Read skier and snowboarder-submitted reviews on Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort that rank the ski resort and mountain town on a scale of one to five stars for attributes such as terrain, nightlife and family friendliness. See how Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort stacks up in the reviews, on and off the slopes, from skiing and family activities to the après scene. Read up on pros, cons and other comments in reviews left by fellow skiers and riders. Don't forget to submit your own Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort review! Scroll to the bottom of this page to let other travelers know about your skiing and resort experience. For more destination information, click Add to Compare to see a side-by-side comparison of Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort vs. other ski resorts (up to 10 total).
Reviews for Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort
A ski resort's overall star rating displayed here is not calculated based on a simple average but takes several factors, including the age of a review, into account.
All Mountain Terrain
Our trip to Gatlinburg to celebrate our wedding anniversary was an epic fail. Just about everything that could go wrong, did. Before we even left, the disappointments began. I wanted to make the trip special because of its significance, so I emailed the Titanic attraction about renewing our vows there. I never received a response. I had also made a reservation for a magic show in Gatlinburg. The week of our trip, I was contacted and told that the magic show was canceled through March. Why was I able to book it in the first place, then? I was offered reservations to a comedy show instead and was told that it was the funniest show in town. Leaving Atlanta around 6:15 PM, we estimated our time of arrival to be around midnight. However, when we were about 35 minutes away, we came across several cars in front of us turning around because of a locked metal gate. The overpass had been closed with no warning to travelers whatsoever. After stopping at a nearby hotel in Cherokee, NC, I was given directions around Great Smoky Mountains National Park that would result in an additional 90 minute drive. We had planned to get up early on Saturday morning to go skiing, but, because it had taken longer to get there than expected, we decided to sleep in and go skiing on Sunday instead. Saturday morning, we rose late and went to find a restaurant at which to eat breakfast. After seeing lines at just about every local restaurant, we opted to to to Shoney's where there was no wait. After breakfast, we walked around Gatlinburg stopping in at a few shops. Since the comedy show was in Pigeon Forge, we decided to leave early to eat dinner there before the show. Does anybody remember the show Hee-Haw? That's what this show was, a mix of slapstick comedy, magic, music, juggling, and ventriloquism. It's a family show, so if that's what you're in the mood form then this is the right show for you. The show itself wasn't awful. It just wasn't the magic show that we had originally tried to book and therefore another disappointment. I will say this. They did a very good job of ensuring the safety of their guests. 5 stars on this aspect. After another good night's sleep at the Hampton Inn, which I recommend by the way, we rose to go skiing as this was the focal point of our trip to Gatlinburg. We had heard that the line for the tram to get to Ober Gatlinburg was sometimes very long, so we decided to drive up the mountain instead. We didn't get very far before we cam across a sign telling us that the parking lots at Ober were full. So we turned around, parked the car, and got in line for the tram. I would estimate that there were about 400 people in front of us. Since the tram is advertised to run every 20 minutes and can carry up to 120 passengers per trip, we estimated a wait time of approximately 90 minutes. Doesn't sound too bad, right? Wrong, two hours and 40 minutes later, we entered the tram to be transported to Ober Gatlinburg. On the way up, the tram operator told us that his boss had advised him that the line for ski rentals was over 2 hours long. Since Ober does not allow equipment reservations, you have no choice other but to wait in line unless you want to bring your own equipment. We saw a family in line for the tram behind us that was absolutely miserable after having to move their equipment several feet at a time for almost 3 hours. When we arrive at Ober, we were again disappointed to find that it is basically a large warehouse with plastic roofing that is a manufactured tourist trap with overpriced food, gifts, etc. However, unless you brought your own food, you are going to have to wait in another line to get the equivalent of bad concession stand food. This line was only an hour and a half long, though...We decided that we would forego skiing in lieu of the line and would take part in other activities offered there. Much to our surprise, nothing was open except for the ice skating rink, where a group of teenage boys were playing kamikaze with others who appeared to have no prior experience. This was a recipe for a disaster, so we opted not to ice skate. Not wanting to buy any overpriced trinkets or stand in any more lines, we decided to get back in line to ride the tram back down the mountain. On the way down, we noticed shuttles driving up and down the mountain. While I have no clue where the shuttle originates from since it is overshadowed on Ober's website by the ice and shiny tram, I would imagine it comes with lines, too. At the end of the day, we were so frustrated that we decided to drive home a day earlier, choosing to relax in the comfort of our home rather than wait in any more lines or overpay for anything else. Conclusion? Gatlinburg is a cute place to go if you don't mind overpaying for food and trinkets like old time photos, but Ober Gatlinburg should be avoided like the plague as all they do is force you to wait in line for every single thing and bleed your wallet and soul dry. I would not go back even if someone paid me to do it...... Full Review
This was my first time being here. The coaster was my favorite in Gatlinburg, but the animal attraction was honestly a heart break. The cages are disgusting and run down. The fact they are keeping animals in cages like this awful. ... Full Review
What a disappointment... from organization to customer service. We purchased snow tubing tickets online for our kids. We stopped in the day before our reservation to see if there were any additional tickets available (we had been checking for weeks, but we were only able to purchase 2). We also called - no luck. When we arrived 2 hours before our reservation, we were told the tram wait was 2.5 hours long. We were told to try the top of the mountain parking. No luck there. We called 3 more times to figure out what we should do. On the last call (every CS agent was rude BTW), we were told to tell the transportation supervisor that we had reservations for tubing and we could skip the line. We said that would have been nice to know one of other 5 times we inquired. We were told "well we depend on the customer to ask the right questions". We bought our tram tickets, skipped in line (which was now 3 hours long), took the tram crammed full of people not wearing masks (because it wasn't enforced - ANYWHERE) and arrived to snow tube 30 minutes past our reservation time. Had to wait in another line at Will Call to get our physical tickets. Finally made it to the snow tubing area and they wouldn't let me help my 7-year-old with his tube. He made it to the top and didn't know what to do since they have 4 people at the bottom literally yelling at people but only one person at the top to assist. We watched our kid helplessly cry at the top of the slope for 10 minutes until I finally had enough. The attendants wouldn't "allow" me to go get him. I was beyond at this point. Never, never, never tell a mother she can not go to her upset child. We immediately left. Everyone we encountered was uninformed, disinterested and could care less about being kind or helpful. Save your money. Go enjoy the national forest hikes. ... Full Review
I had to give one star for this review because it wouldn’t allow a zero star!
We got to the slopes two hours early to get our tickets to wait in a long line of stopped traffic. We sat in traffic a half mile away for two hours with no information or direction from the resort. We even called the office to make sure there were still tickets to be sold and places to park and they ensured us that they weren’t even half way full yet. We finally get to a parking lot where the traffic men had no idea if they could park us or let us in because they haven’t heard anything from the resorts to know if they sold out yet!! The workers should know how many tickets they sell everyday before they sell out! This is why the resort should sell tickets online to avoid these problems or have better communication to inform the customers!
Don’t try to book a trip to come here unless you plan on getting to the resort hours before they even open to sit in your car!
I do not plan on going back here unless there ticket sells are changed and they learn how to run a proper ski resort business!... Full Review
We waited in line for three hours before we got our rentals. Even if you have your own stuff you still have to wait in a ridiculously long line for lift tickets. There wasn't many varieties in the trails, they were mostly intermediate, definitely not for beginners. When we went only one of the black diamonds was open, very disappointing because the other one looked pretty dang fun. Overall not a bad price but its definitely not the greatest ski resort if you're looking for fun beginners stuff.... Full Review
Lines to enter did not seem organized. Appeared to do a lot of unnecessary waiting. Parking super small so forced to be waiting o t eh mountain 21/2 hours before park even opens to guarantee entry. Mind you it was holiday weekend January 2 to 4th. Outdoor activity during covid. Advice take own equipment to save some time. Watch out for crazies got hit from behind from loose cannons 2 times. A lot of inexperienced first timers just shooting down the mountain. Saw a lot of injuries earlier in the day. Calmed in the afternoon. But needed be be three first thing in order to ski.
... Full Review
7 out of 10 things are unavailable, pricing for cheap old used crap is rediculous, hours are deceiving, the lines are longer and slower than a real amusement park, there employees are extremely rude ( most of them except a native american and a guatamalan) belive it or not, the white ppl ( yes im white) are the rudest assholes there. They told a woman who was behind the 6ft line waiting her turn to stop texting and pay attention and move forward while driving us like cattle into each other. In other words no social distancing what so ever. Theres not a single inch in btw u and a stranger. If he would have said that
to me, there would have been a fight. As a local im very disappointed, would never recommend this place and will not go back. ... Full Review
If u want to be spoken to like a child go to the bumber car area.. They lock u inside and tell u that's u better not open the door... Also make sure that u reserve any snow events before hand. They dont tell this. We went the day before and it was sold out. But sat in line for 45 mins to be told that the snow events were available to be told as soon as we got there all events were sold out at 1030 a m. Also it looks worn down. The communication is non existent.. U have to just figure it out. So as far my family and I we will not ever go back!!!... Full Review
Ober Gatlinburg is kind of a mixed bag. The rentals, lessons, and lift tickets are cheap compared to other resorts and mountains, but you’re getting exactly what you pay for....
I actually got on a snowboard for the first time here, and at the price of $20 for a lesson you can’t expect much. I learned some really small basic things, but the lesson was over in an hour. After that, I felt like the beginner area was so crowded I just decided to call it quits. There were so many people that it was hard to move 5ft without someone cutting me off, and they didn’t teach me anywhere near enough to go on a slope. I ended up going to CO in January and my instructors told me they didn’t feel like I’d learned much of anything..
So after my experience here, I definitely wouldn’t recommend Ober Gatlinburg to someone who really wants to learn how to Ski or Snowboard. But, if you know what you’re doing and already have your equipment it won’t break your bank to go. ... Full Review
The biggest complaint that the park should really have more beginner areas. Even the ski school area is so small and so crowded that the beginners, I mean true snowboarding beginners, are just going up the lift and trying to just go the green/blue slope. What is the problem you ask? The excessive amount of beginners FLYING down because they can't stop themselves. I saw multiple bloody, needing medic, crashes. And to make it worse, there is a steep part on the "green" slope that the people would crash and fall and then just lay there to rest..this part is actually not green, but a steep blue, and this would cause the other beginners to have to try hard to zigzag around them, causing more crashes. Overall, there is no good green slope here. It is green, then blue, then a small section that is green,then it connects back to blue. Even the blue is a tough blue. Also, the section directly coming into the end is a steeeep blue, and there were so many falls and crashes right at the base because people couldn't stop themselves. The lack of ability and the lack of having such a tiny "practice" area- that is so crowded that you can't ski down to the "magic carpet" anyway makes for a very disastrous experience. They should add dirt in off season to make the green slope more a true green, and make the ending pass green also. Why go through the trouble? because 75% of their skiers are true beginners, on vacation just wanting to try out skiing. That said, my husband really enjoyed the "blue slope", but he said the blues are blacks and the greens are difficult blues. So don't rely on the rating. (we've skiied all over East and West US). We currently live 45 mins from Ober, but this was our fist time skiing there.... Full Review
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