Meet Beth. Beth is a grandma.
She is sweet, unassuming and happy to tell you all about her kids and grandkids.
She’s also the type of grandma who is young, spunky and makes you feel like she could probably outrun you in a marathon. Most notably, she’s knows how to drive a Jeep.
Beth was our tour guide on the Smoky Mountain Pink Jeep Tour.
If you’ve been thinking of taking an excursion in the Great Smoky Mountains, you might be hard-pressed to find a better experience than what Beth and her Pink Jeep Tour offered.
Where does a Pink Jeep tour go?
It depends on which option you select. Some tours start out (or end) with an off-roading experience and then go to their primary destination.
For us, things started out as expected.
Our small tour group introduced ourselves, made some small talk and got things rolling along.
The departure time had barely passed when Beth said something along the lines of, “You know what? We usually do this last, but let’s mix it up a bit.”
We pulled into a backroad leading to a private trail, accessible only by gate code.
And before I knew it, our nice, relaxing ride became a real-life roller coaster.
Unassuming, sweet Beth put that Pink Jeep Wrangler into gear and took to the mountainous roads with unexpected enthusiasm.
She went up and down valleys, whipped around turns and purposefully dove into puddles, lightly splashing her unsuspecting tour-goers and covering the Jeep with last night’s rain.
At one point we came across an incline so steep that I could barely see over the dashboard.
Before I could even think, “There’s no way we’re going down that,” we were already half-way down that steep incline as we passengers grasped the handlebars with white knuckles.
I might have been more scared if my brain could process what was happening a little faster, but instead, I was grinning ear-to-ear.
I’m not sure quite what I was expecting on this off road adventure, but it easily blew away any preconceived notions I had.
After we were all good and awake, the rest of the tour was very educational and consisted of paved public roads.
Our tour on the Foothills Parkway
We selected the Foothills Parkway tour, where we went down Wears Valley, into Townsend and stopped at one of the gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Of course, we also drove along the Foothills Parkway itself, which has been hailed as one of the prettiest drives in North America. Along the way, Beth pointed out waterfalls, hiking trails, and little known facts about the area.
I would highly recommend this tour. It was an absolute blast.
One of our main talking points was about bear sightings. It’s not uncommon for guests to see bears during the tours, and we were told that a frequently asked question is where to find them.
The answer? Around Cade’s Cove, specifically, the Crib Gap area.
But, we also talked about safety around bears, which can be a common problem for tourists and visitors who want to see these magnificent creatures and the safety of the bears themselves.
Beth taught us a new rule of thumb, literally. If you hold your thumb out at arm’s length, and your thumb does not cover the bear in your view, you’re too close.
And it’s important to note that being too close is illegal and prohibited by the park.
How much do you tip a Pink Jeep driver?
It depends on your experience, but generally, a 15%-20% tip is recommended.
We had a great experience with our tour guide, and she really knew her local history. For example, we also talked about the Gatlinburg fires of 2016, and how the damage still affects people to this day.
Beth walked us through the timeline of events, the real story of the infamous two boys and the court cases that followed. I can tell that Beth really studied up on this to be sure she was telling the most accurate story.
She discusses talking with park rangers and going to the library to file through any and every record she could find.
At one point she even pulled out a physical paper, seemingly out of nowhere, as she referenced an article.
The tour ended with the Foothills Parkway, and Beth told us all about its history and how it took 52 years and about $178 million to complete.
The tour is full of good photo opportunities
She pulled over for us all to get our touristy photos and even occasionally served as our photographer so that no one would be excluded from group shots.
As the tour was winding down, Beth said she was going to try to take us off-roading again since we enjoyed it so much, but her next tour was ready and sadly we had to part ways.
Are Pink Jeep Tours worth it?
Overall, this experience was an absolute blast. And yes, it’s absolutely worth it. It was so much fun and is also worth repeating.
Beth made the tour everything it was, and she made a point to give credit to all Pink Jeep Tour guides, who pride themselves on giving their guests the best and most accurate information.
And I truly learned a lot – including a lesson on what a Jeep can do off-road. It was a 10/10 experience, and I would say it’s now on my must-do list in the Smokies.
Pink Adventure Tours is relatively new to the Smokies, coming to the area around March 2019, but the company originally started in 1960 in Sedona, Arizona.
They have additional locations at the Grand Canyon and in Las Vegas.
Beth also told us all about the company’s origin – how they started and how it was the founder’s wife’s idea to color the Jeeps pink so they could stand out amongst the crowd and be easier to find in a phonebook. (I think that strategy worked!)
Today, Pink Adventure Tours is owned by Hershcend Family Entertainment, the operating partner at Dolly Parton’s theme park, Dollywood.
If you book a Pink Jeep Tour, check Tripster for discounts.
Which Pink Jeep Tour is the best in Pigeon Forge?
Pink Jeep Tours currently offers five different tours and one Christmas tour.
We asked Beth to tell us which one was the best Pink Jeep Tour in Pigeon Forge, but she said it’s like choosing a favorite child.
She loves them all. However, I would personally recommend a tour with the 4×4 adventure experience, which was my absolute favorite part of the ride.
These include the Roaring Fork, Newfound Gap and Foothills Parkway tours.
Ticket prices range from $69-79 per adult and $60-70 per child. Christmas Lights Tours are also available in the winter season for $40 per adult and $30 per child.
While some come with the 4×4 adventure, some do not for folks who want a peaceful tour. With so many choices, it is easy to find the right tour for you.
Here is the full list of tours:
- Roaring Fork Smoky Mountains Tour (2 hours, 30 minutes)
- Newfound Gap Smoky Mountains Tour (3 hours)
- Foothills Parkway Smoky Mountains Tour (3 hours)
- Valleys & Views Smoky Mountains Tour (2 hours, 30 minutes)
- Gatlinburg Loop Smoky Mountains Tour (2 hours, 30 minutes)
- Pigeon Forge Christmas Lights Tour (1 hour)
Tips for your Pink Jeep Tour in Pigeon Forge
First of all, bundle up in cooler weather and consider wearing layers. The Jeep is heated, and our guide took great care to make sure we were comfortable.
That being said, you’re in a group, and it’s hard to please everybody. We took our tour in the winter and I’m cold-natured, so while I appreciated the heat being turned up, some of our co-riders didn’t care for it.
Also, temperatures tend to drop in the mountains.
Bring sunscreen and sunglasses, and consider rain gear if applicable. You will be somewhat exposed to the elements.
Also, bring bottled water. The Jeeps carry water to replenish bottles and is available when the vehicle is stopped. Alcohol, food and glass containers are not permitted.
Finally, wear good shoes and outdoor clothing. While out of the tour vehicle, you there’s a chance you’ll be walking around rocky terrain.
Give yourself a bathroom break to start. Guides will give you breaks along the way as well, though.
The tour is fairly mild overall, but if you’re really sensitive to motion sickness, you might want to bring something for nausea on those curvy roads.
The tour guides are happy to help you take group photos, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Rules of the road for your Pink Jeep Tour
Children must be at least 18 months old to ride. Child rates apply to kids aged 18 months to 12 years.
Car seats are provided for children aged 1.5-4 years.
The off-road portion of the tour is not recommended for pregnant women, persons with back or neck problems, or persons with serious injuries.
Pink Adventure Tours reserves the right to alter, modify or cancel any tour due to weather, unsafe conditions or National Park Service request. Tours and rates are subject to change.
Pink Adventure Tours does not allow any weapons, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, drones, glass containers, alcohol, coolers, professional video equipment, illegal substances or cremated remains.
Tax and gratuity is not included.
Have you tried one of these tours yet? Let us know in the comments!
Editor’s Note: Pink® Jeep® are registered trademarks.