January 2017 Update: While visitor centers will close for the winter, the road will stay open unless there is snow or ice. Some sections will closed for repairs. Closures change daily! See a real-time map from the National Park Service that shows which sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway are temporary closed for repairs or weather. When the Parkway is closed for snow, it's usually open for winter hikes and cross country skiing. See photos of the Parkway in snow.
The section of the Parkway between Asheville and Mt Mitchell (including Craggy Gardens) closes the most often due to more ice and snow in that area. Mt Mitchell is often open during those times and can be reached from the north. From Asheville, take I-40 east to Old Fort, US 70 toward Marion, and north on NC 80 to reach the Parkway.
For emergencies on the Blue Ridge Parkway, call 1-800-PARKWATCH.
Tips for Driving the Parkway
- Go slowly and enjoy the scenery. The speed limit is 45 mph. Although there are no stop signs or stoplights, this is not a freeway.
- Stop at the overlooks to soak in the views. If an overlook is busy, take a short walk to find a more secluded spot.
- Take a blanket and picnic. There are several picnic areas along the way, and many green areas along the drive to stop.Top 20 Picnic Spots
- Take a jacket. With the elevation changes along the drive, the temperature may vary as much as 20 to 30 degrees. At the highest elevations, the hottest summer days only reach into the 70s.
- Watch for hikers and bicyclists, especially in tunnels.
- Be certain to take your camera. Ask someone to take a picture of you along the way.
- Gas up before you get on the parkway. There are no gas stations on the parkway. Gas stations are also located on intersecting highways near the Parkway exits (see list of exits for gas on FAQ page).
- Restrooms are located at major stops such as picnic areas and visitor centers.
- Please do not disturb wildlife or plant life. Bear sightings are rare. Practice Leave No Trace!
- If you are into bird watching or wildflowers, be sure to take your guidebooks.
- Along the Parkway, you will see numbered mileposts. The zero milepost marker is at the north end of the Parkway in Virginia. Numbers progress as you drive south.
- Dogs and other pets must be on a leash or under physical restraint at all times while along the Parkway and hiking trails.
- Parking is permitted on road shoulders (unless noted). Be sure to have all four wheels are off the pavement.
- To help plan your journey, begin at the Parkway Visitor Center that is located in Asheville.
- For emergencies along the Parkway, call 1-800-ParkWatch.
- Road closures and conditions, along with weather reports, are available by calling the Parkway information line at (828) 298-0398. Many sections of the Parkway close in winter months because of snow and ice. See a real-time map of which sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway are open/closed.
Watch Video: Extreme Weather on the Parkway