How To Survive the Winter Blues

Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountains are within a day’s drive of more than 60% of the nation’s population? Sanctuary Treehouse Resort is located in Sevierville, Tennessee, the gateway to the Smokies, and is the perfect place to stay to shake away the winter blues. Each of our treehouses has a wood-burning fireplace on the back deck, an LED electric fireplace inside, and lots of snuggly blankets and luxury linens to cuddle up in and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa among the many complimentary items that are stocked in the coffee bar inside each treehouse. And the best part? Sanctuary Treehouse Resort has just opened another seven treehouses for 2024 with all new individual themes and the breathtaking views and unique amenities they have become widely known for! Although sitting by the fire may be all you want to do while you are here, here are some suggestions for some other activities you may enjoy.

Winter Weather in the Smokies

According to the National Park Service, about half of the days in the winter in the Smokies have high temperatures of 50 degrees or more, most nights have lows at or below freezing, and the lower elevations typically see snows of 1” or more than 1 to 5 times during the winter season. The higher elevations frequently see much colder temperatures and more snow accumulations.

Check the local weather before you go out exploring, and make sure you have extra warm, dry clothes, bottled water, and some snacks with you. Weather changes quickly in the Smokies, so it is always good to be prepared, especially if you want to enjoy a nice winter hike.

Good Winter Hikes in the Smokies

  • Trillium Gap Trail is an 8.9-mile round trip hike that starts on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and leads you to Grotto Falls Trail. If you are an avid hiker, you can hike to the top of Mount LeConte from this trailhead. The hike to Grotto Falls is a 2.8-mile round-trip hike, and you can go behind the falls on this hike. This hike will provide beautiful views of water cascades and falls. The Grotto Falls hike is one of the more accessible hikes and is very popular, so you may want to get to the trailhead early in the morning to beat the crowds. Remember to purchase your parking pass to park in the National Park
  • Laurel Falls Trail is a shorter 2.5-mile round-trip hike that is close to Gatlinburg and is a more leisurely hike that is ideal for hikers of all skill levels. This trail ends at the beautiful Laurel Falls, an 80-foot-high waterfall named for the beautiful ever-green mountain laurel.
  • If you are a more experienced hiker and like a bit of a challenge, the Alum Cave Trail meanders about 2.3 miles and has a 1,200-foot elevation change in that seemingly short distance. This trail ends at the Alum Cave Bluffs, and the icicle formations that appear in the winter are quite amazing to see.

Other Winter Activities

If hiking isn’t your cup of tea, there are other winter fun activities you may enjoy.


  • Snow Tubing at Ober Mountain. This is an activity the entire family can enjoy. Each snow tubing session is 90 minutes of fun and happens regardless of weather conditions. Due to its popularity, you can purchase your tickets online and give yourself plenty of time to ride the Aerial Tramway to Ober Mountain.
  • Skiing and Snowboarding at Ober Mountain. Hopefully, the slopes will open in December; we are just waiting for Mother Nature to give her nod to kick off ski season. All up-to-date information on the ski conditions can be found by clicking here.
  • Indoor snow tubing at Pigeon Forge Snow. Enjoy snow tubing or building a snowman year-round at Pigeon Forge Snow, America’s first indoor snow park. Snow is made daily from 100% pure water for snow play year-round.
  • Smoky Mountain Winterfest is celebrated throughout all of Sevier County. Winterfest is celebrated from November 9, 2023, through February 18, 2024, when millions of twinkling lights come together in elaborate displays around the Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg areas.
  • Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland at Soaky Mountain Waterpark is a drive-thru extravagant Christmas light show synchronized to music and has become a favorite family tradition for many. After you drive through the show, stop to enjoy some refreshments and visit with jolly old St. Nick.
  • Ice skating at Wilderness at the Smokies Waterpark Resort is open from November 10, 2023 – January 15, 2024. Enjoy skating on the 3200 square foot ice skating rink, where the festive spirit comes to life with music and holiday lights, and you can warm up the rink-side with some delicious hot cocoa and s’mores.