4 Must-Try Mountain Coasters in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

From skiing to whitewater rafting, Gatlinburg offers its fair share of thrills. The charming mountain town is also home to a variety of mountain coasters, which deliver instant excitement and breathtaking views. While these rides clearly appeal to self-described thrill seekers, they’re also ideal for those who typically avoid intense rides. Casual or heart-racing, these coasters can provide whatever experience riders desire. Options abound, with each ride providing a slightly different take on a beloved concept. Not sure where to start? A few of Gatlinburg’s most impressive mountain coasters are highlighted below:

Ripley’s Mountain Coaster

coaster in the smoky mountains on a silver track

An integral part of Rowdy Bear Adventure Park, this appealing alpine coaster places you in full control. You’ll wind your way through a beautiful wooded landscape as you determine whether to reach the coaster’s top speed of 35 miles per hour — or to enjoy yourself at a slower pace. Push the easy-to-operate handle forward to get going, and, when you’re ready to slow down, pull the handle back. The coaster’s Distance Control System will ensure that, no matter your speed or the speed of other riders, you will never come into contact with other cars.

Depending on your preferences, you can take on this adventure on your own or alongside a companion. Solo journeys are fun, of course, but the ride is that much more exciting when you share the experience with a friend. Either way, you’ll love every moment of your journey — and you’ll be eager for a second ride.

Anakeesta Rail Runner Mountain Coaster

Annakeesta Rail Runner Mountain Coaster

A recent addition to Gatlinburg’s mountain coaster lineup, the Rail Runner at Anakeesta brings another element of excitement to one of the area’s most beloved sources of outdoor adventure. As a single-rail coaster, this ride is not quite like anything else you’ve experienced. The first of its kind in the United States, it allows you to ride close to the ground as you enjoy a truly exhilarating experience. While the ride’s speeds top out at 25 miles per hour, you are encouraged to set the pace as you see fit.

Your adventure begins with a variety of twists and turns as you head downhill. Throughout the ride, you’ll experience a 400-foot change in elevation, as well as scenic views worth checking out. The fun ends with a leisurely uphill journey, which will return you to the mountain for your next adventure. While most people travel solo on this journey, a tandem experience is available for adults accompanied by small children.

Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

Day or night, you’ll love the thrills the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster provides. As the fastest mountain coaster in Tennessee, this ride is not for the faint of heart. That being said, you’re free to choose a slower speed if you desire. Most riders, however, prefer to go fast, taking advantage of speeds that often exceed 30 miles per hour. Ups, downs, and curves add to the excitement. Along the way, you will appreciate the lush landscape that surrounds the track. Feel free to take in not only the sights, but also the sounds of this natural environment, which are easier to hear thanks to the ride’s uniquely silent design.

When you’re done with your thrilling coaster adventure, you’ll be ready to start again. Same-day rides are highly encouraged, so build in time for multiple trips. Don’t forget to grab one of the professional photos taken during your ride. Other merchandise is also available to help you commemorate this amazing experience.

Ober Gatlinburg Ski Mountain Coaster

Ober Gatlinburg may be best known as a ski destination, but it offers so much more. The attraction’s mountain coaster is especially appealing in that it’s not limited based on snow accumulation. Departing from Ober’s snow tubing park, the coaster begins with a 1,000-foot ascent. By far the most relaxing portion of the experience, this slow climb delivers lovely views. Next, you’ll take over as you control your 2,750-foot descent. Turns, zigzags, dips…you’ll find all kinds of excitement on the coaster’s thrilling track. Your cart is designed to keep you comfortable through every maneuver, whether you ride tandem or on your own.

It doesn’t matter if your idea of excitement involves racing down a mountain or leisurely navigating your way through a beautiful landscape — either way, you’ll quickly fall in love with Gatlinburg’s best coasters. Embrace your adventurous side and hit the mountains for the ultimate journey.