Ober Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg • 32 skiable acres on 600′ vertical
Specs: Summit elevation: 3300′; Base elevation: 2700′. 5 Lifts: 1 tram, 2 quads, 1 double, 1 surface. Uphill Capacity: 6000/hr. Terrain Mix: 25-50-25. Longest Run: 5,000′. Season: usually mid-December through early March, 7 days. Night Skiing Mon-Sat. Rentals. Annual Snowfall: 35″. Snowmaking: 100%.
The SKInny: Best skiing in Tennessee! That being said, this is a small, novice-type ski area with doubtful snow conditions, and masses of inexperienced skiers. But that’s ok — they’re either here for the wax museums and ticky-tacky tourist strip, or because this is the closest down home ski area. Recognizing that skiing is at best a novelty in Tennessee, Ober Gatlinburg does a great job considering all the odds stacked against it. Locals with nowhere else to go can find good value here, as long as they avoid the mobs during Christmas, MLK Weekend, and President’s Weekend. When OG isn’t crowded, the lifts and slopes are quite pleasant. Even the expert skier can feel slightly challenged on Mogul Ridge. For those who aren’t ready to click in and slide down the hill, OG has a tourist chairlift for non-skiers to ride…I like that idea. Nice indoor skating rink as well.
Signature Trail: Bear Run.
Gatlinburg Snowsports Center, Gatlinburg
The SKInny: This is the ski-resort specific website, and ski instruction arm of Ober Gatlinburg, where you can instruct groups, get individual lessons, rent skis, rent ski jackets, or whatever else you might need to get involved in snow sports.
Pleanty of additional skiing in nearby North Carolina.
More info on North Carolina ski websites, SkiNorthCarolina.com. Once you’ve used our state-specific information, this should be your next click if you’re sole interest is NC ski areas.
This site, DC Ski, has quite a few members who frequent the sweet tea ski circuit. Great online community.
Lift Tickets at Discount: This is a “clearinghouse” of sorts that many ski areas use to raise cash by selling discount tickets in advance, called Liftopia. If you haven’t used this service, it is important to knowfor certain that you are going on a specific date. The deeply discounted tickets must be purchased in advance; generally up to two days out. The sticking point is that some ski resorts only make a limited number of tickets available to Liftopia for any given day, so they might be sold out if you wait too long…so, as soon as you are absolutely, positively sure that you will be skiing on a certain day, click this link to get deeply discounted tickets. I’ve used this service many times, but again, ONLY when I am absolutely certain I will be skiing on a specific date. You need to have access to a printer to print out your receipt, and you have to take identification with you to the mountain. I’ve knocked a third off the price of some tickets. Not every area participates, but it’s well worth checking if you’ve got a date nailed down. Note that sometimes they offer deals in which you can pay a slightly higher fee that gives you the option to change dates.