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Ski Experience - Ober Gatlinburg 

The Smoky Mountains have a unique quality about them, some inexplicable difference from every other mountain range on the continent. Tennessee is well known for them, but most tourists have never thought about skiing the Smokies. Lucky for us, some folks in Gatlinburg thought it might just be a good idea, and more than 40 years ago, Ober Gatlinburg was born. From the start, it's clear that there's something refreshingly different about this resort, a can-do perspective combined with southern hospitality and great deals. The staff and people visiting make you feel at home and the surrounding area gives you plenty to do when not up on the mountain. 

Ski Levels

When you get off of the tram, you'll be at the village with an amusement park and huge indoor skating rink, rentals, and three dining options. There are two quad chairlifts. The first, a double called Scenic Lift, carries you to the peak of a separate mountain, a very long, moderate intermediate trail that could form some huge mogul fields, or make for one wicked fast tucked slalom run. The double chair after it also heads in that direction, but only goes partway up. One of the quad chairs takes you up the mountain, where the rest of the trails are located. While the Red Quad further up the mountain, to the left as you come out of the village area, takes guests partway up the nearest mountain, to the top of a wide glen part way down a black diamond trail. This mountain has a mix of all levels, from beginner to advanced, with two black-diamond runs.

The ride up the quad lifts is brief, enjoyable, and picturesque. The chairs move people through pretty quickly, so the lines are minimal. Over the course of a day, you'll get at least a few more runs in that way. At the top, you'll have only one trail to go down, but at the first fork, you'll need to pick your poison. The path to the right takes you irretrievably to a black diamond trail, Grizzly. The left takes you towards the other black diamond run, but if you stay left at the next fork as well, you'll have avoided it and chosen an Intermediate trail, Bear Run, instead of Mogul Ridge. As you approach the base of either of the black diamond choices, you'll come upon a wide open area, presumably for play and Intermediate skiers.

Après Ski

If reviewers' comments are to be relied upon, the 45 people polled gave the mountain four out of five possible stars in all categories except Family, where it earned a solid five stars across the board. Not too shabby for a little resort in the Smoky Mountains, eh? If you're going to be in the area, you'll definitely want to treat yourself to the Ober Gatlinburg ski experience. The entire Gatlinburg area is a midwestern treat for any family. With plenty of restaurants, theme-park activities, and on-mountain winter fun, this is one of the most family friendly resort areas in the county.