If summer is the only time you ever come to the Gatlinburg area for a vacation, you are missing out on half the fun. Ober Gatlinburg, established in 1962, sits high in the Smoky Mountains overlooking Gatlinburg. It is both a ski area and an amusement park. The facility consists of a large indoor mall with an ice-skating rink, clothing stores, a restaurant, and indoor amusements. But the real fun is outside in the snow where you will find a lot more than a ski area.
You can take the chairlift halfway to the top and then ride the Alpine slide back to the bottom or take it all the way to the top where there is a scenic overlook with majestic views of the mountains and live bluegrass music playing.
The Amusement Park
The amusement park at Ober Gatlinburg has a lot to offer including the Alpine slide, the Ski Mountain Coaster, a video arcade, a tramway stop, bumper cars, miniature golf, and so much more. There is something here that is guaranteed to keep everyone in the family happy for hours. There is also a rock wall to climb, and an old-fashioned carousel to ride.
The Tramway runs from its hub in downtown Gatlinburg and runs west all the way to Ober Gatlinburg. During the day, you have spectacular views of the mountains, and at night the lights of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and the surrounding area offer an incredible sparkling carpet of light. The ride takes about 10 minutes each way at approximately 17 miles per hour.
The Wildlife Encounter
Formerly this area was a Black Bear Habitat, but it has been enlarged and turned into a Wildlife Encounter where you can now see many of the animals who call the Smoky Mountains their home. You can see bobcats, numerous birds of prey, North American otters, flying squirrels, snakes, turtles, raccoons, and many others. Oh, and the black bears are still there to see, as well.
The Ski Area
Ober Gatlinburg has no less than ten ski trails for you to enjoy, a terrain park, and three chair lifts to keep things moving along. It is the only ski resort in Tennessee and is just far south enough that it doesn’t always get enough snow. For this situation, they have installed enough snowmaking capacity to keep all ten slopes covered in a heavy layer of snow as long as the outside temperature is 28°F or lower.
For added fun, there is a multi-lane snow-tubing hill with lanes that measure approximately 400 feet long. You don’t even have to climb back to the top. You get to ride the “Magic Carpet,” an outdoor escalator that takes all the hard work out of tubing.
This Is Ober Gatlinburg
This is only a brief description of all that Ober Gatlinburg has to offer over the winter. From skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and tubing, to a nice hot cup of cocoa to warm you up, this is the perfect place to spend a day out with your family. There is even a full-service lounge for those who like a hot spiced rum or maybe some hot cocoa with a peppermint schnapps kicker. Plan your visit to Ober Gatlinburg during your winter Smoky Mountains vacation!
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