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Because of its generally warm climate, the Great Smoky Mountains are open 24-hours a day, all year round. However, during the winter months, various secondary campgrounds, roads and visitor facilities are closed.
Main roads like Newfound Gap Road (US-441), the Cades Loop Road and Little River Rock Road are open 365 days a year, weather permitting. Secondary Roads will potentially be closed during specific seasons. Here are the yearly opening and closing schedules for the park’s roads:
- Cades Cove Loop Road – From May 8th to September 25th, the Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to all motor vehicles in order to let hikers and bicyclists enjoy the surrounding area. Other than these specific times, as long as weather permits, the road is open from sunrise to sunset.
- Clingmans Dome Road – Open from April 1st to December 1st
- Forge Creek Road – Due to high amounts of mud, this road is subject to closing from December to the middle of April.
- Little Greenbrier Road – Open from April 12th until the last day of December. There are no motorhomes, buses or RVs allowed on this road
- Parson Branch Road – Open from April 11th to November 17th. Because this road is one way and made from gravel, no motorhomes, buses or RVs are allowed. Additionally, there is no access to Parson Branch Road when Forge Creek Road is not open.
- Rich Branch Road – Open from March 22nd to November 17th. Motorhomes, RVs and buses are not allowed on this road.
- Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail – Open from April 12th to November 30th. Motorhomes, RVs and buses are not allowed on this road.
- Roundbottom/Straight Fork Road – Open from April 1st to November 11th.
The designated picnicking areas at Greenbrier, Deep Creek, Metcalf Bottoms and Cades Cove are open all year round. All of the other park picnic areas are closed during the winter months.
Historic Grist Mills
- Cable Mill in Cades Cove – Open from March 12th to the Sunday after Thanksgiving from 9:00 to 5:00
- Mingus Mill located near Oconaluftee – Open from March 12th to the Sunday after Thanksgiving from 9:00 to 5:00