February 16, 2022
I’m known as the “vacation instigator” in my group of friends. If my suitcase sits too long without being used, I start dreaming of ways I can get away for a short weekend trip—and I’m usually able to convince a girlfriend or two to escape with me. My go-to destination is the Smokies, because between the amazing restaurants and all of the area attractions, there’s something fun to do for a quick weekend away. This year, the winter blues of January had me convinced that a short two-night stay in Pigeon Forge was exactly the kind of sunshine my soul needed. My friend Ashton and I packed our bags, and it was off to Tennessee we went. And one of the main stops on our whirlwind weekend was to Pink Jeep Tours.
When we arrived, we were greeted by rows and rows of… you guessed it… pink jeeps, ready to take guests like us up into the mountains. They look like a Barbie’s dream vehicle, but we quickly learned that these were powerful beasts of machinery that could tackle the terrain of the mountain. We had originally booked the Gatlinburg tour, but our guide PJ let us know that it had snowed on the mountain earlier in the week and a few of the roads had just reopened if we wanted to adjust our route to see some winter wonderland spots. We loved that he was so willing to tailor the tour to us, and we were thrilled to switch to the Newfound Gap tour instead to hit some of the gorgeous snowy spots. I’ll admit that I heard the word “snow” and was super-concerned about the temperature. As a Southern girl, I’m not used to the winter weather, so I packed a ton of blankets in prep for a cold day. Yet I needed none of the winter gear I brought. The back of the jeep was heated so well that we even removed our heavy coats midway through the tour. I had no reason to be concerned because the pink jeep was super-comfy from start to finish.
Ashton and I consider ourselves “regulars” to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but our guide PJ gave even us “old pros” some really fun facts about the park and some of its legendary residents. He regaled us with tales of the Walker Sisters and their homestead that is still standing in the national park today. He even shared with us why you find so many pancake houses in East Tennessee. Did you know that back when they were building out the roads in the park, they fed the workers with pancakes for breakfast and supper? They were filled with carbs and gave them energy to keep working. And of course, Ashton and I were inspired to go eat a nice pancake lunch after the tour upon hearing this tale from PJ. He was full of little nuggets and trivia about the parks, so the tour was not only beautiful but also really informative.
PJ asked us at the beginning of the tour if we were up for a little hike, and about midway through the adventure, we stopped and visited the Chimney Tops Trail. We walked over a snowy bridge about one fourth of a mile to the most gorgeous waterfall where snow was falling from the trees and icicles formed around the rocks. It was breathtaking. We loved getting to pretend for a few moments that we were in a snow globe, and we took a ton of pictures that absolutely did not do the beautiful view justice.
We ended the tour by visiting the Pink Jeep Tour private off-road area, where PJ showed us what the jeep could really do on a 4x4 trail. We hung off a road or two, and both Ashton and I were laughing like we were on one of Dollywood’s roller coasters. There are five different tours you can take, and I honestly can’t wait to come back and take one of the other offerings. I really want to try out the Roaring Fork Smoky Mountain tour in the summer that leans into the history of Gatlinburg, and next Christmas, I already have my sights on the Pigeon Forge Christmas Light Tour. PJ told us a little bit about his time giving this tour this past Christmas, and it sounds like you get a lot of information about Winterfest and some background stories that you may not have heard before.
This was an absolute perfect addition to our girls’ weekend, and not just because the jeep was pink. It was adventurous and fun, but also informative for the nerd like me who loves to hear about the history and stories of a place. And we left with so many pictures! PJ was awesome about encouraging us to take a snapshot, and he even had some fun tricks with the camera he made us try, too. Whether you are headed to the Smokies with girlfriends or your family, this is the perfect addition to your Pigeon Forge getaway and a great way to spend three hours in the mountains.
All Insiders Area Entertainment
All Insiders Area Entertainment