Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster (2023 Guide)

Located at the base of the Sugar Mountain, the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster opened in 2020 as the first alpine coaster in North Carolina.

This is one of the area’s most popular activities and a family-friendly ride that is definitely worth checking out.

If you’re looking for more information about this alpine coaster, then you have come to the right place!

We provide everything you need to know including insider tips and advice so keep reading to find out more!

Table of Contents

Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster North Carolina

Where Is the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster?

The Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is only a 5-minute drive from Banner Elk and located almost directly opposite the Sugar Mountain Resort.

Address: 3265 Tynecastle Highway, Banner Elk, NC 28604

For directions take a look at the map below:

How Long is the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster?

The Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is 3,160 feet (963m) long and offers riders an exhilarating ride with multiple 360-degree loops, twists and turns as it makes its way down the mountain.

The total downhill ride time is about 1 minute depending on your speed.

The Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is fitted with a manual brake so the speed of the ride is something that you’re in control of.

You can expect a total ride time on the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster of about 5-7 minutes. This includes the cable-pull ascent to the top.

How Fast Is the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster?

The Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster can reach a maximum speed of 27 mp/h (43 km/h).

As a safety feature, alpine coasters are fitted with an automatic braking system that prevents the carts from going over the maximum speed.

In addition, this alpine coaster is fitted with a manual brake that lets riders control the speed of their descent.

If 27 mp/h (40 km/h) is too fast for you, you can slow the ride down to a speed that feels more comfortable.

What Is An Alpine Coaster?

If you’re unfamiliar with alpine coasters (also known as mountain coasters), check out the post we wrote.

Mountain or alpine coasters are gravity-powered roller coasters that use the natural contours of a mountain to provide riders with a thrilling downhill ride experience.

Alpine coasters are a great activity that the whole family can enjoy. However, given the nature of this ride, there are some age and height restrictions that apply.

In addition, alpine coasters are equipped with a manual brake, enabling riders to adjust their descent speed. This unique feature allows riders to have greater control of their experience.

If things get a bit too fast for your liking you can apply the brake, if you’re more of the daredevil type then you can leave the brake untouched for maximum speed.

And finally, no prior experience or training is necessary. You can just jump in and enjoy the ride.

Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster Video

One of the great things about alpine coasters is that a lot of people have filmed their ride experiences.

We’ve watched them all and uploaded our favorite videos of the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster.

The video below gives you a first-person view of what you can expect from start to finish on the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster.

One thing to be aware of though is that point-of-view videos can be a bit misleading.

The wide-angled lens makes the drops shallower and the ride seems way slower than it is in real life.

They provide a good idea of what the ride looks like but only real-world experience tells you how they feel.

Or how about this one for a slightly different experience..

How Much Does the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster Cost?

Three is no online book system so tickets to the coaster must be purchased on-site.

The purchased tickets are valid for two weeks and are non-refundable.

At the time of writing, the cost to ride the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster was as follows:

Adult 3-ride bundle (14 years+)$35
Youth 3-ride bundle (7-13 years)$29
Child 3-ride bundle (3-6 years)$12
Adult single ride (14 years+)$16
Youth single ride (7-13 years)$13
Child single ride (3-6 years)$5

Discounts are offered to the following people:

  • Military and first responders receive $2 off single and bundle with valid ID.
  • Groups of 15 or more receive $3 off single and bundles.

We highly recommend that you book a check-in time in advance.

A check-in time guarantees you a spot in the line but there will be some waiting once you are in line.

You can make your check-in reservation online here.

Rider Requirements

As with any ride of this nature, there are a number of rider requirements and restrictions that you need to be aware of before riding.

These restrictions are in place to ensure riders’ safety. We’ve summarized the key rider requirements below:

  • Children must be at least 3 years old and 38″ (96cm) tall.
  • The minimum age for single riders is 9 and the rider must be at least 54″ (137cm) tall.
  • If there are two people riding together, the minimum passenger height is 38″ (96cm) and the person driving the cart must be at least 54″ (137cm) and 16 years or older.
  • Adults are not allowed to ride together. Only adults and a child 14 years or younger may ride together as long as their combined weight is below the maximum.
  • The maximum weight per cart is 375 lbs (170kg).

Operating Hours

The Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is open every day of the week in summer and winter.

The operating hours are as follows:

Sunday to Thursday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

One thing to be aware of is that the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster has been designed to operate in all weather conditions.

The carts can be fitted with transparent covers on wet or snow days and because the carts are fixed to a track they can operate in slippery conditions.

However, it is worth noting that to ensure riders’ safety, the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster can close in severe weather conditions (thunderstorms and lightning).

Updates are provided on the company’s Instagram page.

Contact and Other Information

Phone: 828-898-7866

Website: To access the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster website click here.

Recent Posts