The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, which is located on Wears Valley Road in Pigeon Forge, is a unique attraction that opened in August of 2013. The owners of this unique attraction are from Germany and looked all over the United States for the perfect place to build the attraction. They ultimately landed on this location due to the perfect combination of accessibility, incredible views, and enough room to build the longest downhill track in the country. To perfect the site, the mountain had to be reshaped, tree were cleared, and stone was resurfaced. The construction process took approximately seven months and the end result is the longest downhill ride in the country!
What does it feel like to ride the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster? Check out the video to see what dropping 363′ over one mile at speeds of up to 27 miles per hour looks like:
The ride is simple enough for a child to operate — push forward to go and let go to stop. Each of the 300 pound sleds screams down the mountain at speeds of up to 27 mph, which is guaranteed to plaster a silly grin all over your face. The scenic ride features amazing views of Pigeon Forge and takes approximately 7-8 minutes to complete.
Although this may be one of the most fun attractions in the Smokies, the staff and management of the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster take safety very seriously. The staff starts out the day by throughly inspecting every inch of the one mile long stainless steel track. In addition, the sleds are carefully maintained by trained professionals at a maintenance “hangar” located immediately next to the station using a 60-point inspection process. The alpine coaster uses an innovative braking technology that provides excellent braking regardless of weather conditions. The track is monitored through a combination of video surveillance, sensors, and staff to ensure a safe and pleasant riding experience for all of its guests. The ride is so safe that the sled will even stop itself if the cable were to snap or a guest were to pass out during the ride.
The minimum age to ride with another rider is 3 years old (38″ height requirement) and the additional rider must be at least 16 years old. To ride the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster alone, the rider must be at least 56 inches tall. The maximum riding weight of the total passengers (per sled) is 375 pounds.
Expect a 30 minute wait from 11 am to 2 pm during peak season. Early morning and later afternoon are the best times to visit and avoid the crowds.
90% of people decide to ride a second time. Consider purchasing a multi-ride pack — tickets are valid forever and you will save some money.
If you are extra adventurous, the brakes work just as well in the rain or snow. Talk about a ride to remember!
*Photos and review produced by our on staff journalists who are in no way affiliated with the brand reviewed on this page. Additional images fully licensed with permission by author.