Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on January 24, 2023
Just last week, officials in Great Smoky Mountains National Park reported nine inches of snow at Newfound Gap and 16 inches of snow on Mt. LeConte in the wake of the winter storm that recently passed through the area. That's bad news for travelers interested in visiting Clingmans Dome (that road is closed anyway) or hiking to the summit of Mt. LeConte.
But all that white stuff is a welcome arrival for the folks up at Ober Mountain. Although the attraction has fun things to do all year long, it started out as - and is best known as - a ski resort. In fact, it's the only one in the state of Tennessee. And all that recent snow not only adds up to a healthy base on the ski slopes, it also signals that it's cold enough for the resort to manufacture its own snow if the natural stuff happens to slack off.
Ober Mountain has been around for 60 years, but these days, it's still going strong as a place to snow ski, snowboard and do a whole lot more. The mountain offers nine different ski trails, ranging in difficulty from ski-school and beginner's slopes to challenging downhill runs like the Grizzly trail. In between, there's something for skiers and boarders of all ski levels. The tops of the trails are serviced by four different lifts, all of which originate at the base of the mountain.
If you're brand-new to skiing, Ober Mountain has you covered. Their ski school instructors will teach you everything you need to know to get going on the powder, and the resort also has gear and apparel you can rent if you don't already have your own. Experienced skiers and boarders who want a unique challenge might want to try out the Ober Mountain Freestyle Terrain park, where they can play on skateboard-style features and obstacles and hone their skills.
These days, the conditions are pretty good for all the snow sports. For example, at the time of this writing, six trails and three lifts are open. There's a 20- to 30-inch base of snow, machine groomed, and an inch of natural snow has fallen to complement the six to eight inches of manufactured snow that have recently been added.
Even if you have no interest in actually taking on the slopes, there's still a lot you can do at Ober Mountain. They have a 10-lane snow-tubing course that provides fun downhill action on a 350-foot-long slide that drops a total of 50 feet from top to bottom. Riders can access the top of the course by riding the Magic Carpet outdoor escalator from the bottom. Meanwhile, the youngest of Ober guests will find their bliss in the Snow Zone, a discovery play area that's suitable for all ages (guests 6 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult). From building snowmen to making snow angels, it's a winter wonderland for the kiddos.
Ober Mountain is located on Mt. Harrison and is accessible by driving Ski Mountain Road from River Road in downtown Gatlinburg. The parking areas typically fill up by mid-morning, however. After that, you'll have to ride the Aerial Tramway, which departs at regular intervals from its station in downtown Gatlinburg and transports as many as 120 passengers at a time 2.1 miles up the mountain, gaining nearly 1,500 feet in elevation along the way. The ride up the mountain alone is a scenic spectacle, affording wonderful views of the city below and the mountains above.
The ski season at Ober Mountain generally runs through mid-March, which is right about the same time that Smoky Mountain Ziplines plans to kick off its 2023 season. Until then, take advantage of this winter weather and experience some fun in the snow. Then when it warms up, we'll be ready to get you started on your next Pigeon Forge zipline adventure.