Mountain coaster excursions are just like roller coasters, except you’re in the thick of nature’s finest. With amazing scenery, you’ll find yourself rocketing through spectacular forests and valleys. Who knew social distancing could be so thrilling?
Our top 5 mountain coaster excursions take you through snowy landscapes and peaceful forests with most covering over a mile of terrain. If you love roller coasters but hate the guy next to you screaming into your ear at the top of his lungs, then this is for you.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Length: 1 mile +
Top speed: 27 Mph
The Smoky Mountains are mesmerizing, and adding a thrill ride to the mix that lets you soar through the scenery is a great way to be at one with nature, albeit with a higher pulse rate.
We talked about the misty tranquility of Blackberry Farms in Tennessee, and this would be a stellar place to stay while planning out this mountain coaster excursion.
With over 1 mile of track, The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is the longest downhill ride in the United States. The ride takes about 7 to 8 minutes to complete, depending on your pace, and the sleds are designed to comfortably carry 2 riders at a time.
This ride is open regardless of rain, snow, or shine, so you’ll have a tough time coming up with excuses should you decide to chicken out.
Les Diablerets, Switzerland
Length: 1 mile+
Top Speed: 25 Mph
This is the highest mountain coaster in the world, so expect it to be a chilly ride – especially since they use the word “Glacier.” Due to the altitude and its location in a glacier world of eternal ice, you will feel frosty.
From the summit at Glacier 3000, you get a stunning panorama view of no fewer than 24 snow-capped mountains; Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, Matterhorn, Grand Combin, and even Mont Blanc in the distance to name a few.
This sky-high ride gives you 520° circles, 10 curves, 6 waves, and 3 jumps. Jumps? Not sure how we feel about that!
Needless to say, that oughta get the heart pumping and warm up the old bones. Strong winds and extreme weather conditions can shut the ride down, so you’ll have to time it right for this one.
If you love the combo of speed and the cold, then skiing stateside might be more your cup of tea. Be sure to check out our top 5 luxury hotels in Aspen if you want to play where the celebs go to warm their frosty little toes by the fireplace.
Sant Julià de Lòria, Andorra
Length: 3.3 miles
Top Speed: 25 Mph
The longest mountain coaster in the world is reported to be at Naturlandia, an outdoor activities theme back in Andorra. Here you’ll drop a total of 400 vertical meters over its length between the park’s two bases at 2000 and 1600m above sea level.
This trip takes you through the La Rabassa forest and every one of its bends provides a unique view of the surroundings and mountains of Andorra.
The toboggan seats two people with safety belts and runs on steel rails. A brake lever allows riders to slow ‘ol Nelly down should you suddenly get a case of the “fraidy-cats.”
Like all these mountain coaster excursions, there are height and age requirements. Riders have to be over 1.20 meters tall, and children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
The ride is open all year round and is included in the price of the general ticket. In bad weather, Naturlandia Tobotronc can opt to shut down the run for safety reasons.
As Andorra is located in the high mountains of the Pyrenees between France and Spain, the weather can get somewhat extreme.
Definitely, not something you want to be caught in, riding in the open air on a tiny rail going 25+ miles per hour.
Roc del Quer viewpoint at Andorra
Length: 1.7 miles
Top Speed: 26 Mph
Located in the small village of Mieders, the village’s summer mountain coaster excursion at the little Serlesbahnen ski area is officially the world’s steepest alpine coaster in the world.
The view from this lake gives you an idea of how steep this mountain terrain is.
Here, you’ll descend 640 meters down the valley surrounded by the gorgeous mountain scenery of lofty Serles Peak.
The monorail-style coaster extends from the top station to the base station of the gondola, leading through the lower wooded slopes of the forest, parallel to the route of the cable car that brought you to the top. So you can scope out your track beforehand, from above.
This alpine coaster makes 40 hairpin turns and is elevated off the ground like a roller coaster, so you get thrills and scenery in one cool run.
Speaking of cool runnings, one ride on these coasters and it’s easy to see why a bunch of Jamaicans decided to give it a go with the bobsledding competition at the Olympics. Either that or they wanted to see snow for the first time.
Alpsee Bergwelt, Germany
Length: 1.7 miles
Top Speed: 25 Mph
There’s no denying the beauty of this Bavarian landscape with its crystal clear lakes and jutting mountain ranges. They just had to go ahead and add another thrill for you to experience.
The Alpsee Coaster operates year-round, so don’t worry about bad weather – it just adds to the thrill.
In fact, if it’s raining you get a free poncho upon request at the valley station. A free poncho might not meet the standard of an airbag but you wouldn’t be on this ride if you weren’t fearless.
This mountain coaster excursion takes you through 68 curves, 23 waves, 7 jumps, and 4 bridges, giving you fun on steroids. Depending on how hard you ride the brakes, this excursion can last from 5-10 minutes.
By the way, good luck with that poncho in a heavy snowstorm. You’ll still be sent down the mountain so make sure you bring those warm mitties. The last one down the mountain’s a rotten grockle!