Scenic Chairlifts in the Smoky Mountains

There are several scenic chairlifts in the Smoky Mountains that make for an easy way for people of all ages and abilities to gain some altitude and enjoy the surrounding views. A ride on one of these scenic chairlifts might just be the way to reach the attraction itself; but it doubles as and amazing opportunity to see fall colors, get a hint of an adrenaline rush, or simply admire some of the best views in Gatlinburg. Check one of them out on your next trip.

SkyLand Ranch

Voted best new attraction for 2023, SkyLand Ranch is Sevierville's newest theme park. There's so much to do at this place, and you can enjoy it all after a peaceful ride on the Horizon Skyride chairlift adjacent to the parkway. Take the short ride up to the top for even more mountain views plus a miniature animal petting zoo, some great shopping, and daily entertainment.

Skyland Ranch

Ober Mountain

The pure steel towers of the iconic scenic chairlift at Ober Mountain have been standing tall since 1956. Purchased by the Gatlinburg Ski Corporation back in the day, the towers were originally to be used for a lift on an intense ski slope called Big John. Today the chairlift is the longest of its kind in the US and takes riders nearly 800 feet higher for a truly impressive view of Mt. LeConte.

Ober Mountain


The Anakeesta chairlift is unique in that it's a hybrid: a chairlift and a gondola, AKA the Chondola. This is a great option for people who love the views but are moderately freaked out by their legs dangling in the open air. It's the world's only fixed-grip Chondola, and visitors can choose to ride inside or pick the open-air option for a leisurely ride to Firefly Village.

Scenic Chairlifts In The Smoky Mountains

Gatlinburg SkyLift

The SkyLift at Gatlinburg SkyPark was the first of the year-round scenic chairlifts in the Smoky Mountains when it opened back in 1954. Today the SkyPark has grown to include many more attractions like the popular, record-breaking SkyBridge, but the yellow chairlifts have been an important staple in the area for many years. And don't worry: the comfortable three-seat lift was rebuilt in 2017.

What's the weight limit on a scenic chairlift? Historically, neither the Gatlinburg SkyLift or Anakeesta Chondola have a weight limit for riders. Skyland Ranch's Horizon Skyride does not appear to have a weight limit, and Ober's scenic chairlift has a pretty high limit of 500 pounds. There are some weight limits (around 375 pounds) for mountain coasters and ziplines at these attractions. Most of these parks have an alternative option for anyone feeling uneasy about a chairlift ride. In all cases, it is best to contact the attraction directly if you are concerned about weight limits.

What about the Pigeon Forge chairlift? Back in late 2020 there was talk of a Pigeon Forge chairlift attraction to be located on Teaster Lane next to Pigeon Forge Snow. We saw sketches and mockups of this to-be attraction into 2021, but nothing has come of it since. If any news comes back around, we promise to keep you updated on our what's new page with any official information.

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