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Black Bear Falls or Ski Mountain or Arts & Crafts Loop

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Columbus, Ohio
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Black Bear Falls or Ski Mountain or Arts & Crafts Loop

This will be our first trip to Gatlinburg. We are an extended family with twelve adults and four kids ranging from 5 to 13. Which part of Gatlinburg would be better for us to rent a cabin: Black Bear Falls, Ski Mountain, or Arts & Crafts loop. Everyone will be headed in different directions to do what they like to do best, whether its hiking, shopping, attractions, etc.. Also, I know Elk Springs Resort is in the Arts & Crafts loop. Would that be the best place to stay? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

Pigeon Forge...
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1. Re: Black Bear Falls or Ski Mountain or Arts & Crafts Loop

I think Black Bear falls is a great area for you. It is in between towns and has great access to all areas (Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Arts & Crafts area). Elk Springs will be further out, and Ski Mountain is at the far end of Gatlinburg, although you can use the bypass to get into Pigeon Forge. Ski Mountain roads tend to be very steep and very curvy, so depending on those that will be driving will help to determine if this location is good for you. I'm not familiar with the roads in Elks Springs resort, so cannot talk about them. Black Bear Falls also has some steep roads, but I don't think they are nearly as steep as Ski Mtn Rd.

Columbus, Ohio
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2. Re: Black Bear Falls or Ski Mountain or Arts & Crafts Loop

Awesome insights, very helpful, and very much appreciated. We are going in July. I can't wait. I have a bad case of the winter blahs. Again, Thank you.

Pigeon Forge...
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3. Re: Black Bear Falls or Ski Mountain or Arts & Crafts Loop

You're welcome. There are lots of people on here that really love Ski Mtn area due to the views. I believe Cherokeegurl had taken some pics of the Elk Springs resort a while back, if so, I'm sure she'll post them for you and let you know what she thought if the area. And several others on here have stayed in cabins in the Black Bear falls area as well. I liked the area quite a bit due to ease of access and the views.

Columbus, Ohio
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4. Re: Black Bear Falls or Ski Mountain or Arts & Crafts Loop

This is very helpful. There are a couple of cabins in Black Bear Falls that we are looking at renting. But, we were also intrigued by the great reviews Elk Springs Resort seems to receive from folks posting on Trip Advisor. There seems to be so many options in Gatlinburg that it can make your head spin.

Hebron, Indiana
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30 reviews
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5. Re: Black Bear Falls or Ski Mountain or Arts & Crafts Loop

I just booked a cabin in Black Bear Falls for early May. It's my first time staying in that area but have been told by several people that have stayed there that it's a really nice area and although some of the roads are steep (but was told not TOO steep), they are wide and curbed. I hope they are right because I'm not crazy about steep roads.

Last September I stayed in a cabin in the Arts and Crafts community right off of Glades Rd and the roads were decent there (at least where I was). The road leading up the cabin had one steep part but other than that , it was fine.

I've never been on Ski Mountain Rd and most likely never will because I heard some parts were quite steep. I'm sure others on here will fill you in more about that road.

It only took me about 7 minutes to get downtown from where I was in the Arts and Crafts community and I believe Black Bear Falls is even a little bit closer.

Good luck with your cabin choice and hope you have a wonderful time in the Smokies. I know I can't wait to come back! :)

Saxonburg...
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6. Re: Black Bear Falls or Ski Mountain or Arts & Crafts Loop

We've booked a cabin in the Elk Springs Resort for June. We usually would have traded for a timeshare in Gatlinburg, but the reviews weren't looking that good. Decided on a whim to try renting a cabin since we're taking my brother and his family with us. We booked based on the reviews here on Trip Advisor but am a little skeptical since alot of those reviews are done by individuals with only 1 contribution. Hope we made the right choice.

Bartlett, Tennessee
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7. Re: Black Bear Falls or Ski Mountain or Arts & Crafts Loop

I dont think I have pictures of Elk Springs Resort.I have some of Hidden Springs Resort and Gatlinburg Falls Resort.

As far as Ski Mountain Rd we rented a cabin up there for Christmas and the roads are steep with switchbacks.If your on the right streets up there the views are very pretty and if your cabin is on Ski Mountain Rd most of them dont have a mountain view and only a few do higher up.If you find a cabin on Zurich Rd,Luzerne Rd,S.Braden,Bavarian Way or Ski View Dr,Upper Alpine Way then those are going to be the ones with the best views I think.Some of the resorts cabins are right on top of each other and I prefer a little more privacy.I also dont like cabins that are all in a wooded area.I like to see some mountain views.Nothing like enjoying your morning coffee and looking at the beautiful mountains.

Im not crazy about staying off East Parkway(321) towards the Arts and Crafts district.I have stayed a couple of times with Alpine Chalet Rentals and both times the cabins were off of Pinnacle Dr right down from The Alamo Steakhouse.

I really like the Greystone Heights,Wiley Oakley,Campbell lead and Chalet Village areas the best.

Where ever you decide to stay I hope you and your family have a wonderful time and make sure to spend some time in The National Park.

Edited: 04 February 2011, 00:16
Tennessee
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758 posts
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8. Re: Black Bear Falls or Ski Mountain or Arts & Crafts Loop

Looks like you have alot of adults going and everyone will be heading in a different direction, sounds like you will have several vehicles too. Keep in mind some of those cabins only have room to park a few cars and some will have lots of parking room. If it does not state (some do on the cabin company web site) how many cars the drive can accomodate please ask when making reservations. I have seen some large cabins high on a mtn. top with enough room for 2 small cars.

Columbus, Ohio
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9. Re: Black Bear Falls or Ski Mountain or Arts & Crafts Loop

Thank you all for your insights. They are all very helpful.

Salem, Virginia
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326 posts
23 reviews
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10. Re: Black Bear Falls or Ski Mountain or Arts & Crafts Loop

I really love the Wears valley area. I do not like those extremely steep narrow roads and this area has been good for us. Every year we use Cabins USA. I like their website, customer service and ,knock on wood, every cabin has been spotless and beautiful. I like staying in the general Pigeon forge area because its so close to all the shows, shopping, restaurants etc plus Gatlinburg is right down the road. One year we stayed out sky harbor which is midway between the towns but we hated the scarey roads. Its just what suits you and your party's needs. I think the ski mountain area would be beautiful from pictures ive seen but im scared of it lol Also we stayed out 321 towards the arts and crafts community and it seemed a little out of the way of most activities. Where ever you choose Im sure you guys will love it and have a ball.