One of the top things to do in Gatlinburg, Tenn. is to experience Gatlinburg SkyLift Park – SkyBridge, SkyDeck, SkyTrail, and SkyCenter. The oldest and the top attraction in Gatlinburg, Tenn. provides the best views of the city and of the Smoky Mountains. While I was provided complimentary tickets to Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, opinions are always my own. And I highly recommend visiting Gatlinburg SkyLift Park.
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Best things to do at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park offers fun things to do for the entire family. Originally built in 1954, the Gatlinburg SkyLift chairlift operated through 2016 until a wildfire destroyed the gift shop, 90% of the trees on Crockett Mountain, and extensively damaged the SkyLift. It was rebuilt and fully functional the following year. Two years later, they added the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, SkyDeck, SkyCafe, SkyTrail, and SkyCenter at the top of the mountain.
SkyLift Park, an award-winning attraction, is the best thing to do in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Top 5 things to do at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
Here are the top five things to do at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park.
1. Ride the Gatlinburg SkyLift chair lift
You’ll enjoy a peaceful open-air chairlift ride up Crockett Mountain on the Gatlinburg SkyLift. That’s the only way for you to access the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, SkyDeck, SkyCenter, and SkyTrail.
2. Walk the 680-foot long Gatlinburg SkyBridge
How long is the Gatlinburg SkyBridge? About two football fields or nearly 700 feet. How high up is the Gatlinburg SkyBridge? About 500 feet. How wide is the Gatlinburg SkyBridge? Five feet. And at the highest point, you’ll walk across about 30 feet of see-through glass (if you dare look down).
3. Enjoy the scenic photo ops from the Gatlinburg SkyDeck
Admire the views of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains on the amphitheater-style SkyDeck where you can take scenic photos.
4. Take a short hike on the SkyTrail
The short and scenic hike on the SkyTrail is only 0.6 miles roundtrip that connects both ends of the Gatlinburg SkyBridge. Here you’ll find more gorgeous views as well as an elevated boardwalk with interpretative signs and a 70-foot Tulip Tower that you can access by two rope bridges. You’ll also find four elevated viewing platforms for more stunning views.
5. Shop, eat, and drink at the Gatlinburg SkyCenter and SkyCafe
You can grab a souvenir photo, other gifts, snacks, and beverages at the SkyCafe in the Gatlinburg SkyCenter. The second level even includes a full bar and indoor seating with beautiful views of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.
Special events at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
Plan ahead to enjoy special events throughout the year at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park – offering panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg.
- New Year’s Eve fireworks viewing party
- Love is in the Air (bridge lights in February)
- St. Patrick’s Day fireworks viewing party
- Fourth of July fireworks viewing party
- Fall foliage season
- Lights over Gatlinburg (winter lights)
Gatlinburg SkyLift Park frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Here are a few frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Gatlinburg SkyLift Park – things to know before you go.
Where is Gatlinburg SkyLift Park located? Is parking available?
You can’t miss the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park – just look for the bright yellow chairlift. Located at 765 Parkway in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (the main drag), you’ll need to find parking at one of the three public parking lots in the area or walk from your hotel if nearby.
Where can I purchase tickets for Gatlinburg SkyLift Park and SkyLift Bridge?
You can purchase tickets (wristbands) for Gatlinburg SkyLift Park online or in person. This gives you admission to the entire SkyLift Park attractions including the chairlift, the SkyLift Bridge, the SkyLift Deck, and SkyLift Center. You must ride the chairlift to access entry to the SkyLift Bridge.
Note that even if you purchase tickets in advance, you will need to line up in the queue. Tickets are good for all day – so make sure you check out the views from the SkyLift Deck and SkyLift Bridge during the day, at sunset, and at night. If you redeem your tickets after 8 p.m., you can access SkyLift Park the following day as well (make sure to keep your wristband on).
See the SkyLift Park website for current ticket prices for all age ranges. Also check out the combo ticket deal if you plan to visit Ripley’s Believe it or Not in Gatlinburg – located across the street.
What are the hours for Gatlinburg SkyLift Park?
Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is open every day with the exception of Christmas Day and Maintenance Week (Jan. 30 through Feb. 3). Note that the closing time is for the ticket booth. SkyLift Park closes one hour after the ticket booth closes.
- Summer hours (end of May through Labor Day): 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Fall, winter, and spring hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Check the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park for reduced operating hours during fall and spring maintenance weeks, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.)
For the latest information, please check the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park website for social-distancing guidelines.
How long should I plan to visit the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park?
Allow at least an hour to enjoy the SkyLift chairlift ride up and down Crockett Mountain, walk the SkyLift Bridge, enjoy the scenic Smoky Mountain views on the SkyDeck, hike the 0.6-mile SkyTrail, and shop and grab refreshments at SkyCafe. You can stay as little or as long as you want – and even leave and come back later in the day. Just remember to keep your wristband on.
How many people can ride in the SkyLift chairlift?
The Gatlinburg SkyLift chairlift can seat up to three people comfortably, but you may also ride up as a pair or single.
Are there minimum height or age requirements for the Gatlinburg SkyLift chairlift?
No minimum height or age requirements to ride the Gatlinburg SkyLift chairlift. However, babies must ride in a baby harness attached to a parent and toddlers must ride in a parent’s lap. Children ages 3 and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times while visiting Gatlinburg SkyLift Park.
Can you drive up to the Gatlinburg SkyBridge?
No, the only way to access the Gatlinburg SkyBridge is by riding up the SkyLift.
Are strollers allowed at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park?
No, strollers are not allowed at the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park.
Is Gatlinburg SkyLift Park dog-friendly?
Yes, leashed (and well-behaved) dogs are allowed to ride the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park chairlift and access other areas of the park.
Is photography allowed at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park?
Absolutely! You’ll appreciate the beautiful panoramic photo-ops at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park. However, drones are not allowed.
Is Gatlinburg SkyLift Park wheelchair-accessible?
Many areas of Gatlinburg SkyLift Park are wheelchair-accessible. Please check the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park website to learn more about their ADA accommodations.
Does Gatlinburg SkyLift Park have a restaurant?
Yes, Gatlinburg SkyCafe offers snacks such as pizza, hot dogs, salads, wraps, etc. and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. You’ll find a full bar on the second level in the SkyCenter with great views.
Is seating available at the top of the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park?
Yes, you’ll find lots of amphitheater seating and charming Adirondack chairs on the Gatlinburg SkyDeck to take in the sweeping views of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. Visitors also enjoy the waterfall and firepit.
Does Gatlinburg SkyLift Park have restrooms?
Yes, you’ll find restrooms at the Gatlinburg SkyLift Center.
Does Gatlinburg SkyLift Park have a gift shop?
Yes, the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park has a gift shop at the Gatlinburg SkyLift Center (as well as online store).
Fun Facts about Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
Here are a few fun facts about Gatlinburg SkyLift Park.
- Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is the oldest attraction in Gatlinburg – operating since 1954.
- It’s the first four-season chairlift in the South.
- The chairlift takes you up 1,800 feet above sea level overlooking Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.
- At nearly 700 feet across, the Gatlinburg SkyBridge is the longest pedestrian cable bridge in North America.
- Thirty feet of the SkyBridge includes see-through glass flooring. I saw a few people scared of heights turn back as they did not want to walk over the glass. I felt safe crossing it; however, if you are scared of heights, you may want to enjoy the views prior to reaching that point of the bridge.
- The SkyBridge sits 500 feet above Gatlinburg.
- At five feet wide, the Gatlinburg SkyBridge allows people to walk both ways.