AT Hikers: Newfound Gap Rd Temporarily Closed Due to Winter Weather

Newfound Gap Road is temporarily closed between Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, NC due to forecasted weather conditions, Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced yesterday. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory until 5 a.m. EDT Friday. At this time there is no word on when the road will reopen.

According to the weather advisory, parts of Tennessee above 4000 feet elevation — including the Smokies — could see three to six inches of snow accumulation overnight. It also warns of wind gusts of up to 45 mph and windchill in the teens.

Newfound Gap Road is the only road the Appalachian Trail crosses inside the national park. The crossing, at AT northbound mile 208, is the only place where hikers can get off trail to resupply or spend a night in town.

The AT crossing with Newfound Gap Road on a more temperate day in 2023. Newfound Gap Road will be closed between Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, NC until further notice. Tom Czako photo

The closest AT road crossings are on either end of the park at Fontana Dam and Davenport Gap (northbound miles 165 and 239, respectively). The trail spends roughly 74 miles traversing the park and mostly keeps to the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, remaining at elevations above 5000 feet for dozens of miles at a time.

Just south of Newfound Gap, the trail goes over Clingmans Dome (6612 feet), the highest point on the entire 2200-mile trail. Newfound Gap itself is at 4996 feet elevation.

Northbound thru-hikers often pass through the park in March and April, when winter weather is a constant threat at high elevation. Hikers who have not yet entered the park may want to consider waiting until this storm has passed before entering, while those who are in the park currently should prepare for inclement weather overnight.

For up-to-date information on the status of Newfound Gap Road, call Great Smoky Mountains National Park at (865) 436-1200. Once you hear a voice, press 1, then press 1 for road information or 2 for a weather forecast. Weather-related road and facility closures may change throughout the day. You can also follow SmokiesRoadsNPS on X (formerly Twitter) for status updates.

Featured image: Great Smoky Mountains National Park pictured in March 2024. Somewhere photo

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?