Anakeesta in Gatlinburg TN offers a unique outdoor experience that the entire family will enjoy. The adventure begins with a scenic sky lift ride to the top of Anakeesta Mountain. Once there you will arrive at Firefly Village where you can visit the shops, grab a bite to eat, walk the memorial trail, explore the treetop canopy walk, play in the tree house playground, and go zip lining all while enjoying beautiful mountain views.
What does Anakeesta Mean
Anakeesta is a Cherokee Indian word referring to high ground and it is often associated with a massive rock layer known as the Anakeesta Formation that encompasses many of the peaks of the Smoky Mountains including: Charlie’s Bunion, Chimney Tops, and Mount Kephart.
It's also one of the new attractions in Gatlinburg TN that you should definitely visit.
Video Tour of Anakeesta
Things to Know before you visit Anakeesta
Anakeesta is conveniently located on the main road in downtown Gatlinburg. If you are staying in a nearby hotel you can walk to the entrance, or if you prefer to drive there is a public parking next to the ticket counter and the sky lift entrance. There are also a public parking garage located across the street at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
Anakeesta Chondola & Sky Lift
After purchasing tickets, the adventure begins with a scenic sky lift ride up 600 feet to the top of Anakeesta Mountain. The ride takes about 10 to 15 minutes and you can choose to ride in an open chairlift or enclosed 6 person gondla cabin.
The open chairlifts have a safety bar that comes down in front of you and the gondola cabins are great for strollers and they are wheelchair accessible (the cabins are 32″ wide and 49″ deep).
Shops & Food
At the top of the mountain you'll arrive at Firefly Village where you can browse the shops, grab a bite to eat and walk the memorial trail which details the 2016 wildfires that burned parts of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and 10,000 acres of the Smoky Mountain National park.
There is plenty of seating areas and picnic tables available all with beautiful mountain views.
Insider Tip: Outside food and drinks are not permitted unless there is a specific dietary need. However, they have are reasonably priced options for food, drinks and even ice cream.
Tree house Playground
Kids will enjoy playing on the Anakeesta tree house playground which consists of a series of tree house buildings connects together by rope bridges and raised platforms. You can even climb a ladder up to a loft area in one of the tree houses.
There is a seating area conveniently located next to the playground so parents can sit and relax while their kids play. Bathrooms are located a short walk back down the path toward the shops.
Treetop Canopy Walk
The entire family will want to experience the treetop canopy walk. During the walk you will be 40-60 feet above the forest floor as you make your way along a series of 16 hanging bridges and platforms. It's such a unique experience.
Each platform contains signage with interesting information and facts about the Smoky Mountains, local animals and nature.
Insider Tip: While most areas in Anakeesta are wheelchair accessible, the treetop canopy walk is not. It would also be difficult to push a stroller along the suspension bridges.
Zip lining at Anakeesta
Zip lining is another fun option while visiting Anakeesta, and the two side-by-side zip lines allow you to zip right next to your friends and family. There are a total of three zips and two locations where you can rappel off platforms for a controlled descent. There is an additional charge for zip lining and you can book your time online before you arrive or at the ticket counter when you arrive.
Insider Tip: Save time by completing the online waiver before you arrive, wear close toed shoes and if you have long hair pull it back into a ponytail.
Plan to spend at least 2 hours exploring all that Anakeesta has to offer and take advantage of the fact that your ticket is good all day. Meaning you can ride the sky lift up to the top of the mountain multiple times in the same day. Also, if you purchase your tickets after 3pm, you can get in free the following day.
Anakeesta Coupons & Discounts
If you plan to visit multiple times in a year, consider getting a season pass. If you come at least twice in one year it will save you money. Anakeesta also offers discounts for AAA, Active & Retired Military and their Immediate Family and Sevier County Locals. Group discounts are available by contacting 865-325-2400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, you can find a coupon in the Smoky Mountain Navigator, or print one online here.
Insider Tip: If you purchase your ticket after 3pm you can get in free the following day.
576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
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