Area Attractions

Sky Ridge Yurts is located in the heart of the Smoky Mountains where opportunities for outdoor fun are nearly endless.  We are closest to the famous Nantahala Outdoor Center, or the NOC as it’s affectionately known around here, where you can find everything from the classic river rafting adventure to simply having a cold craft brew by the river.  About a fifteen minute drive will find you in the heart of Bryson City, where you’ll find abundant shopping and incredible restaurants to experience.  This is also where you’ll find the closest entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in the Deep Creek area.  If mountain biking is what you’re into, we are located a simple ten minutes away from the Tsali mountain bike area.   Whatever you’d like to do on your vacation in the mountains, Sky Ridge will put you right in the middle of it all.  Here are just a few things in the area that we think you shouldn’t miss, and our recommendations are from our personal experience (so dropping our name probably won’t help you much) and we’re not compensated in any way to suggest them to you.  We just think they’re the best.

River Rafting

The Nantahala River is family-friendly and consists of Class II and III rapids, and you can rent your own raft or go with a guide that can make the river extra fun and safe.  There are many rafting companies in the area, but our personal favorite is Rolling Thunder River Company.  There are some weight restrictions for children, and Rolling Thunder will let your pets ride along when you rent special booties for them.  You can reach them by calling 800-408-7238 or on their website at

Brad at Rolling Thunder River Company taking guests down Nantahala Falls

Brad at Rolling Thunder River Company taking guests down Nantahala Falls

If you’re looking for something a little more tame, we recommend a ride down the Tuckaseegee River.  No age or weight requirements, you can ride this river without a guide and give everyone in your group the whitewater experience.  Again, there are many companies in the area who run the Tuckaseegee, but our favorite is Tuckaseegee Outfitters.  You can reach them by calling 828-586-5050 or on their website at

Mountain Biking

Probably the most popular areas to mountain bike can be found at the Tsali Recreation Area.  About a 10 minute drive from Sky Ridge, Tsali offers scenic pedaling around Fontana lake for beginners and challenging climbs and super-fast descents for experts.  You can make any ride at Tsali a short easy-paced one or an all-day challenge.

Trails for all levels of expertise await at Tsali Recreation Area.

Trails for all levels of expertise await at Tsali Recreation Area.

If you don’t have your own bike, don’t worry.  There are many places to rent bikes in the area.  We recommend Bryson City Bicycles in downtown Bryson City.  They can hook you up with a full 24-hour rental, and more than that, they’ll size you (and your kids) professionally so that you don’t find yourself on a bike that’s not right for you.  Also included with your rental are bike racks for transportation, and the staff can also assess your riding skills and recommend the right biking trail to suit you.  You can reach them 828-488-1988 or on their website at


Zip Lining

Easily one of the newest and most popular activities in the area, zip lining is a great way to push your own limits and experience something that not many people have.   If you have the time, we recommend a trip through the Smokies into Gatlinburg for a visit to Climbworks.  There are many reasons why we think Climbworks is well worth the day trip, but probably the best reason is that they allow young children to ride tadem with guides, so your smallest family member doesn’t have to sit this one out.  You can reach them at 865-325-8116 or on their website at  And while you’re over that way, you can also take a ride on the Mountain Coaster at Ober Gatlinburg (so fun!).

Zip lining at the NOC's Adventure Park

Zip lining at the NOC’s Adventure Park

Fontana Dam Area – Home to the largest lake in NC, boat rentals available all along the lakeshore, Fontana Dam tours, scenic Dragon’s Tail roadway, and the Joyce Kilmer National Forest.  About 30 minutes away.

Cherokee Indian Reservation – Indian Heritage Museum, Ocunoluftee Indian Village, Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama, Cherokee Casino, and the Gateway to the Smoky Mountain National Park.  About 30 minutes away


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