April 20, 2023
On May 17, 2019, the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park opened its first expansion: the SkyBridge and SkyDeck. Since then, they've continued to add even more fun attractions, like the SkyTrail and Tulip Tower. By visiting this Gatlinburg attraction, you’ll get a vantage point of the Smoky Mountains you won’t find anywhere else. We're going to share some fun facts about the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park to get you pumped about visiting this thrilling attraction!
The SkyBridge is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America at 680 feet long. With a width of 5 feet, the bridge has plenty of room to cross without feeling cramped. At the midpoint, the SkyBridge is 140 feet above the forest floor, giving you the feeling of a bird flying over the trees. In the middle of the bridge, you’ll find glass panels that are 30 feet long, allowing you to gaze down into the forest below. Face your fears and walk over the glass to the overlook on the other side for gorgeous mountain views! Walking across the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, you’ll be able to see amazing views of the Great Smoky Mountains and an incredible birds-eye view above the forest. You might even see some native wildlife when you look down into the trees from the glass panel! Don’t forget to take pictures of you and your family and friends while you cross the glass panels and once you’re on the other side at the gazing deck.
In addition to the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, this incredible attraction has the SkyDeck where visitors can relax and look out at sweeping mountain views. The SkyDeck includes two expansive viewing decks where you’ll have the most amazing view of the Smoky Mountains you won’t be able to find anywhere else. You can take pictures in front of this vast landscape, which will definitely impress anyone who sees the pictures! The SkyDeck includes seating areas to stop and enjoy the view. Three black bear statues are in the middle of the SkyDeck, and you can take a picture with them and the mountains in the background. You can also stop and see the three-tiered, man-made waterfall feature that will definitely impress you. The SkyDeck also has a cafe with plenty of meal and snack options you don’t want to miss. If you’re in the mood for a drink, you’ll also find a bar with a cabin feel where you can grab a cocktail before you head back down the mountainside. A gift shop is also on the top of Crockett Mountain to grab souvenirs to remember this cool experience.
Since the Gatlinburg SkyBridge and SkyDeck were so popular, the park decided to expand again just a few years later. In fall 2020, the SkyTrail opened to the public. This walkway connects both ends of the SkyBridge with a wooden walking trail that follows along the hillside of the ravine. You'll see interactive signage as you make your way along the SkyTrail, and they include some cool facts about the history of the chair lift, engineering of the SkyBridge, and much more. About halfway through the SkyTrail, you'll come up on Tulip Tower. It is a 70-foot tall steel tower that is accessible by rope bridges with viewing platforms. People of all ages will have fun exploring it!
The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park has been amazing customers since 1954 with incredible views of the Smoky Mountains and downtown Gatlinburg. In 1953, a local innkeeper named Rel Maples contacted a man who built chairlifts named Everett Kircher and asked him to build a chairlift behind his property. Kircher agreed and purchased a sky lift in California, sent it to Michigan for repairs and updating, then brought it to the Great Smoky Mountains to install it. The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park was the first built in Dixieland. Many people come to Gatlinburg every year and can’t leave without riding the SkyLift Park first!
To access the SkyBridge and SkyDeck, you must ride the Gatlinburg SkyLift 500 vertical feet up the side of Crockett Mountain. As you ride up the mountainside, you’ll enjoy talking to the 2 other people riding up with you. Once at the top, you’ll be able to get off onto the SkyDeck and see incredible views from the top of Crockett Mountain. Once you stop and grab a snack or a drink, experience the thrill of walking across the longest pedestrian suspension bridge with glass panels in the middle. When you’re ready to head back to downtown Gatlinburg, you’ll ride the SkyLift back down Crockett Mountain, getting one last chance to see the mountains and downtown Gatlinburg from up high.
You definitely don’t want to miss being able to see the incredible views from this new attraction. You’ll want to be able to brag to your friends back home about riding up a mountainside on the Gatlinburg SkyLift, seeing the mountains from this vantage point on the SkyDeck, and crossing the SkyBridge with glass panels 140 feet above the forest. After you visit the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, take time to explore other incredible area attractions. Check out our Freedom Fun Pass to see what attractions you can visit for free when you stay with us!