Ober Gatlinburg: Skier’s Paradise + MORE in the Smoky Mountains
If you’re visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee in the wintertime, Ober Gatlinburg (known as Ober Mountain), is an essential stop. But did you know that Ober Gatlinburg is more than just a ski resort? It’s also an amusement park just minutes from downtown Gatlinburg’s parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
There are amazing year-round activities at this unique destination, so even when it’s not ski season, you’ll be sure to find some fun at Ober Gatlinburg. Let’s talk about all the things you can do there during every season of the year!
Ober Gatlinburg History
Ober Gatlinburg first opened in 1962 as Gatlinburg Ski Resort. In 1973, the Aerial Tramway was opened to the public by Claude Anders. Prior to the aerial tram’s construction, visitors would have to make a drive all the way up Mount Harrison. In 1975, the Anders family bought the ski resort and merged it with the Aerial Tramway. Then, in 1977, the family renamed the park to Ober Gatlinburg.
Dining and Shopping
No matter the time of year you decide to visit Ober Gatlinburg, you’re in for a world of excitement! In addition to the rides and attractions, there’s also unique shopping and dining!
Shopping at Ober Gatlinburg
Be sure to check out some of the more special shopping experiences at Ober Gatlinburg:
- The Pepper Palace – Award winning small batch hot sauces, salsas, and seasonings.
- The Silver Galleon – Handcrafted Native American jewelry.
- Leather Shop – High-quality leather coats, shoes, and much more.
- Puzzled – Huge selection of puzzles and other games.
- Beer Necessities – Unique gifts for beer lovers.
- Green River Gallery – Locally produced artwork and photographs.
Dining at Ober Gatlinburg
The dining experiences at Ober Gatlinburg deliver something for everyone’s taste!
- Seasons – American-style steakhouse with views of the Smoky Mountains from the dining room.
- Sidewalk Cafe – Favorites like burgers and pizza in a spot overlooking the ice rink.
- The Ober Lounge – Domestic and crafts beers, along with spirits and a healthy wine selection.
- Fudge Shop – Delicious, homemade fudge. What could be better?
- Grind Haus – Coffee and specialty drinks, as well as pastries and baked goods.
Winter is the season for every kind of snow-related fun you can imagine at Ober Gatlinburg. Skiing and snowboarding are the main attractions, and the helpful staff can also guide visitors with equipment rentals (and even provide lessons)! The ski area has trails for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers. Plus, Ober Gatlinburg recently upgraded their snowmaking capabilities, so in the event of warm winter weather, visitors won’t be left out of the winter fun.
Snow tubing is also a popular pastime at Ober Gatlinburg, which can be enjoyed daily from mid-November to mid-March. Also open during winter is the Snow Zone, an all-ages area where kids can play and have fun in the snow!
Once springtime arrives, Ober Gatlinburg’s alpine slide opens for riders to race down the mountain! Plus, riders get to enjoy amazing views as they take the scenic chairlift to the mountaintop). The alpine slide consists of two parallel tracks, so you can race a friend or enjoy a solo ride! *Keep in mind that the alpine slide is typically one of the first attractions to close due to inclement weather, so be sure to check the forecast before you go!
Spring is also a great time to see Ober Gatlinburg’s wildlife encounter! Even though it’s a year-round attraction, some of the animals, such as the black bears, are hibernating during the winter.
The outdoor fun is in full swing at Ober Gatlinburg in the summer. At the base of the scenic chairlift, you can try your skill at O’Bear’s Mini Golf, an 18-hole, family-friendly course located in the fresh mountain air.
Need to beat the heat? Take a ride in the Ice Bumper Cars and glide around the ice rink in style!
In the summer, snow tubing becomes summer tubing! Instead of sliding down a hill on snow, riders can slide down one of four 250 foot slides.
If you’re looking for a challenge, try out one of Ober Gatlinburg’s newest attractions, the Ober Rock Wall! Climb thirty feet into the air (while in your safety harness, of course), and once you get to the top, enjoy an exhilarating vertical drop down the wall using the built-in rappelling system.
Millions of visitors come to Gatlinburg in the fall to appreciate the colors of the changing leaves in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Not to be outdone, Ober Gatlinburg has some great fall fun!
Make sure you ride the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway in the fall and get a bird’s eye view of the amazing fall splendor. It’s an unforgettable experience and a view you can’t get any other way!
After your tram ride, strap on your ice skates, because Ober Gatlinburg’s indoor ice skating rink is open all year! The 140’ by 75’ rink is the centerpiece of the park’s indoor shopping center. Ober Gatlinburg also offers skate rentals available from toddler size 6 through adult side 15.
Fall corn mazes are a fun tradition no matter where you live, and Ober Gatlinburg’s Amaze’n Maze is no different. The maze gets rearranged every year, so even if you’ve been through it before, there’s no telling what you’ll find! Good luck!
If you want to really get the adrenaline pumping, go for a ride through the fall foliage on the Ski Mountain Coaster. Riders fly down a 2,750 foot course at speeds of up to twenty-five miles per hour! It’s sure to get your heart pumping!
Year-Round Fun at Ober Gatlinburg
Ober Gatlinburg is a world of fun all in one location, so be sure to check out their website at obergatlinburg.com to stay up-to-date on events and activities. For even more fun and excitement in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, take a deeper look at Relax Gatlinburg. We’re the best place for anyone planning a Gatlinburg get-a-way!
Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area & Amusement Park
1001 Parkway Suite 2
Gatlinburg, TN 37738