Ober Gatlinburg ski area, on Mt. Harrison above Gatlinburg in the Smoky Mountains, offers a fun Snow Tubing experience that’s fun for all the family, with no skills required except being able to sit on a tube – and maybe laugh – on the way down.
With snow tubing at Ober Gatlinburg you don’t even have to wait for the main slopes to open to get in on the fun. That’s because the resort always aims to open its snow tubing slope for Thanksgiving, and tries to keep it open until Easter.
For the uninitiated, snow tubing is exactly like it sounds: you sit in an inflatable tube and take an exhilarating slide down the snowy hill until you reach the bottom. Then, you can ride the Magic Carpet (an escalator which brings you back to the top) and get ready to go again. Snow tubing is great fun, and it has become a very popular winter activity in the Gatlinburg area.
Ober Gatlinburg complements its natural snow fall with advanced snow making technology. The snow guns are mounted on top of towers that sit approximately 30 to 40 feet above the surface. This allows the snow to hang in the air for longer before it falls to the ground compared to ground-level guns, giving it a texture more like natural snow that falls from the sky.
Ober Gatlinburg also employs patented SnowMagic technology, which freezes the water before it is shot into the air, allowing for snow creation even before temperatures are regularly below freezing. The process is completely safe as no chemicals are used, and water is the only leftover byproduct once the man-made snow finally melts for good in the spring.
One of the things that often makes it difficult for families to ski together is the differing skill levels of various members, as well as the need for multiple sets of specialized equipment. None of those issues apply to snow tubing however, where all you need is a tube provided by Ober Gatlinburg … and gravity!
Snow tubing is open to everyone aged 3 years and older, and there is no skill or previous experience required in order to ride. Children between 3 and 5 must ride with an adult, and there is a height restriction for older children to ride alone, but snow tubing is an excellent way for every member of the family to cherish time in the wintry outdoors together.
Each snow tubing ticket is good for a 90-minute session, during which you can go up and down the hill as many times as you’d like. Snow tubing at Ober Gatlinburg is very popular, and wait times for walk-up tickets can be up to 2 hours during weekends and peak holiday periods.
To avoid the long lines, visit the Ober Gatlinburg website to purchase tickets online for a specific session in advance. You can also find updated pricing information there, as well as a copy for download of the waiver that must be signed before your session.
So join the locals and visitors alike who all flock to the lower slope to grab a tube, slide down the mountain, and have a blast!