The Great Smoky Mountains area is a hugely popular winter destination.
Lots of folks come here in hopes of seeing snow, but some are sad to discover that actual snow in the Smoky Mountains can be unpredictable.
But the good news is, even on an unseasonably warm December day, you can still find places to enjoy snow tubing in Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas.
Note: For some of these locations, it’s important to plan ahead. Keep reading to learn more.
4. Tube World at Cataloochee Ski Area (Maggie Valley, NC)
Cataloochee Ski Area is a great place to go snow tubing, as weather permits, as long as you’re willing to travel a bit further from the Pigeon Forge area.
Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley offers tubing with groomed slopes that are specifically designed for inner tubes.
The moving carpet takes riders to the top of the hill for added convenience.
Tube World is an hour and a half drive from the Pigeon Forge area and is a separate location from the main Cataloochee Ski Area, which, as you may have guessed from its name, also offers skiing and snowboarding.
Sessions for tubing run for one hour, 45 minutes. Riders must be 42 inches tall to ride. Pricing ranges from $30-35.
Visit their website to learn more and watch for an opening announcement, and remember to confirm the hours of operation before planning your trip.
2. Ober Gatlinburg (Gatlinburg, TN)
For years, Ober Gatlinburg has been one of the main attractions in the Gatlinburg area. However, modern attractions have brought some competition.
Still, in the winter months, Ober shines as one of Tennessee’s top winter destinations.
Not only does Ober Gatlinburg offer one of the few outdoor snow tubing experiences in the area, it is also Tennessee’s only ski and snowboard destination.
Snow tubing at Ober Gatlinburg is seasonal and ranges from $30-35.
Buying in advance is highly recommended. Sessions often sell out completely, both online or in-person, especially during holidays and weekends. (If you’re a last-minute planner, keep reading!)
Riders should be at least five years old. Children ages 3 and 4 may ride with a paid adult. Sessions are 90 minutes long.
The snow tubing season begins around the end of November and operates daily through March.
And yes, they have a magic carpet that takes you back up to the top of the hill so that no climbing is involved during your adventure.
If you plan on riding the Aerial Tramway to get to the top of the mountain at Ober, remember that wait times can be long. Don’t wait until the last minute to make your way up the mountain.
Pro-tip: When you are ready to make your Aerial Tramway reservation, always check Tripster for discounts.
You can also drive and park at the top if you prefer.
Ober Gatlinburg also offers a Snow Zone, ice bumper cars and ice skating.
In the Snow Zone area, which is currently open through Jan. 2, kids can make snow angels, build snowmen and play in the snow. No snowball throwing is allowed.
If you hope to do any skiing or snowboarding, follow their social media page for updates.
For more information, visit them online.
3. Rowdy Bear Ridge (Pigeon Forge, TN)
And finally, the town which you came here for: Pigeon Forge.
All new this year, Rowdy Bear in Pigeon Forge now offers snow tubing.
Rowdy Bear also offers outdoor axe throwing, a power coaster and a laser gun coaster.
In the summer months, the snow tubing hill becomes a summer tubing hill, where Rowdy Bear claims to have the fastest outdoor tubing in the whole state of Tennessee.
And here’s the best news, Rowdy Bear occasionally offers deals on their Groupon page.
We absolutely recommend that you book online because snow tubing is subject to sell out, especially during holiday periods and weekends.
At the time of this riding, snow tubing is $35 per rider. Riders must be 40 inches tall with an adult, or 47 inches tall to ride solo.
For more information, visit them online.
1. Pigeon Forge Snow (Pigeon Forge, TN)
If you haven’t purchased tickets and all of the snow tubing locations are sold out, you’re not completely out of luck.
Pigeon Forge Snow is one of America’s first indoor snow parks. The chilly building has a wall of artificial snow with several lanes for indoor snow tubing where guests can tube their little hearts out.
No matter what the weather is doing outside, it’s safe to plan a day of snow tubing at Pigeon Forge Snow.
Pigeon Forge Snow offers real snow – and promises no usage of chemicals – that never melts away.
Tubing at Pigeon Forge Snow is available to folks of all ages, and no reservations are required.
Tubers have to be at least 38 inches tall and 3 years old. However, anyone can enjoy their play area, regardless of age or height.
Be sure to bring at least a light jacket since it will be cool inside (about 65-70 degrees).
And even though this snow is real, please don’t eat any. (Seriously, that is one of the few rules).
They also have a snow play area, where kids can freely enjoy a winter wonderland indoors.
One hour of tubing will set you back about $29.99, and 30 minutes of free play is $9.99. Combo packages are available for $36.99 for both activities.
For more information and hours of operation, visit their website.
Wherever you decide to go snow tubing this season, we hope you have snow much fun!
After a long day of tubing, remember to go back to your cabin and warm up in the hot tub to make the experience even better.
Have YOU been tubing during your vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains? Let us know in the comments!