Smoky Mountains Wind Down Toward Winter
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has announced its winter operating schedule. As cooler weather approaches and visitation decreases, various facilities will close, including campgrounds and picnic areas, and operating hours for some visitor services will be reduced.
All dates are subject to minor changes depending on weather conditions over the winter season, the Knoxville Daily Sun reported..
Hours through Dec. 1
• Sugarlands Visitor Center, located 2 miles south of Gatlinburg, Tenn., and the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, located 2 miles north of Cherokee, N.C., will serve visitors from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
• Cades Cove Visitor Center, located halfway around the Cades Cove Loop Road, near Townsend, Tenn., will be opened daily from 9 a.m-5:30 p.m.
• Clingmans Dome Visitor Contact Station, located near theClingmans Dome Parking Lot, will be open each day from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Hours after Dec. 1
• Sugarlands Visitor Center and Oconaluftee Visitor Center will be open daily from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
• Cades Cove Visitor Center will be open from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
• Clingmans Dome Visitor Contact Station will be closed.
The visitor center hours are posted on the Park’s website,www.nps.gov/grsm.
Several of the secondary roads are scheduled to close as follows: The two-way segment of the Roundbottom/Straight Fork Road, just outside Cherokee, will close on November 12. Parson Branch and Rich Mountain Roads will close on November 18, and Clingmans Dome and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail on December 2.
During the winter months, the Park’s two main roads, Newfound Gap (U.S. 441) and Little River, will remain open throughout the year, except for temporary closures for extreme winter weather conditions.
The Gatlinburg Bypass, Cades Cove Loop Road, Cosby Road, Greenbrier Road, Upper Tremont, Forge Creek, Lakeview Drive, and Foothills Parkway (East and West) will open and close as road and weather conditions mandate.
For information about road conditions throughout the season, please visit the Park’s website at www.nps.gov/grsm, call the Park’s Road and Weather Information Line at 865-436-1200 and follow the prompts, or follow us on Twitter atSmokiesRoadsNPS.
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