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Road through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

How to Avoid Heavy Traffic in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Traffic in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. It’s the one thing that may stress you out when it comes to taking a Smoky Mountain vacation. No one likes sitting in any kind of traffic, but when you’re on vacation, you probably really want to avoid it. Here’s how:

Best Travel Times

Even though this is true for more than just the Smoky Mountains area, the best times to travel to avoid traffic are early in the morning and late at night. In Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, the busiest times are the hours in the middle of the day. When you plan your travel, plan your trip to arrive early and stay late.

(Also Popular: 5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Smoky Mountain Vacation)

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg TrolleysView of Gatlinburg

One easy way to avoid dealing with traffic is to take a ride on a Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg trolley. Trolleys are the most affordable transportation in the area, averaging only a couple of dollars for an all-day pass. The day passes allow you to get on and off the trolley wherever, as many times as you want throughout the day. This way, you don’t have to worry about having quarters and dollars each time you get on the trolley. Just bring the exact change you need on your first ride and you’re good for the rest of the day.

You can stop by Patriot Park to park your car. While you’re there, you can also go into the main trolley station and get your pass for the day. Even though there may be a little bit of traffic during the day, riding a trolley will make it easier on you. From the trolley, you can see the towns and explore without having to worry about driving.

Walking

Of course, another solution to avoiding traffic is walking. We know you can’t walk everywhere, but if you’re planning on spending the day along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, just walk it! The Parkways are a straight road with sidewalk walking areas on each side. Many visitors wander the Parkways, so they can stop in at many different places throughout the day. This is a great option if you’re just looking to stop in at souvenir shops, gift stores and maybe a few afternoon attractions. When you walk, you completely avoid the traffic.

Newfound Gap Road in the Smoky MountainsAlternate Routes

Although there aren’t many alternate routes in the Smoky Mountain area, it’s always a good idea to pick up a map and take any backroad you’d like to try. Many guests ask if there’s ‘local roads,’ and there really aren’t any. For the most part, we recommend just staying on the Parkway and working your way through the traffic, but there are a few small roads that will drive you around the traffic if you pick up a map.

When you’re spending time driving through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there are only so many roads to take that will get your to specific trailheads. Don’t try to stray away from any roadways in the national park, and stick to the signs and maps along the way.

For a detailed listing of closed roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can take a look at the National Park Service’s website here: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm

When you’re planning your Smoky Mountain cabin vacation, we want to do anything we can to help you avoid traffic in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. So, when it’s those peak hours of traffic time, you will love relaxing in a cabin rental in the Smokies. We have a variety of affordable cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge that are perfect for any size group. Give us a call and we will help you find the perfect place for you and your family.