PIPESTEM, W.Va. – It sweeps from the Upper Station at Pipestem’s Canyon Rim Center to the floor of the Bluestone Canyon. It crosses the Bluestone River before arriving at Mountain Creek Lodge. It is the only public access to this 30-room vacation hotel-style accommodation complete with upscale dining. The aerial tramway at Pipestem Resort has been open since 1971 and is one of two trams of its kind in North America.
Designed by Mueller Lifts, the total length of the aerial run is 3,410. The highest elevation is 2,639 with the lowest elevation at 1,520. It takes six minutes from top to bottom and can transport up to 400 persons per hour.
There is a minimal fee to ride the tram from the bottom at Mountain Creek Lodge back to the top. “Mountain bikers enjoy the ride down the mountain and the option to have a lift back to the top,” said Dave Caplinger, park superintendent.
The aerial tram fee without hauling equipment is $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 5-12. Kayakers taking advantage of the Bluestone River appreciate the ride as well. There is an additional $4 fee per bike or kayak transport. “With a vertical rise of 1,097 feet out of one of the more remote canyons in the east, even the hardiest biker or kayaker appreciates the smooth, easy trip,” Caplinger said.
Pipestem’s aerial tramway, Mountain Creek Lodge and Mountain Creek restaurant opened May 17 and will remain open until late October. Tram hours are 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. The tram does not operate during scheduled maintenance conducted on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m.
Mountain Creek Lodge is open from May 17 to Oct. 27, and guests here have free access to the tram. Gourmet dining is from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. daily and reservations are encouraged, but lodge guests can enjoy a daily complimentary continental breakfast. Views from room balconies at Mountain Creek Lodge are of the Bluestone River. The lodge has horseshoes, volleyball and other outdoor games as well as an indoor game room.
Mountain Creek Lodge also is the destination for the extremely popular spring and fall Trout Wrangler horse and fly fishing packages that are offered when the tram is not in operation. A section of the Bluestone River is a delayed harvest catch-and-release area until June 1, so trout fishing can be outstanding early in the season for Mountain Creek guests.
Reservations for this unique lodge setting can be made by telephone at 304-466-1800 or online at www.pipestemresort.com
. The website includes additional information on the park’s amazing array of lodging and recreational opportunities, including golf, swimming, nature activities, amphitheater shows, dining and hiking.
Dave Caplinger, Park Superintendent