The Top 8 Outdoor Adventures In Gatlinburg

Are you an adventure seeker looking for your next thrilling outdoor excursion? Look no further than Gatlinburg, Tennessee! Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking and whitewater rafting to ziplining and horseback riding, there’s no shortage of thrilling experiences.

This blog highlights the eight must-do outdoor activities you can enjoy in Gatlinburg. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or just starting out, there’s something for everyone here. So pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and prepare for an unforgettable adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains.

1. Hiking the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country, and for a good reason. With over 800 miles of trails ranging from easy to strenuous, there’s a hike for every skill level. From the peaceful serenity of the Laurel Falls Trail to the breathtaking views from the summit of Clingmans Dome, the national park offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.

When planning a hike in the national park, it’s important to come prepared. Bring plenty of water, wear appropriate clothing and shoes, and follow Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the park’s beauty. A hike in the Great Smoky Mountains is a one-of-a-kind experience you cannot miss on a trip to Gatlinburg.

Additionally, after a hectic day of hiking, you may be looking for a comfortable and convenient place to rest your weary head. Consider renting a condo! You can find various Gatlinburg condo rentals that offer more space and amenities like equipped kitchens, swimming pools, and hot tubs. It would make the end of the day comfortable and convenient and prepare you for another day of adventure!

2. Whitewater rafting on a rapid river:

Plan your next adventure to be an adrenaline-pumping whitewater rafting trip near Gatlinburg. Several rafting rivers nearby offer a range of difficulty levels, from mild to wild, so you can choose the level of excitement that’s right for you. As you navigate the churning rapids and splash through the crystal-clear water, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

If you’re new to rafting, listen to your guide and follow their instructions. Wear a life jacket at all times and hold on tight as you experience the rush of whitewater rafting in Gatlinburg.

3. Ziplining through the treetops:

For a bird’s-eye view of the Great Smoky Mountains, try ziplining through the treetops in Gatlinburg. There are several zipline courses to choose from, ranging in length and height so that you can find the perfect fit for your thrill-seeking level. As you soar through the forest canopy, you’ll feel the rush of the wind on your face and the sun on your back.

Before you embark on your zipline adventure, listen carefully to the instructor’s briefing. Wear closed-toe shoes and hold on tight as you fly through the air on a zipline in Gatlinburg.

4. Horseback riding through the mountains:

Horseback riding through the Great Smoky Mountains is more of a thrilling, yet peaceful outdoor adventure. With several trail options ranging from beginner to advanced, you can find the perfect ride for your skill level. As you meander through the forest, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the mountains and the chance to spot local wildlife.

To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable ride, make sure to wear sturdy shoes and follow the directions of the guide. Horseback riding in Gatlinburg is a truly magical experience that shouldn’t be missed.

5. Rock climbing and bouldering:

Rock climbing or bouldering in the city puts you up for a physical and mental challenge. The Great Smoky Mountains offer a variety of climbing routes for all skill levels, from beginner to expert. As you scale the cliffs and boulders, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Before you tackle a climbing route, be sure to wear proper gear and follow the belayer’s instructions. Rock climbing and bouldering in Gatlinburg is a truly rewarding experience that will test your strength and determination.


6. ATV and off-road adventures:

Want a thrilling off-road experience? Why not try an ATV tour in Gatlinburg? Several options are available, ranging from beginner to advanced so that you can find the perfect fit for your skill level. As you navigate the rugged trails and conquer steep inclines, you’ll feel the adrenaline rush of off-road driving.

To ensure a fun and safe ATV ride, wear a helmet and follow the guide’s instructions. An ATV tour in Gatlinburg is the perfect adventure for those who love the thrill of the open road.

Also read: 10 Best Things To Do In Cosby TN

7. Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains:

If you’re looking for a peaceful, relaxing, and rewarding outdoor adventure, head to the Great Smoky Mountains to go fishing. The national park is home to various fish species, including rainbow trout, brook trout, and brown trout. Whether you prefer fly fishing or spinning, there’s a technique and spot for every angler in Gatlinburg.

Before you cast your line, be sure to obtain a fishing license and bring the proper gear. 

Also read: Family’s Guide To a Winter Vacation In Pigeon Forge

8. Scenic drives through the national park:

Try a scenic drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a more leisurely outdoor adventure. With several routes to choose from, you can take in the beautiful and diverse landscapes of the park at your own pace. From the winding roads of the Cades Cove Loop to the breathtaking views from the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, there’s something for every sightseer in Gatlinburg.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable scenic drive, stay on the designated roads and respect park regulations. 

Also Read: 5 Adventurous Destinations in Spain to Add to Your Bucket List


The Great Smoky Mountains offer an array of exciting outdoor activities that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Whether you’re looking for thrills or relaxation, there’s something for everyone in this majestic national park. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start planning your next Gatlinburg getaway today!