Gatlinburg Sky Lift | Vintage Attraction with Amazing Views

The Gatlinburg Sky Lift, which initially opened in the 1950s, is one of the oldest continuously operated attractions in the Smoky Mountains. The popular attraction is located directly across the street from Ripley’s Believe It or Not in downtown Gatlinburg. This vintage chairlift transports visitors to the top of Crocket Mountain for an amazing panoramic view of the National Park and quaint town of Gatlinburg below. It is the number one scenic overlook in Gatlinburg.

The combination of the older appearance and visitors’ fear of heights oftentimes raises the question of the Sky Lift’s safety record. Even though the Gatlinburg Sky Lift was originally built in the 1950s and has a vintage appearance, the owners have heavily invested to maintain the attraction and ensure guests’ safety. The towers, tower wheels, cables, chairs, and other integral parts are inspected on a regular basis by an expert safety maintenance supervisor. The attraction has an impeccable safety record and guests should feel confident about riding one of the area’s most popular attractions.

After purchasing your ticket, Gatlinburg Sky Lift employees will help up to two adults or one adult with two small children into each chair. If your party has an elderly or disabled individual, the employees will momentarily stop the Sky Lift attraction to ensure safe and easy boarding. Next, the slow and scenic ascent to the 1,800’ summit of Crocket Mountain begins. The trip to the top of the mountain, which lasts about ten minutes, provides spectacular views of the beautiful Little Pigeon River, Bear Run, Mysterious Mansion, downtown Gatlinburg, and the surrounding mountains.

Once you reach the top of the mountain, employees will help you dismount the chair lift, and you are free to explore the area. Immediately upon exiting, you will find a small souvenir shop, snack bar, viewing area, and picnic tables. At the souvenir shop, you will have the opportunity to purchase the souvenir photo from your ascent. The outdoor area provides visitors with plenty of views and photo opportunities.

Most visitors get tired of the gift shop and exceptional views within 30 minutes of arrival and are ready to return to downtown Gatlinburg. The descent, which provides even better views than the ascent, is a favorite with photographers.

Insider Tip:
For a few extra bucks, you can purchase an all-day pass. This option allows you to experience unparalleled daytime views of the Smoky Mountains National Park as well as dazzling nighttime views of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Directions:
The Gatlinburg Sky Lift is located at 765 Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee at traffic light #7. It is directly across the street from Ripley’s Believe It or Not and within one block of the iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle.

The Bottom Line

If you can get past the relatively high price, the view from the top of Crockett Mountain is absolutely incredible. However, if the thought of forking out $13 for a 20 minute roundtrip ride on a dated chair lift makes you cringe, consider driving up to Ober Gatlinburg for similar views without the hefty price tag.