A ski resort with terrain for all levels and closeby lodging, lots of apres ski activities and a good ski school make for great vacations on snow.
Skiing in Tennessee means Ober Gatlinburg, a family resort tucked into the Great Smoky Mountains near the border with North Carolina, an hour southeast of Knoxville.
Ober Gatlinburg has 10 ski trails served by 2 quad chairlifts, a double and a surface lift, a summit elevation of 3,300 feet, vertical drop of 500 feet, 100% snowmaking coverage, and night skiing on all trails.
The longest run is 5,000 feet, just under a mile, and terrain is weighted toward beginner/intermediate skiers and riders. There is a snow tubing park as well.
The ski area is on the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with incredible mountain scenery. Operators realized that the alpine location had one drawback – the access up and down Mt. Harrison. So, they decided to install the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway, completed Aug. 5, 1973. Two tram cars carry passengers from ample parking in Gatlinburg 2.1 miles to the ski area, avoiding the drive that operators describe as “slow” and “precarious.”
The tramway has transported millions passengers since it began operating in 1973. Service runs every 20 minutes from downtown Gatlinburg.