best mountain coasters in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge

Gatlinburg isn’t just a serene escape into nature; it’s also an adrenaline junkie’s dream. Amid the picturesque landscapes and abundant wildlife, a thrilling adventure of mountainous descents and heart-pounding curves awaits! Mountain coasters are the perfect mix of nature and speed, promising an unparalleled experience. Check out the best mountain coasters in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge based on speed, length, and overall experience. Buckle up because it’s going to be an exhilarating ride!

What is a Mountain Coaster?

What Is A Mountain Coaster?

At first glance, a mountain coaster might resemble the roller coasters you know and love from amusement parks. However, upon closer inspection, the differences become apparent. What makes mountain coasters unique? Unlike traditional roller coasters, built on custom-designed tracks elevated off the ground, mountain coasters use the natural declines and inclines of the mountain terrain. This means you aren’t just zipping around a manufactured track but also racing along the curves and dips provided by Mother Nature!

The gravity-driven descent of a mountain coaster gives you the thrilling sensation of being one with the landscape. Many of these coasters come equipped with individual brakes, providing you with control over your speed. Furthermore, while roller coasters often tower above the ground, mountain coasters offer a down-to-earth experience. In essence, mountain coasters provide an adventurous blend of nature and thrills.

Rocky Top Mountain Coaster

Longest Mountain Coaster: Rocky Top Mountain Coaster

Pigeon Forge has many attractions, but few compare to the exhilarating experience of riding the Rocky Top Mountain Coaster. Cited as the longest mountain coaster in the region, the coaster stretches over an impressive 3,888 feet. It’s an unforgettable journey that spans approximately 9 minutes. This expansive track ensures that each twist and turn keeps the adrenaline pumping from start to finish.

What makes the Rocky Top Mountain Coaster genuinely unique is its immersive experience. As you weave through the coaster’s four separate lifts and drops, you are treated to spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. Nighttime brings another level of excitement as the track lights up with a dazzling array of lights. The Rocky Top Mountain Coaster is one of the best mountain coasters in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for nature-loving adventurers.

Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster

Most Scenic Mountain Coaster: Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster

The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is a picturesque marvel that perfectly captures the essence of the Smoky Mountains. The coaster offers exhilarating speeds and panoramic views during your scenic journey. It is the second largest mountain coaster in North America and boasts over 3900 feet of track down the mountainside. 

A stone’s throw away from the Pigeon Forge parkway, the coaster has a gentle 5-minute ascent to the top. That is plenty of time to soak up the beauty of your natural surroundings before your descent. The coaster operates in both rain and snowy weather, ensuring you enjoy the beauty of the Smoky Mountains all season long. If you want to capture every moment, action cams are permitted, but be sure they are attached to a head or chest mount. Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is undeniably one of the most scenic alpine coasters Pigeon Forge has to offer. 

Ripley's Mountain Coaster

Most Small-Child-Friendly: Ripley’s Mountain Coaster

Ensuring safety without skimping on the fun is often challenging for families with younger children. Enter Ripley’s Mountain Coaster, Gatlinburg’s premier destination for a child-friendly coaster experience. Ripley’s Mountain Coaster is notably accommodating, and one of the more budget friendly options in the area. Ripley’s offers affordable packages for children aged 3 – 9 years riding with adults. Presuming they meet the minimum height requirement of only 38 inches, packages for multiple rides are significantly less expensive than other locations (two rides for $12.99 and three for $14.99). 

The carefully designed tracks ensure enough excitement to induce wide-eyed wonder while remaining smooth and comfortable for kids. With Ripley’s trusted name behind it, rest assured the ride’s safety standards make the grade. Ripley’s Mountain Coaster is the top pick for a wholesome family adventure.

Moonshine Mountain Coaster

Best Priced: Moonshine Mountain Coaster

In the world of mountain coasters, Moonshine Mountain Coaster breaks the norm by offering excitement without burning a hole in your pocket. Moonshine Mountain Coaster understands that vacation expenses add up quickly, especially for families or groups. That’s why they’ve priced their rides so that individuals and groups can enjoy multiple rides without feeling the pinch. They also offer special discounts and combo deals, further enhancing the value proposition.

Goats on the Roof mountain coaster

Most Unique: Goats On the Roof

Mountain coasters, by their very nature, offer a singular and exhilarating experience. But if you’re searching for a ride that stands apart, “Goats On the Roof” is your destination. What makes Goats On the Roof so unique? As the name suggests, the site is home to friendly goats that leisurely reside on the gift shop’s upper floor. There’s a chance to feed them at a petting zoo between rides.

So, embark on the 7-minute thrill ride filled with twists, turns, and dips along the 4,875-foot-long track. Then afterward, say hello again to the goats. Goats On the Roof is one of the best mountain coasters in Pigeon Forge and hard to replicate elsewhere.

Rowdy Bear Avalanche Snow Coaster

Best Location: Rowdy Bear’s Avalanche Snow Coaster

If location is a significant determinant of your choice of adventure, then head to Rowdy Bear’s Avalanche Snow Coaster. Conveniently located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, this coaster offers an adrenaline-pumping experience near several other attractions. Rowdy Bear’s former Gatlinburg location previously boasted having the fastest mountain coaster in the region!

Additionally, Rowdy Bear Mountain Adventure Park features other thrilling attractions like the Skylift Shootout Coaster (a two-seater suspension coaster), Outdoor Tubing Hill (a 70-foot tubing hill drop), and Outdoor Axe Throwing. If that isn’t enough, there’s also the playground for kiddie fun in-between rides.

Gatlinburg and neighboring Pigeon Forge aren’t just gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains but also epicenters of mountain coaster fun. Each coaster, from the Smoky Mountains Alpine Coaster to the unique Goats On the Roof, offers you a distinct flavor of adventure. The best mountain coaster in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg is truly subjective and boils down to what you’re chasing – be it speed or a budget-friendly option. No matter how you choose your adventure, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge stand unparalleled in the quest for the best mountain coaster experience. Embark on this coaster journey and let the mountains sweep you off your feet, quite literally!

Content on this page is subject to change. Please contact the locations mentioned to see if promotions, hours, pricing, etc. are still valid.

About Andy Rowe

Andy Rowe is an experienced Writer and Content Designer with a passion for storytelling. He earned his Masters of Business Administration while living abroad in Taiwan and has spent the past 6 years honing his skills in copy writing, social media content, and thought leadership. Andy has a talent for research and the ability to adapt this writing style to different audiences. When he’s not writing, Andy enjoys traveling, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and reading.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>