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“A Nice Way to Ride into History”

The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
Ranked #19 of 148 things to do in Chattanooga
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Attraction details
Owner description: Known as “America’s Most Amazing Mile,” The Incline’s trolley-style cars climb through the natural beauty surrounding historic Lookout Mountain at a breathtaking 72.7% grade – straight up! Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenic views of the mountains and valleys from the observation windows on the train as well as the panoramic views from the observation tower at The Incline’s top station. And while you’re up top, be sure to visit the many points of Civil War interest, the Battles for Chattanooga Electric Map & Museum and Point Park, part of the Chickamauga -Chattanooga National Military Park system, just a few short blocks from the Incline top station.Then, after you descend back down to the Incline bottom station, explore historic St. Elmo, where a wonderful collection of unique shopping and dining experiences await you.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Stairs / elevator
Reading, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
206 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“A Nice Way to Ride into History”
Reviewed May 29, 2014

The Incline railway from Chattanooga to Lookout Mountain is the steepest incline in the world. First built in the late 19th century, the incline replaced small gauge railway that ran around the mountain and took almost an hour to travel. The original was run by steam engine, then converted to electric. 2 cables allow one car to go down as one goes up. They pass at the midpoint. New cars were introduced in the 1940's and then again in the 1980's. We started with a round trip ticket from the Chattanooga Station. The 10 min. ride in cars with great windows on the sides and roof give a birds eye view of Chattanooga as we rise to Lookout Mountain, where the Confederacy camped to lay siege to Federal Troops in Chattanooga. The seats on the Incline Railway are slanted down giving great views on all sides and great for photography of the incline railway chiseled out of the mountain by hand. Once at the top the view would have made the trip well worth it.
We bought tickets to the Battle of Chattanooga Museum which using a lit diorama and pictures explained the battle of Chattanooga.
We then walked along Lookout Point with great views and historical markers showing where the Confederate troops were stationed.
Hikers should prepare for a chance to walk all the way around the mountain and follow the battle for Lookout Mountain. We were not prepared to make such a walk so we walked around the grounds and visited a museum explaining what happened here.
Our ride down was as beautiful as the ride up. I would love to make the ride in summer and fall and winter seeing the season change the view.
Chattanooga is obviously a renaissance city. This trip tied the new with the history. Well worth the trip. Do this one if you are in Chattanooga! I always check off for couples because this is how my wife and I travel. But I think friends, family with teens and even solo tourist would enjoy the history.

Visited May 2014
Thank Robert C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
71 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“A very unique view”
Reviewed May 29, 2014

The Incline is a Chattanooga classic. I've been several times in my life and continue to enjoy it. I recommend starting from the bottom (as most passengers do) so the ride gets progressively steeper. You may be tempted to question why there are windows in the roof, until the last bit of the ride makes that logic clear!

Visited May 2014
1 Thank ToughCritic36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Level Contributor
125 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Unique among tourist attractions”
Reviewed May 29, 2014

It has only been my privilege to experience two incline railways--this one and the one in Pittsburgh, but I have to say that this one is the most interesting (and exciting) experiences for anyone, tourist or not, to have in the Chattanooga area. Some of my friends find it scary, virtually on the order of a slow roller coaster ride, because it is so steep. But if you can handle the potential acrophobia, then do experience the Lookout Mt. Incline Railway. Perhaps more important than the physical experience, is the history within which this experience is embedded. You will ascend and/or descend from two very different worlds, each of which has played such an interesting part in the history of the city, the region, and the country.

Visited May 2014
Thank James t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
36 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Not Impressed”
Reviewed May 28, 2014

My kids thought it was awesome, I thought it was boring except the last couple minutes, then I was slightly scared :). You can ride to the top get off, and then get right back in line to go down but I recommend at the top to walk down the street to Point Park. The houses along the road are beautiful, the walk is about 5-7 minutes to the park. Great views from the park, on certain days and times they fire the canon. You have to pay a small fee to get in, unless you have an annual national Parks pass. Worth seeing.

Visited May 2014
Thank brynn1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
60 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Not for the weak of heart!”
Reviewed May 28, 2014

I hadn't made this trip since I was a child. Great views and a lot of history. You can also take it one way and have a driver meet you at the top of the mountain.

Visited October 2013
Thank ChakraDancer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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