November 20, 2014
Weather-related road and facility closures may change throughout the day. For updated road and weather information please call (865) 436-1200. Once you hear a voice, dial extension 631 for road information or extension 630 for a weather forecast.
Follow road status updates on Twitter at http://twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps. Updates are available for Newfound Gap Road (US-441), Little River Road, Laurel Creek Road, and Cades Cove Loop Road.
This webpage is updated 3-4 times a week. For the most current report, please call the number listed above or follow on Twitter.
Roads and Facilities
Temporary Closures and Construction Projects
• Newfound Gap Road (US-441) is subject to occasional nighttime closures in winter due to ice forming on the road surface at high elevation when the temperature drops in the evening. This may occur even when roads in the lower elevations are clear and dry. Please check the status of the road via the twitter account listed above before traveling to the park.
• Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is closed until April 30, 2015 to all public use including hiking and biking. See related trailhead closures below.
• Foothills Parkway (unfinished section) - the entire unfinished section between Walland and Wears Valley is now closed to all public use until 2017 due to construction.
• The Blue Ridge Parkway is a separate National Park Service unit from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For information about parkway closures, please call (828) 298-0398 or visit the parkway's website at http://www.nps.gov/blri/index.htm.
Seasonal Closures Are In Effect At This Time
For information about seasonal closures during the winter months, please see:
Seasonal Road Closures
Seasonal Facility Closures
For current backcountry trail and campsite information, please call (865) 436-1297.
Bear Closures - areas that are closed due to bear activity. Please read What Do I Do If I See A Bear? for important safety information about bears.
• Backcountry Campsites 56, 83, 84, 85, 113
Bear Warnings - areas where bears are active. Please read What Do I Do If I See A Bear? for important safety information about bears.
• Russell Field Shelter
• Spence Field Shelter
• Backcountry Campsites 18, 24
Other Backcountry Closures and Warnings
• Laurel Falls Trail is closed due to downed trees.
• Chimney Tops Trail will be closed weekly on Monday-Thursday from through December 11 for trail rehabilitation work. The trail will be open on weekends and on November 27 (Thanksgiving day).
• Trailheads on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail that are closed due to road construction: Grapeyard Ridge and Baskins Creek trails.
• Whiteoak Sink area will be closed through March 31, 2015 to limit human disturbance to bat hibernacula and prevent hiker interactions with bats. This closure includes the area bounded by Schoolhouse Gap Trail and Turkeypen Ridge Trail west to the park boundary. The Schoolhouse Gap and Turkeypen Ridge trails will remain open.
• Scott Mountain Trail is closed from campsite #6 to Schoolhouse Gap. Campsite #6 is open.
• Backcountry Campsite 11 is closed
• Backcountry Campsite 16 - the water source is dry. Pack in additional water if planning to camp here.
Please note that the park's backcountry is managed as a natural area where the forces of nature determine trail conditions. The following list includes some conditions that the park is currently aware of. However, hikers may encounter trail conditions not listed below that require caution. Be prepared for swollen streams, bridge washouts, downed trees, and trail erosion when hiking in the park's backcountry.
• Boogerman/Caldwell Fork trails - several bridges are out. No schedule for repairs at this time.
• Enloe Creek Trail - the footbridge crossing Enloe Creek has washed out. The steel bridge crossing Raven Fork is not affected.
• Trails throughout the park have downed trees due to severe storms. Please see the list of closed trails above. Other trails may have areas that are difficult to negotiate due to downed trees.
• Boat shuttles to and from Hazel Creek when lake levels are low are from the Ollie Cove Trailhead on the Hazel Creek embayment. Ask the shuttle service about this when making a reservation to be dropped or picked up. This is due to a bridge that is out of service on Hazel Creek and adds about 1/2 mile to the hike. Trail signs are in place to direct you from the Hazel Creek Trail and Lakeshore Trail intersection to Ollie Cove Trail that is one mile east on Lakeshore Trail from Hazel Creek.
Cave and Mine Shaft Closure
Entry into all caves and mine shafts is prohibited due to concerns about the spread of white nose syndrome among bats. more