Fall Colors in the Smoky Mountains


The fall is a beautiful season, particularly in the Smoky Mountains and Pigeon Forge. Many people come to our cabins in Pigeon Forge and the Smokies during October and November to view the changing of the leaves and take in the beauty that the Smokies provide during this season. The oranges, yellows, and browns are magnificent and extend all the way to the top of the highest peaks in the Smokies. Hiking, biking, and nature touring are common during this time of year, and it’s hard not to wonder how the beautiful colors come and go so gracefully.

The colors in the Smokies can actually be associated with different plants and trees.

We’ve put together a list of some of the colors and associated plant life with Pigeon Forge and Smoky Mountains fall colors here:

  • Red fall colors in the Smoky Mountains and Pigeon Forge can be associated with Pin Cherry, Sourwood Dogwood, Maple, and Sumac.
  • Yellow fall colors in the Smoky Mountains and Pigeon Forge can be associated with Mountain Ash, Flowering Beech, Hickory, Buckeye, and Yellow Poplar.
    Scarlet fall colors in the Smoky Mountains can be associated with Red Maple.
    Crimson fall colors in the Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge can be associated with Blackberry and Blueberry Bushes.
  • Yellow, Scarlet, and Orange fall colors can be associated with Sugar Maples.
  • Deep Purple and Yellow fall colors are associated with Sweet Gum in the Smoky Mountains and Pigeon Forge.
  • Yellow Red colors fall is associated with Hobble in The Smokies and Pigeon Forge.

There are five forest types in the Smoky Mountains including Spruce Fir, Northern Hardwood, Pine Oak, Hemlock, and Cove Hardwood. Small sections of the Smoky Mountains are actually considered rain forest due to precipitation. The leaves change color because the green pigment in leaves begin to deteriorate at the end of summer. Then Carotenoids and anthocyanins cause pigmentation that brings orange, yellow, reds, and purples.

Nps.gov suggests the following hikes during the fall Smoky Mountains and Pigeon Forge:
Forney Ridge, Ramsey Cascades, Apalachian Trail, Rich Mountain Loop, Clingmans Dome, Mount Sterling, and Mount Cammerer.

They also suggests some good driving routes: Clingman’s Dome Road, Balsam Mountain Road, Blue Ridge Parkway, Foothills Parkway East, and Oconaluftee Overlook.

You may also want to read about the winter in Pigeon Forge, TN.