Gatlinburg SkyBridge: Nation’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge is nearby

Gatlinburg's SkyBridge is scheduled to open May 17. At 680 feet across, the SkyBridge will be the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. You can take the SkyLift to the top of Crockett Mountain to access the bridge. There are glass panels in the bridge to give you views on just how far up you are. If walking across the bridge isn't for you, enjoy the views from the soon-to-open SkyDeck. The SkyLift, SkyBridge and SkyDeck all provide amazing views of Galinburg.

What is 680 feet long, 140 feet above the ground and has spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains?

In addition to the bridge, the park includes the SkyLift to give you a scenic ride up the mountain; the SkyCenter with a cafe, gift shop and bar; and the SkyDeck, which has a firepit and seating for those not looking to explore the bridge.

Here are some tips to make your visit easier.

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When to visit

SkyLift Park is open every day, weather permitting, except Christmas Day. Since a ticket is valid all day, you can come and go as you like. For example, the best times to walk across the bridge are in the morning and at night: The crowds are smaller and the view during each of those crossings will be very different.

SkyLift Park opens at 9 a.m. all yearlong, with the exception of maintenance weeks. During spring, it closes at 9 p.m., with hours extended to 10 p.m. during the summer. According to the park’s website, any ticket bought after 9 p.m. is good the next day. Hours for the rest of the year can be found here.

How to get tickets

You can walk up to the ticket window and purchase admission to the park, but it’s easier to buy online.

If you buy tickets online, you can join the arrival line at the base of the SkyLift when you visit and pick up a wristband when you pass the ticket windows. Be aware there is not a separate arrival line for online purchases.

Anytime Tickets offer all-day access to the SkyLift Park any day, including weekends and holidays.

Costs are $27.95 for ages 12-64, $22.95 for ages 65 and older and $17.95 for ages 4-11. Ages 3 and younger are free.

Value Tickets offer all-day access to the SkyLift Park on Monday through Thursday, except holidays.

Costs are $24.95 for ages 12-64, $20.95 for ages 65 and older and $17.95 for ages 4-11. Ages 3 and younger are free.

Tickets are nonrefundable and nontransferable. The good news, however, is that all tickets remain valid for one year after the original date of purchase for the original purchaser.

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What to know

Face masks are required in all areas, even those outside. Strollers are not allowed at SkyLift Park. You can store your stroller at the SkyLift until you return back down the mountain.

No animals are allowed, either — even service dogs. "Our policy is supported by industry and federal regulations and is based on legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation of the facility," the park's website states. "These safety requirements are based on actual risks and are not intended to be discriminatory in any way."

Wheelchairs are permitted on the SkyDeck and lower level of the SkyCenter, but not on the SkyBridge.

While you’re there ...

While you’re in the area, why not make a weekend of it? Dollywood is nearby, in Pigeon Forge.

Dollywood has won the amusement industry’s Golden Ticket award for friendliest park the past six years, best shows for nine years running, best Christmas event for 10 years running, best food four out of the past seven years and was ranked as the third best park in the world.