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One of the most-visited places in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove Loop Road offers incredible opportunities to see historic sites, wildlife and more. When you drive along the 11-mile, one-way loop road, you’ll be able to see the sights from the comfort of your vehicle. One question many visitors ask is, “What time does Cades Cove open?” We’re here to answer that for you! Learn more about the Cades Cove hours before you go to determine the best time to drive through Cades Cove.
Update: The Cades Cove Loop Road is closed through 9/27/21 for repairs. All pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists are asked to stay off the road for paving purposes.
Cades Cove Hours
2021 Update: The Cades Cove Loop Road will be closed to all motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and horseback riders from September 7 through September 27. The closure is so crews can resurface the roadway. The repairs are a preventive pavement treatment to help keep the road in good condition.
Cades Cove Visitor Center Hours
The Cades Cove Visitor Center is open year-round, except for Christmas Day. It is located near the middle of the Cades Cove Loop Road. Closing times may vary due to available sunlight. Here are the most current Cades Cove hours:
January – 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
February – 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
March – 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.
April – 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
May – 9 a.m. until 5p.m.
June – 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
July – 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
August – 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
September – 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.
October – 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.
November – 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
December – 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Best Time to See Wildlife
One of the main reasons people visit Cades Cove is to see the wildlife. On the Cades Cove Loop Road, you’ll have the chance to see white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, groundhogs, turkey, raccoons, skunks and more. The best hours to see the wildlife are in the early morning or in the evening. When it gets busy, you’re less likely to see any animals, so arriving early in the morning is your best bet for wildlife viewing. There are all kinds of tips and tricks for spotting wildlife in Cades Cove.
Other Things to Do in Cades Cove
Have a Picnic
Cades Cove is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic after an eventful day of exploring. The Cades Cove Picnic Area is open year round and is the perfect spot to enjoy a bite to eat. There is no pavilion in the picnic area, but there are 81 picnic sites for you to choose from. The picnic area is open until sunset with the exception of May 1 through August 31 when it closes at 8 p.m.
Go Horseback Riding
To experience Cades Cove in a different way, go horseback riding! Cades Cove Riding Stables offers guided horseback rides that are great for both beginners and experienced riders! Guided horseback rides are available March 3 through Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Spend the night underneath the stars in Cades Cove! Cades Cove Campground is the most popular campground in the area and provides visitors with modern amenities like flush toilets and drinking water. There is even a store on site where you can find any basic necessities. With 159 sites, the campground is open year round. Daily check-ins begin at 1 p.m. and check out is at 12 p.m.
Cades Cove Pricing
Cades Cove is completely free to enjoy! There is no admission fee to enter. You can come during any time of the day and not spend a dime. However, please note some of the activities, like camping and horseback riding, do have fees.
Now that you know more about the Cades Cove hours, it’s time to plan your visit. Check out the 5 stops on the Cades Cove Loop Road you don’t want to miss while you’re here!