A colossal suspension bridge with a 30-foot glass bottom section in the middle that doesn’t take you anywhere in particular; the Gatlinburg Suspension Bridge is simply a lot of fun to walk across. Perched atop a 1,800-ft. overlook, it’s the longest pedestrian cable bridge in North America, stretching almost 700 feet across. The top offers incredible views of the Great Smokey Mountains and town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee below. Interesting and fun tidbit – while the “SkyBridge” is a new addition to Gatlinburg, the “SkyLift” is not, with the first skylift opening in 1954.
Located at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, at 765 Parkway, it’s open daily from 9am – 10pm. Tickets are sold at the bottom, with the ticket booth located right on the Parkway, which is the main street through Gatlinburg. It’s right across from Ripley’s Believe It or Not and difficult to miss, particularly due to the massive orange poles that the lift is made out of. The closest parking lot is directly behind the ticket booth; be advised, it cost money to park there. Tickets for the Sky Bridge are $27.95 for adults (12-64), $17.95 for juniors (4-11), $22.95 for seniors (65+), and children under 3 are free. You can purchase online or at the booth.
We may have gotten lucky, but we didn’t wait in line long for the tickets or the chairlift, and getting on was easy. Beware, the chairlifts don’t stop, so you gotta be quick on your feet! A large metal bar comes down to help secure you in place. It takes you high, but I’m petrified of heights and I was able to handle it. Once you near the top, get ready, because they’re going to take your picture to sell back to you for about $25. Again, the lifts don’t stop, so you have to quickly hop off and move along.
While it’s kind of a pricy endeavor, the suspension bridge is tons of fun, and the glass bottom is a trip to stand on and walk over. However, all you really do is walk to one side and then walk back… Also, it does sway, but not any where as bad as another suspension bridge I’ve been on (that honor goes to Beautiful Montana: Kootenai Falls and Suspension Bridge.).
After walking from one side of the bridge and back, we explored what else was up there. There were rocking chairs (which were prime 🤌🏼 real estate), as well as other areas to sit and view the mountains, a food area, souvenir shop (where you purchase your overpriced photo), a large fountain that changes colors at night, and a bar upstairs with an outside drinking/viewing patio area. The bathrooms are also located upstairs.
After we walked from one end of the suspension bridge to the other, we headed to the bar area. It has one of the best areas to view the mountains, in my opinion, and wasn’t anywhere as crowded. We stayed there as the sun went down and watched as Gatlinburg and the surrounding Great Smokey Mountains (Hiking in Great Smokey Mountains National Park.) were washed in the most magnificent blue. It was both gorgeous and surreal.
Overall, it’s a nice day/night outing and worth the price. We stayed until closing time at 10pm, because by around 8pm, most of the families had filtered out, and we got to sit and relax. The SkyBridge can be either a quick hour-long outing, or you can hang out all night like we did. Gatlinburg can get a tad overwhelming with the amount of traffic and people, so it’s nice to sit somewhere away from the hustle and bustle, just enjoying those epic mountain views. ⛰😍