hiking and wildlife viewing.

One of the most popular winter activities in the Smoky Mountains is skiing. Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort and Snow Tubing is the only ski resort in Tennessee and offers skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. Visitors can also take a scenic aerial tram ride to the resort for breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains.

Winter is also a great time for wildlife viewing in the Smoky Mountains. With the trees bare of leaves, visitors can spot a variety of animals that are usually hidden during the other seasons. The park’s higher elevations are especially good for spotting wildlife, including black bears, elk, and deer.


The Smoky Mountains offer a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors throughout the year. Spring is ideal for wildflower enthusiasts and fishing, while summer is perfect for camping, outdoor concerts, and berry picking.

Fall is the most popular time to visit the park, with its breathtaking fall foliage and outdoor activities like hiking and wildlife viewing. Winter may be the least popular season, but it has its own charm, with skiing, snow activities, and unique winter wildlife viewing opportunities.

No matter which season you choose to visit the Smoky Mountains, you are sure to be captivated by the park’s natural beauty and unique attractions.

How Long Should You Stay in the Great Smoky Mountains?

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. Located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, the park covers over 800 square miles and is home to a diverse range of wildlife, plant life, and scenic vistas.

Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, the Great Smoky Mountains offers something for everyone.

But how many days do you need to truly experience all that this incredible park has to offer? A quick visit can offer a snapshot of the park’s beauty, but a stay of 3-5 days allows a deeper exploration of its diverse trails and landmarks.

For a detailed breakdown of how to maximize your time and experiences in the Smokies, keep reading as we delve into the ideal itinerary for your visit.

One Day Visit

If you only have one day to spend in the Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll need to be strategic with your time. It’s impossible to see everything in just one day, but there are a few key highlights you can focus on.

Start your day by driving along the scenic Newfound Gap Road, which offers breathtaking views of the park’s highest peaks. Stop at the Clingmans Dome Visitor Center and hike the half-mile trail to the observation tower for panoramic views of the park.

From there, head to Cades Cove, a historic valley that offers a glimpse into the region’s past. You can explore the valley by car or bike and stop at various historic sites along the way, including churches, log cabins, and a working grist mill. End your day with a hike to Laurel Falls, a picturesque waterfall that’s accessible via a moderate 2.6-mile round-trip hike.

Two to Three Day Visit

If you have a little more time to spend in the Great Smoky Mountains, you can explore more of the park’s diverse landscapes and wildlife.

In addition to the highlights mentioned above, consider taking a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

You can also hike to the top of Mount LeConte, one of the park’s highest peaks, via the Alum Cave Trail or the Rainbow Falls Trail. Both hikes offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. If you’re interested in wildlife, consider taking a guided tour to spot black bears, elk, and other native animals.

And if you’re looking for a unique experience, consider camping in one of the park’s designated campgrounds, where you can sleep under the stars and wake up to the sounds of nature.

Four to Seven Day Visit

If you have a week or more to spend in the Great Smoky Mountains, you can truly immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty and rich history.

In addition to the activities mentioned above, consider taking a backcountry hike or backpacking trip to explore some of the park’s more remote areas. The park offers over 800 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging multi-day hikes.

You can also explore the region’s rich cultural history by visiting historic sites such as the Mountain Farm Museum, the Oconaluftee Indian Village, and the Mingus Mill. And if you’re interested in scenic drives, consider taking the Foothills Parkway, which offers stunning views of the surrounding foothills and valleys.

More than a Week Visit

If you have more than a week to spend in the Great Smoky Mountains, you can truly immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty and explore some of the surrounding regions.

In addition to the activities mentioned above, consider exploring nearby towns such as Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, which offer a wide range of attractions and entertainment options. You can also visit other nearby national parks, such as the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park, and the Great Sand Dunes National Park.


The ideal length of time to spend in the Great Smoky Mountains really depends on what you want to see and do. If you’re short on time, you can still experience some of the park’s highlights in a single day.

However, if you’re looking to truly immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty and explore all that it has to offer, we recommend spending at least four to seven days in the area.