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My Honest Review of Anakeesta
in Gatlinburg

Anakeesta attraction in Gatlinburg TN TreeVenture Course
My photo of an Anakeesta zipliner glides by onlookers on the Treetop Skywalk attraction

(See My Latest Anakeesta Review Video Here - Summer 2024)

The building of the 47 million dollar project, now known as Anakeesta Adventure Park in downtown Gatlinburg, was a bright ray of hope right after the 2016 wildfires. After all the sadness and devastation, and amid the ashes that lay over the mountains, a glimmer of something new was on the horizon. 

The name doesn't really give a clue as to what it's all about.  The Cherokee natives of this area used the word to mean "place of the balsams" or "place of higher ground". 

So now it seems to make sense.  You can see the chair lifts and chondolas slowing taking you up on to this mountain as you walk and drive by, but what is at the top? 

And Wait...what's a Chondola? It's a hybrid chairlift and gondola.  The chondola is enclosed (great for children and strollers ) and chairlift is open-air. Both rides are approximately 12 minutes each way and use the same lift line, at the same price.


Or you can take a ride up in the Ridge Rambler, an easy relaxing ride! 


It's a magical tree house themed adventure park where one can play, eat, shop and relax.  So you'd like to know: Does it live up to the promise?

Anakeesta Gatlinburg Tennessee, woman poses with 2 kids at a Twigloo with scenic overlook
Anakeesta Ride to the top view of chairlifts and Firefly Village, Mountain view Gatlinburg Tennessee
Lady rides Anakeesta Rail Runner mountain coaster, Gatlinburg, TN

Ticket Prices & Cost of Anakeesta Attraction

(Subject to Change)

Check Anakeesta's Website for Price Updates

How much is Anakeesta?

The Photo of Pricing at Anakeesta Below Was Taken March 2024.

Please check their website for prices, as they do change regularly.  

General Admission price in 2024 is $39.99 for adults, with special pricing for Seniors (60+) and kids.

3 and under are free.


This includes everything except the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster and Ziplines.

The Dueling Ziplines are additional and run between approximately $60 each.

Rail Runner mountain coaster runs approx. $15-20. 

You can't get a refund once you buy your tickets but...if you have to cancel your visit, the tickets are good for 1 full year from when you buy them.

2024 march pricing_edited_edited.jpg

How to get up to the top of Anakeesta Mountain?

Chairlift vs Chondolas vs Ridge Rambler 

There are 3 options to get up the mountain. You will want to consider the weather and children.


After riding the open chairlift, my personal opinion is I would recommend the Ridge Rambler or Chondola for small and squirmy kids, anyone afraid of heights or with extreme anxiety.  


The open-air chairs have one safety bar and hold 4 people. The enclosed chondolas hold 6.  Consider riding in the Ridge Rambler - a comfortable, open-air trolley, up and down the mountain for those afraid of heights.


I would not recommend flip flops on the open chair lift. Things, including cell phones and sunglasses can drop out of our laps and hands.  Something like this hands-free money belt would be really helpful.


Wheelchair access is available for chondolas.  I was pleased to hear that wheelchairs DO fit into the chondolas and a ramp is provided for entry and exiting it.  Most other activities on top of the mountain is also wheelchair accessible.  Also FREE wheelchairs are provided at the top.  The Treetop SkyWalk and Observation Tower are not, unfortunately, wheelchair accessible at this time.


If you have a service animal, you will definitely need a chondola. Otherwise, pets are not allowed.

*I've provided a map at the bottom of this page to get an idea of the park layout.

What's NEW?


Astra Lumina Night Walk & Light Show

Hellbender Mountain Coaster

Compare All Mountain Coasters

See My Coaster Ride on Hellbender

European Village

Observation Tower -  "AnaVista" Tower is a scenic tower with gorgeous 360 degree views. See photo below!  According to Anakeesta, the name "combines the inspiration of a flower opening towards the heavens from the “Vista” Gardens and its place atop “Ana”keesta". 

Tree Venture Challenge - A Family Treehouse Adventure - Interactive play on multi-level treehouses.  Great for all ages!  

Splash Pad - This already very popular spot to cool off from the heat of the day is next to the newly renovated plaza with gorgeous Smoky Mountain views!

Clifftop Restaurant -  Every seat with a view of Mount LeConte!

Anakeesta Tree Canopy Walk, Gatlinburg, TN
my photo of the Anakeesta chondola Gatlinburg TN
My photo of Anakeesta attraction's tree canopy walk, Gatlinburg TN, forest and mountain views
Gnome houses at Anakeesta theme park in Gatlinburg Tn
My photo of the Ridge Rambler at Anakeesta and driver, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Anakeesta Restaurant, showing mountain views, "Clifftop Grill", Gatlinburg TN, dining area with mountain view

Firefly Village

These are the shops and places to eat that you will find upon arriving at the top.  Summit Smokehouse (did not try it but the food we saw looked delicious), Pearl's Pie in the Sky, Great Outdoor Trading Company, Catching Fireflies, and Adventure Outpost.


Adventure Outpost is where you can buy zipline tickets.  After zipping the 1,000 foot line you can repel down the side to the ground where an all-terrain vehicle awaits to take you to the halfway point on the chairlift so you can ride back up the mountain.  Stairs are always an option for getting down if you don't want to repel down. 


We didn't go inside any of these on our visit there but we did have our photo taken on the trip up so that is also an option. According to the website, a photographer can be sent to photograph special occasions like a marriage proposal or other special occasion on the mountain.  Personally, i think it would be a great spot for an engagement or marriage proposal.

Memory Walk

I was very happy to see this included in the design.  This is a quiet spot on a hill that commemorates the wildfire impact.  Standing plaques with photos show different aspects of the fires and tell stories.  A wind chime was blowing in the breeze as we walked around the area. Very nice addition. The fires did impact the land Anakeesta was built on and delayed the construction due to trees burning and safety issues needing to be addressed.

See 8 Cabins Near Anakeesta


Anakeesta Mountain Coaster- Rail Runner

(Extra After Admission)

Intense, super-fast, exhilarating - made for adrenaline junkies, so be warned.  Solo or Tandem rides available, check website for current prices.

Single rail, low to the ground thrill ride. Must be under 270lbs and you will be weighed.  Speeds up to 25 MPH with hand brake controller to slow down.

New! Hellbender Mountain Coaster is a new double rail coaster that allows 2 riders at once. Great, smooth coaster! See more details here!

Dueling Ziplines

(Extra After Admission)

Zipliners are overhead or zipping by as you explore the Treetop Skywalk.  We liked being able to watch them go. We didn't ride the zipline but I would have loved to! I think what makes it even more fun are the double lines side by side.  You can zip at the same time right next to whomever you choose and share the awesome experience!  It also makes for a great first time zip experience and beginner line.


Must be at least 7 years old. Any kids 12 and under will need to be with an adult. Weight limits are 70-270lbs.

Beautiful zip of 1,000+ foot line through the beautiful tree canopy (approximately 200 ft. above ground) and then repel down (or use the stairs) the side where your ride awaits to take you to the halfway point platform of the chair lift so you can go back up the mountain. No reservations needed. You will, however, need closed toed shoes.  Hair tying is recommended, and small lockers are available if you should need one.  Also, no hand braking is required. 

(Check out my Smoky Mountains Zipline Guide here)


Treetop Sky Walk

Really unique fun and relaxing part of the whole place.  Probably my favorite.  This is a series of bridges leading through a beautiful canopy of mountain trees.  It allows you enjoy the sights of the forest while watching others zipline overhead.

Gem Mining and Treehouse Themed Playground

Very kid friendly! Playground is free and it is a small fee for gem mining. A bag of gems can be purchased to take home. 


Tickets for all this can be bought in advance online but I would definitely check the weather forecast ahead and take a rain coat just to be safe!  Most everything is outdoors.



Anakeesta is open YEAR-ROUND.  During  JANUARY and FEBRUARY, they may have limited operating hours and days so call ahead!  Check for current open/close hours. 


The phone number is

865-325-2400 if you have questions.




Triple AAA 10%

Military an immediate family 10% 

Sevier County Locals 20%  (This is very good!)

Attraction Discounts



576 Parkway at Traffic Light #5 in downtown Gatlinburg.


Parking is available but sometimes scarce in Gatlinburg. If you cannot find parking at Anakeesta's lot, plan on paying for parking in one of the parking areas downtown.

River Road is a good source for parking lots and random free roadside parking.

There are also parking garages at traffic light #3 and behind Ripley's Aquarium and across from Ole Red.



Comparing 3 Mountaintop Attractions


 Ober Gatlinburg Chairlift vs Anakeesta vs Gatlinburg Skylift Park


So, you may be thinking,

how are Ober Gatlinburg and Gatlinburg Skylift Park different from Anakeesta?

Any of these 3 are an excellent way to spend the day! 

See More Helpful Info About How

Anakeesta, Ober & Skybridge Compare!

They all take you up to a mountaintop for amazing fun.

But the similarities end there. 

Some key differences are:


Ober Gatlinburg - Take the Aerial Tram or Drive up

Individually priced activities.

European & German Village Themes, Alpine Slide, Scenic Chairlift ride, Downhill Mountain Biking, Seasonal Snow Skiing, Rock Wall, Jump Pad, Snow Tubing Summer & Winter, shopping, food, Outdoor Movies and more. Chairlift is just one of the many activities at top.

Many activities.

Anakeesta - Take the Chondola or Chairlift or Ridge Rambler up

General Admission tickets available + Extra for other activities such as Dueling Ziplines and Rail Runner Mountain Coaster & Astra Lumina. 

Tree house themes, Observation Tower, Splash Pad, Birdventure, Hellbender and Rail Runner Mountain Coasters, Astra Lumina Light Show, Treeventure Course, Shopping, European Village, Dining, and more. Chairlift takes you to a multitude of activities at top.

Many activities.

Gatlinburg SkyPark - Take the Chairlift Up

One Price for Everything.

Seasonal Themes, Scenic ride up, Chairlift takes you up to the Famous Skybridge Pedestrian Bridge, SkyDeck, and SkyCenter, SkyTrail, Tulip Observation Tower, and places to eat and drink. 

Several Activities.



The above options are all excellent choices.

just depends on what you want to do, how much time you have and how much money you can spend on any given day.


Overall, I believe Anakeesta is definitely worth it! It is a great time for families, single adults, kids, or even large groups. There are alot of little touches, such as a community fire pit surrounded by rocking chairs and wildflowers growing on sides of slopes. It is unique, beautiful, and shows alot of promise for expansion in the future.  

Anakeesta Rock

Anakeesta rock is the beautiful rock that forms in the high altitudes of the mountains. Found on the crests of the Smoky Mountain tops, this rock was formed about a billion years ago from sediments in the ancient ocean waters. 



You can watch my video from Anakeesta when it first opened Here  

Here is my Anakeesta 2021 video

You also might like

8 Cabins Near Anakeesta

15 Honeymoon & Small Cabins

Excellent Large Cabins for Groups

Skylift vs Anakeesta vs Ober

Map of Anakeesta in Gatlinburg below

spring wildflowers at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg tn
Signs show the way at the Anakeesta attraction in Gatlinburg
Anakeesta attraction's Tulip Tower, Observation Tower at the highest point in Gatlinburg TN
"Willow Man" art sculpture at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg Tennessee, theme park attraction, kids playing on him
Lighted tree canopy walk at night at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg tn
Anakeesta Gatlinburg Tennessee, kids playing in gem mine
Dueling Zipline platform at Anakeesta
Tree Canopy Walk at the Anakeesta Attraction Adventure Park in the Smoky Mountains
Anakeesta Gatlinburg TN Ridge Rambler you can Ride to the Top
Splash pad with child playing at Anakeesta's theme park in Gatlinburg TN
Map of Anakeesta Attraction in Gatlinburg TN, Smoky Mountains
Anakeesta rock formation sample

*Information can change at anytime - please confirm prices and

seasonal hours by visiting ahead of time

If you can't make it to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or the Smoky Mountains right now, check out these live Smoky Mountain WEBCAMS 

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