The 500-ft SkyLift ascent is steep, but swift, having taken us from the ticket center to the top in just about 10 minutes only. Each lift is capable of seating at maximum, 3 adults. As you approach the top of the lift, be prepared to smile and pose for the photographer (accompanied by proper signage so that you aren't surprised or caught too off-guard). Disembark the lift and you will find your way into the SkyCenter souvenir shop as your first stop atop the mountain. We immediately went to check out our photo, and opted for a hard copy printed keepsake. The souvenirs in this shop were fairly generic to the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg, but there was a wide array of items to purchase. We found our way outside and took our family photo immediately adjacent to the lift, and overlooking downtown Gatlinburg. There are a few lifts in Gatlinburg, but this one offered the best view of the central hub of the downtown area.
We found a couple of lounging areas outside: there by the man-made waterfall area, there were some beautiful backdrops, and up some stairs there was a large fire pit area. It was drizzling just a little bit during our visit, but I was imagining how neat of a spot it was to host a nighttime fire with family and friends there. A few more stairs and we were at the entrance of the park's SkyBridge, the currently newest part of the complex, having been introduced in May 2019.
So, here's something to keep in mind: if you're looking for a souvenir that actually says 'SkyLift' or 'SkyBridge', it's on the OTHER side of SkyBridge. Meaning, only the brave who are willing to walk across the 680-foot, longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America, 140 feet above the ground below, will be able to obtain one of these elusive keepsakes. Oh, and by the way, at the center of this 5-foot wide bridge is 30-feet of glass-paneled flooring: you must brave this see-through section in order to have the bragging rights that you crossed this; AND, you'll have to do this again once you reach the end as there's no other way back to the SkyLift!
But the views are amazing to behold. For my family, scenery before the bridge offered up different angles that views on the other side of the bridge. Even while it drizzled slightly, it was fun for us to take as many photos as possible on that bridge. Even having been mentally prepared for it, it was still an awesome and slightly unnerving experience to have been so high up in the sky like that. Should we have the opportunity to go back someday, we'l have to check out the park's SkyTrail, a quarter-mile outdoor elevated boardwalk offering even more unique views from SkyLift Park, set to open in Fall of 2020.
This was definitely a great stop for the family, and it's easy to see why some families make obligatory annual pilgrimages here. Hoping we'll be back someday soon, SkyLift Park! Thank you!!