How Bad Is Traffic in Gatlinburg?

March 3, 2023

how bad is traffic in gatlinburg

If you’re planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains, you’ll likely have questions about how bad is traffic in gatlinburg. After all, the parkways and historic downtown make the area a favorite of families and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

While it’s true that Gatlinburg’s parkways can get pretty busy in the summer and fall, there are ways to avoid some of the congestion. With a little preparation and smart planning, you can make your vacation to the Smoky Mountains stress-free.

Plan Your Trip During the Week

One of the best ways to avoid traffic in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg is by visiting during the off-season. This means winter, spring and summer, as well as any time school isn’t in session.

Don’t Visit During Events

Many Smoky Mountain events draw in crowds and create extra traffic, so it’s important to plan your vacation around those. This means not visiting during popular rod runs and parades, as well as holiday weekends.

Instead, look for cabins in downtown Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge that put you within walking distance of attractions. That way, you can walk to the parks and shop without having to worry about traffic.

Another helpful tip is to arrive early and stay late during your trip, avoiding the most traffic hours of the day. Traveling during off-peak times will help you avoid traffic while still having plenty of fun.

Walk or Ride the Trolley

The Gatlinburg trolley will give you a relaxing sightseeing experience while eliminating parking fees and pesky traffic. It is a great option for people who want to see all the Smoky Mountains have to offer, but don’t like to drive.


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
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