Want to visit Gatlinburg in June? There's so much to explore during early summer in the Great Smoky Mountains, but where should you begin? To start planning your trip, check out these top 5 things to do in Gatlinburg in June!
1. Get Outside
Gatlinburg is located just outside of a true national treasure – The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so this top-rated destination is the perfect place to get outside.
By June, visitors to Gatlinburg can expect lots of warm sunny weather that's broken up by an occasional thunderstorm. This time of year is ideal for visiting outdoor attractions like Dollywood and for going horseback riding in the national park.
All in all, the weather is warm and mild during the month of June.
- Average High - 84°F
- Average Low - 71°F
By summer, all regions of the park are open to visitors. Here are some fantastic summertime adventures to try on your next vacation to Gatlinburg.
- Drive The Newfound Gap Road To Clingmans Dome – Climb high into the mountains on this historic roadway that links Tennessee and North Carolina. You'll be treated to incredible views of the mountains along the way. At Clingmans Dome, take the 0.5 mile hike to the observation tower to appreciate views from the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which rests at 6,644 Ft above sea level.
- Watch Wildlife in Cades Cove – This peaceful valley is features historic homesteads, beautiful wildflowers, and lots of deer, turkey, and bear. Cades Cove is arguably the best place to see wildlife in the national park, so don't forget to bring your camera. To get the most out of your trip, arrive at Cades Cove early in the morning to see wildlife when they are most active.
- Hike To Mt LeConte – Mt. LeConte is the 3rd tallest peak in the Smokies and is regarded as one of the most scenic peaks in the Eastern United States. At a round trip distance of 10 miles, Alum Cave trail is the shortest route to the summit. This day-hike is challenging, however you'll get to visit geologic oddities Arch Rock and Alum Cave Bluffs.
- See Panoramic Views From Andrews Bald – This short hike from the Clingmans Dome area is less than a 5 mile round trip and this hike has an incredible reward. Simply take the Forney Ridge trail to this high elevation bald in the North Carolina side of the park.
2. Find Swimming Holes and Waterfalls in the National Park
While the weather is warm and sunny, it’s the perfect time to cool off in the pristine waters of the Great Smoky Mountains.
If you just want to dip your feet in and sit out on the rocks, you won't have any trouble finding a stream to relax by. After all, there are over 2000 miles of streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tremont and Elkmont are regions of the park that are especially nice for playing in the water.
Some of the best swimming holes in the Smokies are:
- The Sinks Waterfall
- The Wye at Townsend
- The Midnight Hole on Big Creek Trail
Going tubing on the Little River in Townsend is another excellent way to stay cool in the summer. Along with spending a day at Dollywood Splash Country, there are lots of great ways to beat the heat during your stay in Gatlinburg.
3. Explore Downtown Gatlinburg With the Free Parkway Trolley
When you aren't exploring the wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can enjoy free rides on the trolley to tour Gatlinburg's picturesque downtown area.
Starting in June, open-air, free parkway trolleys start making routes in Gatlinburg. To quickly explore Gatlinburg's top attractions, simply use this trolley locator and hop on for a free trip!
4. See The Fireflies at Elkmont
During the month of June, Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains are the sight of an incredible nighttime show.
It's known as the "Synchronous Firefly" event and its one of the rarest natural spectacle in the world. During a couple weeks in late May and early June, a particular species of firefly in the national park blink on and off at the same time in large numbers.
This event is known to happen in only a few areas of the national park, however Elkmont Campground is the site of the largest displays.
To see the fireflies, you'll have to enter a lottery system for a chance to get a parking pass for the event. There's overwhelming demand to see the fireflies, so the park service limits the number of spectators to protect this wondrous nighttime display for future generations.
5. Check Out Smoky Mountains Tunes and Tales
Of all Gatlinburg's June events, Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales is a real treasure.
Starting in early Summer, performers in period costume take the streets of Gatlinburg to play authentic mountain music, dance, and spin tall tales from 6 pm to 11 pm.
Starting on evenings in June, you can find this band of merry-makers sharing a unique bit of Smoky Mountain culture. Be sure not to miss these Gatlinburg street concerts and crafts demonstrations in the heart of downtown!
Start planning your June vacation to Gatlinburg, TN by reserving your own cabin in the Smokies!
Better yet, Cabins USA Gatlinburg is offering a special June deal of a 15% discount on your nightly rate. Simply find a cabin that's available for the dates of your trip and see how much you can save on your getaway!
Written by Hayden Brown