Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg is a ski area and amusement park located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA that was established in 1962. The area also contains a large mall with indoor amusements, an indoor ice skating rink, snack bars, a restaurant, and stores. An aerial tram connects Ober Gatlinburg to downtown Gatlinburg, about 3 miles east.

Ober Gatlinburg
Ober Gatlinburg main logo.png
LocationGatlinburg, Tennessee, USA
Coordinates35°42′11″N 83°33′28″W / 35.70306°N 83.55778°W / 35.70306; -83.55778Coordinates: 35°42′11″N 83°33′28″W / 35.70306°N 83.55778°W / 35.70306; -83.55778
Top elevation3,455 feet (1,053 m)[1]
Base elevation2,687 feet (819 m)
Runs10 total
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg - 20% beginner
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg - 60% intermediate
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg - 20% advanced
Lift system6 total (2 quad chairlifts, 2 double chairlifts, 2 surface lifts)
Terrain parksLower Bear
Night skiingyes
Ski trail


Ober Gatlinburg's predecessor, Gatlinburg Ski Resort, opened in 1962. In 1973, Claude Anders opened the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. In 1974, the Gatlinburg Ski Resort began to go out of business due to publicity from a bad lift accident. It was bought the Anders Family in 1975 and merged with the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. In 1977, it was renamed Ober Gatlinburg,[2][3] which is German for "Upper Gatlinburg" or "Top of Gatlinburg."[4]

The upper mall opened in 1982.[4]

Snow tubing was added to Ober Gatlinburg in 2008.[3]

In 2012, Ober Gatlinburg installed a SnowMagic snowmaking system, which allows them to open earlier in the season, before natural snow occurs.[5] In 2017, Ober Gatlinburg upgraded its snowmaking system, particularly focusing on Cub Way.[2]


As Ober Gatlinburg is too far south to depend on enough natural snow for snow sports, the theme park is equipped with snow making capability.

Slopes Length Drop
Alpine Way 2900' / 884m 279' / 85m
Upper Bear Run 3200' / 975m 393' / 120m
Lower Bear Run 1600' / 488m 160' / 49m
Castle Run 1900' / 579m 163' / 50m
Cub Way 2300' / 701m 163' / 50m
Grizzly 3800' / 1158m 556' / 170m
Mogul Ridge   0300' / 90m 235' / 72m
Yeti's Run 700' / 213m 120' / 36m
Ober Chute 4400' / 1340m 556' / 170m
Ski School  Teaching Area Gentle Slope

A multi-lane snow tubing hill opened during the 2008-2009 ski season, where riders can slide down snow chutes on inflatable snow tubes. The lanes are approximately 400 feet (122 m) long with a 50 feet (15 m) vertical drop. The tubing hill is serviced by a magic carpet, as is the ski school slope.


Scenic Lift

The Scenic Chairlift is a double lift that runs to the summit of Mount Harrison, where there is a scenic overlook. The lift is 3,019 feet (920 m) long and rises 779 feet (237 m) in elevation. It was built in 1962 and the drive system and chairs were upgraded in 2014.[6]

The Blue Lift is also a double lift that terminates at the Alpine Way slope and the alpine slide.

Ober Gatlinburg has two quad lifts, the Red Lift and the Black Lift. The Red Lift offers access to Cub Way and Castle Run. The Black Lift offers access to Yeti's Run, Ober Chute, Upper and Lower Bear, Mogul Ridge, and Grizzly.[1]

Aerial TramwayEdit

The aerial tramway departs from downtown Gatlinburg and travels west to the resort. The system was built in 1973 by Von Roll Ltd.[4] and has two 120-passenger cabins. They were replaced by Doppelmayr in 2007. The 2.1 miles (3.4 km) tram ride runs 17 miles per hour (27 km/h) and takes about 10 minutes.[7]

Amusement parkEdit

The amusement park part of Ober Gatlinburg is open year-round. One of the main attractions is the Wildlife Encounter, where in addition to black bears there are animals native to the Great Smoky Mountains.[8] Other attractions include: an alpine slide, the Ski Mountain Coaster, hiking trails, indoor ice skating plus ice bumper cars, miniature golf, water raft rides (summer only), an outdoor maze, a rock climbing wall, and a carousel.


  1. ^ a b "Slope Report and Ski Area Trail Map". obergatlinburg.com. Retrieved 2022-02-21.
  2. ^ a b Laws, Matt (2017-10-24). "History of Ski | Ober Gatlinburg". Ski Southeast. Retrieved 2022-02-21.
  3. ^ a b Stroud, Emily (2013-02-01). "Ober Gatlinburg has rich history and lots to do". Sevierville - Sevier News. Retrieved 2022-02-21.
  4. ^ a b c "What is "Ober Gatlinburg"?". Ober Gatlinburg. 2019-08-02. Retrieved 2022-02-21.
  5. ^ Willett, Hugh (October 2, 2012). "Ober Gatlinburg invests in new snow-making equipment". www.knoxnews.com. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  6. ^ "Scenic Chairlift". Ober Gatlinburg. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  7. ^ "Aerial Tramway". Ober Gatlinburg. Retrieved 2022-02-21.
  8. ^ "Wildlife Encounter". Ober Gatlinburg. Retrieved 2022-02-28.

External linksEdit