Although the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established in 1934, it wasn’t until September 2nd, 1940, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the park at Newfound Gap. Now, over 80 years later, you can still stand in the very same spot as President Roosevelt once did, all those years ago. At an elevation of 5,046 feet, the Newfound Gap is the lowest drivable pass through the Smokies and offers astounding long-range views. Starting from either Cherokee, NC, or Gatlinburg, TN, travelers will climb over 3,000 feet, passing through cove hardwood, pine-oak, and northern hardwood forest, to arrive at the evergreen Spruce-Fir Forest surrounding Newfound Gap. At just a couple of hundred feet shy of being a mile high, Newfound Gap will typically be around 10° F cooler than the surrounding lowlands. This drastic change in temperature also means that the Gap receives significantly more snowfall than the lower elevations, averaging about 69 inches each year. Nearby Cherokee, NC at 1,990 feet elevation and Gatlinburg, TN at 1,290 feet elevation both average around 6-7 inches annually. At Smokemont Riding Stables, our trails range from 2,200 feet to about 2,450 feet and we average approximately 10-12 inches of snow here each year.