Some clouds cover the skies this morning, but another superbly sunny day is expected for America’s most visited national park. It’s going to be even warmer across the mountains and valleys as well, with the lodge creeping close to 60° this afternoon. Winds out of the south are contributing to the unseasonably warm temps, but the gusts will keep things in check gusting as much as 30mph by tonight. The weekend ahead still looks promising for delightful weather to play in the woods.
These warm and dry days of late seem to have accelerated the leaf change, but in a way that limbs are shedding or browning faster. There’s less and less to see along Alum Cave now with each passing day, and it’s likely the entire canopy throughout its elevation range will become bare by this weekend. So if you hope to get to witness some of autumn’s splendor while trekking one of the Smokies most popular footpaths, these next few days are likely your last best chance. Trails like Rainbow Falls, Bull Head, and Trillium Gap will still have something to offer through the end of the month though.