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Winter Adventures at Highlands Outpost

snow tubing in Highlands

Highlands Outpost, formerly the Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center, offers all-day, winter fun for the whole family in Scaly Mountain, NC! Snow tubing, ice skating, and The Screamer are open all season and ready to take you on a snowy escapade you won’t soon forget – and all in one place.

snow tubing in Highlands
Photo by Greg Newington and Courtesy of Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visit Highlands, NC.

The Screamer

Aptly named, The Screamer will have you careening down Scaly Mountain on the longest mountain coaster in North Carolina. Powered by gravity, the 3800-foot outdoor course thrills riders with 360-degree turns and spectacular views. The ride is surrounded by safety netting, allowing everyone from the youngest to the most mature to experience the excitement comfortably. This is one of the most unique ways to see the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains!

Snow Tubing

Visitors from across the country trek to Western North Carolina to partake in some of the best snow tubing available. Highlands Outpost offers a spectacular 4-lane course that will have you flying by the seat of your pants. Don’t worry, they have a “Magic Carpet” lift to get you and your tube back to the top. The resort also blows its own snow to augment Mother Nature, so a fun time is always waiting for you.

Insider Tip: Snow tubing usually wraps up around March, depending on weather, but that just means that the gem mining and trout fishing are about to reopen for even more mountain adventure.

Ice Skating

Dreams of Rockefeller Center will fill your head as you glide across the spacious ice rink at  Highlands Outpost. Because it’s just one of the many activities available, the ice rink never seems overcrowded, so go ahead and practice that spin. Ice skate rentals are even included in the ticket price!

ice skating at highland outpost

Where To Eat

After a cold day on the mountain, warm up with a hot chocolate or specialty coffee at the onsite Blue Hound Barbeque. Better yet, tuck into a hearty meal to restore your energy before heading back out. Featuring Carolina-style barbeque, this little gem has some of the best BBQ in these parts, and the locals can’t get enough.

You have to try their Brisket Sandwich! Order it ”hound style” and your sandwich will come with slaw, pimento cheese, jalapeños, and onions. Or order a giant baked potato stuffed with your own selection of toppings (yes, one of them is brisket), and you’ll have all the energy you need to tackle the next adventure.


During the winter months, Highlands Outpost is open 6 days a week and usually closed on Tuesdays. But around Christmas and New Year’s, they offer additional hours. Please check out their calendar here so you can plan accordingly.

One note about the calendar, don’t be confused by the color-coded days. The red days do not signify days they are closed. Instead, it means that those days they are open additional hours.