Smoky Mountains covered in snow

5 Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains in January

January 3, 2024

Are you visiting the Smoky Mountains in January? There are so many great things to see and do this time of year! If you need help planning your vacation itinerary, check out these awesome things to do in the Smoky Mountains in January that you should definitely add to your to-do list!

1. Hike a Trail

One of the most popular things to do in the Smoky mountains in January is hiking. This is a great way to enjoy the winter scenery in the mountains in an up close and personal way. There are hiking trails for every experience level, ranging from short, easy hikes for beginners to long, challenging hikes for experienced hikers. Some hiking trails lead to breathtaking views of snow-covered mountain vistas, while others lead to views of gorgeous waterfalls.

2. Take a Scenic Drive

Snow-covered trees and mountain view in Cades Cove at sunrise

Do you want to get a close look at nature without braving the cold weather? Take a scenic drive through the mountains. A scenic drive lets you see beautiful mountain views from the comfort of your vehicle. You can drive along roads that meander through the mountains and stop at overlooks to capture photos of the mountain landscape. Some of the most popular scenic drives you can take through the Smoky Mountains in January include Newfound Gap Road, Cades Cove Loop Road, and Foothills Parkway.

3. Go Snow Tubing

You can’t visit the Smoky Mountains in January without participating in some snowy fun! You should definitely go snow tubing in Pigeon Forge during your winter vacation to experience the thrill of racing down a snow-covered hill. Rowdy Bear’s Smoky Mountain Snowpark has the longest snow tubing hill in the state at 500 feet in length. You’ll enjoy an exhilarating 70-foot total drop, giving you plenty of speed as you glide across the real snow. Each session is 90 minutes long, so you’ll have plenty of time to tube downhill over and over again.

4. Experience Smoky Mountain Winterfest

skyland festival of lights presented by food city logo

The holiday spirit is still alive and well in the Smoky Mountains in January! Smoky Mountain Winterfest continues through the month of January until mid-February. That means you can still see more than 15 million festive lights glowing bright throughout Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. One especially great way to see larger-than-life light displays is at SkyLand’s Festival of Lights at The Ranch presented by Food City. This Christmas festival offers extravagant holiday displays that you can see from the Horizon Skyride and on foot. This event can be enjoyed at SkyLand Ranch until February 18.

5. Explore SkyLand Ranch

If you’re looking for something fun to do in the Smoky Mountains in January, then you should visit SkyLand Ranch! There are so many exciting things to do at The Ranch, from The Wild Stallion Mountain Coaster and the Horizon Skyride to miniature animal encounters and live entertainment. You can also enjoy 360-degree views of the Smoky Mountains from Legacy Lookout. For additional family-friendly fun, check out SkyLand Mining Company, SkyLand Shootout, Buckaroo Playbarn, and the Safari Hayride at SkyLand Ranch. If you start to feel a little chilly, you can warm up with hot chocolate, coffee, or soup from SkyLand Cafe & Bakery!

Plan Your Trip to SkyLand Ranch

These are some of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in January that are sure to offer lots of fun and great views! You can enjoy both fun activities and beautiful sights when you visit SkyLand Ranch. Start planning your trip to SkyLand Ranch today and book your tickets online so you can enjoy all that the Smokies have to offer this time of year!

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