smoky mountains

7 Tips for Enjoying a Winter Hike in the Smoky Mountains

Little girls hiking in the snow in the Smoky Mountains
November 27, 2014

If you’re going to rent a cabin in Gatlinburg, it’s almost a given that you’ll have to go hiking. That’s half the fun of a mountain vacation! However, if you’re going to go for a winter hike in the Smoky Mountains, there are a few extra things you need to do to prepare. Hikes in the snow and cold pose extra risks, but with a little effort, you can make sure you’re ready for anything that comes your way!
(See Also: 6 Ways to Stay Warm in Your Gatlinburg Cabin This Winter)
1. Determine your route ahead of time.
Taking a spontaneous shortcut can be a fun adventure, but in the winter, the snow can cover up your previous tracks, or an unexpected temperature drop can force you to come home early. Plan ahead to be safe.
2. Tell someone where you’re going.
This is important for any outdoor adventure, but it’s especially essential in snowy weather, when getting lost or hurting yourself can get more dangerous more quickly.


3. Bundle up.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but what feels comfortable when you first step outside can feel colder and colder as you walk. Make especially sure to cover your nose, ears, and fingers!
4. Hike in the morning.
It gets dark pretty early in the winter, so afternoon walks can get cut short or, worse, leave you wandering the mountains in the dark.
5. Bring a camera.
This isn’t just for taking pictures of the gorgeous scenery. If it snows while you’re out, landmarks can start looking very different, and comparing your earlier photo to what you see now can keep you from losing your way.
6. Pay attention to the weather.
Don’t press on to finish a hike in heavy snow. You can try again another day. Get yourself to safety if it’s hard to see or uncomfortably cold.


7. Pack the essentials.
Everything you need for a summer hike should be in your bag here too: flashlight, matches, first aid kit, and plenty of water.
Stay at Alpine Chalet Rentals on your next winter vacation, and you’ll have the best hiking stories and pictures to show off to your friends at home! Browse our collection of Cabins in Gatlinburg to find the perfect place to stay for your getaway in the Smokies.