By Leif Palmer
Posted on June 5, 2023
One of Gatlinburg's oldest and best known attractions, Ober Mountain (formerly Ober Gatlinburg), got its start in the early 1960s as a ski resort in the Great Smoky Mountains. Over the years, that mission has endured, but throughout the decades, the mountaintop attraction has gradually expanded its offerings and capabilities, becoming a popular destination not only for winter travelers but for summertime visitors as well.
Those of you planning to vacation in the Smokies might want to check out all the cool things going on up there this summer. Even if you've visited Ober Mountain many times before, continue reading; they have some new things to offer that you might not even be aware of.
Let's start with the newest activity there, downhill mountain biking. Ober now offers the only lift-assisted mountain biking experience in Tennessee. Whether you're a beginner or a confirmed adrenaline junkie, you'll want to know what it's like speeding downhill when it's NOT snowing. Even if you don't have a bike or safety gear of your own, you can rent all of that stuff on site.
What else can you expect from Ober Mountain this summer? Plenty. You can enjoy a scenic drive to the top of the mountain, or you can revel in the jaw-dropping scenery included on a ride on the Aerial Tramway, which departs from its downtown station on the Parkway (not far from most of our parking in Gatlinburg) on a regular basis daily. The 2.1-mile journey is the coolest and easiest way to begin your Ober adventure.
Other attractions include our alpine slide, which is one of our oldest and most popular mountaintop recreations; our mountain coaster, which is similar to the alpine slide in that passengers control the speed with a hand brake; our mountainside chairlift, which is the longest and highest in the Smokies and also comes with breathtaking views; and our wildlife encounter, where you can meet our family of black bears up close. It's home to more than 15 species of rescued, non-releasable wildlife. And if you still need a touch of winter, you'll find it inside our main building, which is home to ice bumper cars and a traditional ice-skating rink.
We can even set you up with a couple of different outdoor adventure experiences that take place off our property. Contact us today to book a whitewater rafting trip on either the Upper or Lower Pigeon River, or take a flight on our zipline attraction, which is located near our rafting outpost.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in Gatlinburg. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.