Winter at Ober Gatlinburg, the Best Snow Skiing in Tennessee

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During an Autumn trip to Gatlinburg, we visited Ober Mountain, an amusement park in the Smoky Mountains that celebrated its 50-year anniversary in 2023.

After sampling all their warm weather offerings, we knew we had to come back during Winter to experience snow skiing in Gatlinburg TN.

Ober Mountain is Tennessee’s #1 destination for skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. In fact, this is the ONLY place for snow skiing in Tennessee!

With plenty of snowy fun as well as cozy après ski activities, it’s also arguably the best place to see snow in Tennessee.

A 4-season mountain resort, Ober Gatlinburg delivers delicious dining options for Tennessee snow enthusiasts. Enjoy a hot latte at the Ski Mountain Grind Haus or try a gourmet hot dog from Daddy’s Dogs (a longtime Nashville favorite).

Read on for our in-depth guide to the best things to do at Ober Gatlinburg in Winter, including info on snow skiing, snow tubing, snowboarding, ice skating, and a closeup look at local wildlife.

READ MORE: 15 Fun Things to Do in Winter in Tennessee

Snow Skiing in TN - Ober Mountain

Ober Mountain Gatlinburg Info

 ADDRESS: 1339 Ski Mountain Rd, Gatlinburg TN 37738

PHONE: (865) 436-5423



RATES: A wristband gives guest access to the Aerial Tramway and all activities. Ticket prices for ages 5 to 59 are $49, adults ages 60+ are $39, and children under age 5 are free with a paying adult.

 Directions From Bristol TN/VA

From Bristol TN/VA, take I-81 South 92 miles to Sevierville TN, then use Exit 407 from I-40 West. Continue on Winfield Dunn Parkway to US-441 South/Parkway to Ski Mountain Road in Gatlinburg TN

Directions From Gatlinburg TN

From Downtown Gatlinburg, head northeast on Ski Mountain Rd toward S Baden Dr for approximately 2.7 miles. Turn left onto River Rd and follow it for 0.9 miles, then turn left onto Parkway. Ober Mountain will be on the right. 

READ MORE: The 10 Best Smoky Mountains Hotels to Visit in NC & TN

Tennessee in Winter - Ober Mountain

Winter at Ober Mountain Gatlinburg Guide

  1. Carousel at Ober Mountain
  2. Ice Bumper Cars
  3. Ice Skating
  4. Skiing Ober Mountain
  5. Snowboarding at Ober Mountain
  6. Snow Tubing Fun
  7. Snow Zone For the Kids
  8. Take the Scenic Chairlift to See the Smokies
  9. Tennessee Flyer
  10. Wildlife Habitat

READ MORE: 15 Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in Tennessee

Carousel at Ober Mountain

1. Carousel at Ober Mountain

In addition to being THE destination for snow in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Ober Gatlinburg has lots of family-friendly activities, including the Ober Mountain Carousel. 

The classic carousel ponies will delight little ones, while the lilting music will bring a smile to parents’ faces.

Children measuring 36” or taller can pick out their own colorful pony and ride solo, while parents can ride along on their own steed or relax in a cup-shaped chair.

It’s a great little touch of nostalgic magic to add to your Gatlinburg TN Winter vacation!

READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Gatlinburg TN

Ice Bumper Cars - snow resorts in Tennessee -Ober Mountain

2. Ice Bumper Cars

Ober Mountain’s Ice Bumper Cars are a fun county fair-style Gatlinburg attraction the whole family can enjoy.

Using a neon-colored Ice Bumper Car (shaped like an inner tube, with video game-like controls), guests can smash, bump, or simply spin their way around the huge rink, which they share with skaters. 

This facility has hosted various Ice Sports Industry competitions over the years, as well as the annual Tennessee Special Olympics ice skating competition.

Note that children must be 7 years or older to ride alone, while children ages 3-4 are free with a paying adult. Each Ice Bumper Car session is 10 minutes long, with a short orientation period beforehand.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Great Smoky Mountains Campgrounds to Visit

Ice Skating in TN - Ober Mountain

3. Ice Skating

My wife, Heather, is a lifelong ice skater, with fond memories of skating on a frozen pond in her native Pennsylvania.

So Ober Gatlinburg’s 140 x 75-foot indoor ice arena was our first stop after we exited the Aerial Tramway. 

Open all year-round, this centerpiece of Ober Mountain’s enclosed mall is a great place to cool off on a hot Summer day, or to enjoy a break from the slopes come Winter.

The skating rink is designed for all skill levels. There’s a handrail around the rink to aid beginners, while experienced skaters have plenty of open space to spin and jump to their heart’s content.

Rental skates are available in sizes from a Toddler 6 up to an Adult 15.

READ MORE: Where are the Blue Ridge Mountains? A State-by-State Guide

skiing Tennessee - Ober Mountain

4. Skiing Ober Mountain

With 10 ski runs and hi-tech snow-grooming equipment, skiing at Ober Mountain is truly a Smoky Mountain “high.”

Their ski slopes and Terrain Park feature a mix of options for all skill levels. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced skiers will find plenty of options for safe and challenging fun.

Ski area tickets range in price based on the day of the week, day or night hours, and holidays and weekends. Minors must bring a Minor Liability Form signed by a parent, while children 11 and under must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Ober Mountain has experienced instructors and equipment rentals that will have you hitting the slopes for snow skiing in no time at all.

When planning your snowy mountain getaway, be sure to check the Ober Mountain slope report for snow conditions and available trails.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Tennessee Mountain Towns to Visit

Snowboarding in Tennessee - Ober Gatlinburg snowboarding

5. Snow Boarding at Ober Mountain

Most snowboarding historians credit Sherman Poppen with combining elements of surfing and skiing, marketing the first snowboard (dubbed the “Snurfer”) in the mid-1960s.

Snowboarding has evolved through innovations over the past 60 years, but that same passion for creative fun is on full display at the Ober Gatlinburg Terrain Park.

Since opening in 2009, the Ober Mountain Freestyle Terrain has been evolving, with staff adding jibs for all skill levels.

What’s a jib? Even if you’re new to the sport, you’ve probably seen snowboarders jumping, sliding, or riding structures such as rails or boxes, i.e. jibbing.

Ober Mountain’s Terrain Park is the ONLY place for snowboarding in Tennessee, not to mention a great place try out some gnarly jibs and get your inner Shawn White on!

READ MORE: Christmas in Chattanooga TN: 10 Festive Events Worth Attending

snow tubing in Tennessee - Snow Tubing Ober Mountain

6. Snow Tubing Fun

I grew up water skiing in South Florida, so Winter sports have never come easy to me. The one exception is the thrill and chill of snow tubing.

The Ober Mountain Snow Tubing Hill is 350 feet long, with 50 feet of drop, making it a fantastic place for snow tubing in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Snow tubing sessions are 90 minutes long and often sell out. So be sure to purchase your tickets well in advance, especially if you visit Gatlinburg during holidays or weekends.

Note that all participants under 42” tall are required to ride with an adult.

Thankfully, the Tubing Hill has an outdoor escalator– the “Magic Carpet”– that takes riders back up the hill for more snowy fun!

READ MORE: The 7 Best Train Rides for Christmas in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Snow Zone at Ober Mountain TN

7. Snow Zone Fun for the Kids

Snow in the Tennessee Mountains makes Gatlinburg in Winter a great destination for families, and the Snow Zone at Ober Mountain is a perfect playground for all ages.

A child’s first Winter snow at Ober Mountain is full of magic, with building snow people, making snow angels, and watching the older kids try to master skiing and snowboarding.

The Snow Zone is a fun place building snow people, making snow angels, and creating some great memories of the Smoky Mountains in Winter.

This kid-friendly area is $10 per person, and children ages 6 and under are required to be accompanied by an adult. Note that throwing snowballs is not allowed for safety reasons. 

READ MORE: 30 Fascinating Facts About the Appalachian Mountains for Trivia Buffs

Scenic Chair Lift in winter in Tennessee Ober Mountain

8. Take a Scenic Chairlift to See the Smokies

Our time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park was a highlight of our trip to Gatlinburg TN. But we were able to find many of the same awe-inspiring scenic vistas at Ober Mountain!

The Scenic Chairlift at Ober Gatlinburg is a relaxing way to enjoy the mountain views and see wildlife. And it’s open all year long, since it’s not technically part of the ski slopes.

This is the longest chairlift in the United States, with a 779-foot rise in elevation and 3,018 feet in length.

Bluegrass music plays as you ride to the top of Mount Harrison, giving an incredible view that’s 1,650 feet higher than any other chairlift in the entire state of Tennessee!

Due to the unmatched views and smooth ride, the Scenic Chairlift is one of our favorite Winter attractions in Gatlinburg.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Romantic Getaways in Tennessee

Gatlinburg in January - Tennessee Flyer Mountain Coaster Ober Mountain

9. Tennessee Flyer Mountain Coaster

In addition to being THE destination for all things snow in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Ober Mountain is also an amusement park.

Ober Gatlinburg’s Tennessee Flyer Mountain Coaster is located near the Snow Tubing Park, giving riders many of the same thrills as zipping down the slopes on skis or snowboards.

It begins with a relaxing tow up to the peak of Ober Mountain, but riders on the Tennessee Flyer are in control of the speed as they navigate the exhilarating twists and turns downhill.

Their Mountain Coaster carts are built for comfort and can fit two riders, with high backrests and brake levers for safe handling. It’s a fun, thrilling thing to do in Gatlinburg TN with kids!

READ MORE: The 10 Best Scenic Train Rides in Tennessee

Wildlife Habitat Black Bear Tennessee Ober Mountain

10. Wildlife Habitat

The Wildlife Habitat is a USDA-licensed Ober Gatlinburg zoo where visitors can meet many of the native animals of the Smoky Mountains up close.

From River Otters to Bobcats and beautiful birds of prey, everyone gets a chance to view native Tennessee wildlife in well-maintained habitats. We especially loved Peanut, BJ, Holly, and Chief, their resident Black Bears. 

We were pleased to hear that wild animals are not captured for this Wildlife Habitat. Instead, new animals come from other zoos or wildlife rescue/rehabilitation agencies.

Our foray into Great Smoky Mountains National Park was fabulous, but we didn’t get the chance to see a bear (despite our guide’s best efforts).

Luckily, after a visit to Ober Mountain’s Wildlife Habitat, we were able to check Black Bears off our list of the best sights in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  -by Heather Taylor and Jon Weaver; all photos courtesy of Ober Mountain Gatlinburg unless otherwise noted.




Leave No Trace logo

We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship. 

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

The universities brought Jon and Heather to Harrisonburg Virginia in the 1980s and the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley has kept them there to this day. Heather has a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education and 10 years of experience as an editor and technical writer for online training sites. After college, Jon worked several years at a weekly newspaper before joining his family business which he ran until retirement. Jon and Heather enjoy traveling and sharing their stories with others. Locally, they love exploring the towns and mountains of the Blue Ridge near their hometown of Harrisonburg VA.