Anakeesta in Gatlinburg Review

Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, TN Review – Come see a new part of Gatlinburg and enjoy a SkyLift to the top too. You can zip line, walk along the tree bridges and even check out the Gatlinburg Fire Memorial too.

This weeks Travel Thursday takes us in Gatlinburg into an area where the Gatlinburg Fires were … Let’s take a look at Anakeesta!

Anakeesta in Gatlinburg Review

This is one of Gatlinburg’s newest attraction! It is not far from Ripely’s Aquarium. My wife, Heather and I got to ride to the top on Local Days. We paid $5 total for the both of us to go up that day. I think it is normally around $20 a person ($10 if you park in their garage). Anakeesta wants you to come experience the magic of the Smokies.

Anakeesta Sky Lift
Anakeesta Sky Lift

Right now they are still growing. They are building a restaurant at the time we visited. Granted this attraction has only been open for about six months (September 2017). Even the Memorial Walk was closed due to construction. I would have loved to gone on that walk trail. However, along the main walking path you will see plaques and pictures of those effected by the deviating Gatlinburg Fires.

Updates from the Devastating Gatlinburg Wildfires Destruction

Right now it is on top of a mountain like Ober Gatlinburg is. Currently there is a vendor truck with BBQ. There are a few gift shops too. One thing I don’t like they sell beer up there! That is a downer for me! Even a play are for the kids too.

Anakeesta is a Cherokee Indian word referring to high ground, literally meaning “the place of the balsams.”

Sky Lift

You take a scenic ride via the Chondola to the summit of Anakeesta Mountain. The Sky Lift uses a wide seat type of chair. That way it can hold more of your party as you ride up the mountain. They even have some covered boxed ones too. There are not that many of those, as you will wait to ride on them. I got to ride the regular sky lift seat up and down with my wife.


There are seats where you can sit and relax and just admire the mountains that God created. You might want to check out the plaque that tells you what mountain ranges you can see. That way you know what you are looking at.

[pullquote]Anakeesta is a Cherokee Indian word referring to high ground, literally meaning “the place of the balsams.”[/pullquote]

Views Seen

  • Gatlinburg
  • Ober Gatlinburg
  • Ripley’s Aquarium
  • Gatlinburg Space Needle
  • Myrtle Piont
  • High Top
  • Cliff Top
  • West Point
  • Balsam Point
  • Unnamed
  • Sugarland Mountain
  • Bent Arm Mountain
  • Dripping Spring Mountain
  • Mt. LeConte
  • and more …
Anakeesta Mountain Views
Anakeesta Mountain Views


I didn’t zip-line, I have never been zip-linig, but it might be fun just to say that I did. I over heard one worker talking about it. He said something like you zip-line three stations. The first is like 1,100 feet, second is 1,100 feet. Then the third and final one is 3,000 feet. Watching them from the Tree Bridge, they were flying down the line.

Dueling Zipline Adventure and race side-by-side with friends on our 1,000+ foot zip lines soaring 125′ above the ground. At each challenge tower, you will experience the thrill of rappelling to your next zip challenge.

I haven’t done this, but maybe soon I will.

Tree Canopy Walk

I enjoyed walking along the tree bridge. It can be very slippery, so use caution when walking on it. After I was done walking the tree bridge, I was back on the paved pathway. It felt funny to walk for awhile. I guess where I was use to walking on the bridge. You can feel it wiggle as you walked. Please, read the rules before you walk on it. Too many people around us didn’t!

You walk along the bridge that is 40′ to 60′ above the forest floor. It almost makes you feel like you are in a tree house.

Anakeesta Tree Canopy Walk (Tree Bridge)
Anakeesta Tree Canopy Walk

Memorial Forest Walk

It was closed for construction, but once it is open again, I will add my experience. But check out this picture of one of the burnt trees. Reminds me of a crown. It is along the Memorial Forest Walk, that is closed until completed. I wished I could have got to go up there to see it. But you can still see it from the paved main path.

Anakeesta Memory Forest Walk (Burnt Tree Looks Like a Crown) in Gatlinburg
Anakeesta Memory Forest Walk (Burnt Tree Looks Like a Crown) in Gatlinburg

Coming Soon Brandauer Single Rail Mountain Coaster

Not only is a restaurant coming soon, but a rail mountain coaster. I love those mountain coasters. I have got to visit and review Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster and The Coaster at Goats on the Roof. Maybe Anakeesta will allow me to review the zip-line course and the new mountain coaster ride. So, follow this blog, as I might get to review that. It will be a Brandauer single rail mountain coaster!

This is also the Firefly area too. So during the summer this may be a great time to see the fireflies too.

I would recommend a visit here! I plan to go back when they have more stuff open and finished. So be patient with them as they are still working on things to see and do there.

More info at

We paid for the Sky Lift ride on local days, so it was discounted. I wasn’t given anything for this review. This review is from my own experience at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, TN.

About the Author

Author: Steve Patterson

A Christian Blogger that enjoys blogging about the Bible, Theology, God, Jesus Christ, Christian Music, Family, Cats, Odd Holidays, sewing and much more. I have been blogging since 2004, however, I have been blogging on Courageous Christian Father since 2012. I enjoy listening to Christian Music. I am married with 1 daughter, 2 step-sons and a step daughter.

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