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hiking
1 day ago

All the other reviews will tell you about the great views and they are all correct the views are wonderful. Here’s what I think might be helpful, this trail can be hiked by young and old. I saw one lady carrying an infant papoose style and I saw some people so old that I expected to see the Grim Reaper right behind them. You don’t need any special equipment or gear. It’s about 45 minutes to the peak, but it’s a steady uphill climb. taking some water would be smart but I saw lots of people without anything at all. It’s a heavily hiked trail and you'll pass people every few minutes. it’s listed on AllTrails as moderate but that is primarily because of the steady incline and the rough terrain, there are some real ankle twisters if you don’t watch where you step.

Such amazing views from this hike!!! It took us about an hour round trip not including time spent at the summit. It’s definitely challenging the second half of the way up but so worth it. The views are incredible! The only downfall is the lack of trail markers and signs to get to the trail head.

Amazing views, difficult trail.

Perfect for a quick yet not easy hike with awesome views!!

Went there yesterday. Took us about 35 mins to the top. It was our very first hike so I wouldn't say it was easy, especially the part from the middle to the top, but not bad and totally doable for the first-timers. The trail was muddy and slippery so bring some good boots. Visibility wasn't perfect, but still the views were amazing!! Many tiny paths on the top so you can find a multiple cool spots either you go right or left. Our Cane Corso girl really liked it too!

Big bang for the buck. Not too long, and awesome views!

the gravel road to get to the trail head is really long. the trail itself is well defined though I didn't see many blazes the first half. passed several campsites early on after that its pretty strenuous and mostly uphill. second half is nearly all downhill. bring water! several places to take in veiws and they are worth it! went on a Wednesday morning and there was very light traffic. several trails connect to this one and I could hear people on those but never saw them.

Because this hike is very popular, suggesting to hike weekdays. The views are super amazing on a clear day, but so if not clear. It is upward so just go slow and stop often if you need to. There are wooden steps and rails in some places, others are rock steps. Go completely to the top to get the best from this hike because about 3 locations you think you are to the top but you are not. My #1 favorite BRP hike.

Because this hike is very popular and parking is limited, suggested to hike week days.

This is my favorite short hike on BRP. the views are amazing. It has steps and rails in different places. a few spots with rock steps. Upward all the way, just take your time and go completely to the top because about 3 times you think it is top but it is not. A clear day is best for the most fabulous view.

We hiked to the top of this trail and the view was breathtaking. It is quite hard to get up for beginners/ people who do not hike uphill often but the payoff was 100% worth it.

We went on a Saturday in early Oct. and got to the park right as it opened at 8am. Parked in the lot just below the very top lot and hiked the short hike up to the swinging bridge. Then walked across the top lot to the start of the grandfather mt trail. We started the hike at 9am, made it to Calloway peak by 11:30, spent 20min at the top for lunch and then got back to our parking lot via black rock trail by 1:45pm. Round trip was about 5hrs and that is with us stopping for views and really taking our sweet time. We hiked about 5.5miles. My advice. Keep right on the underwood trail? On the way up to do the cables and ladders (which weren’t as scary as I was expecting) and then keep right at the same split on the way back for the easier descent. Calloway peak actually wasn’t as impressive as macrae peak was, so if you wanted a shorter trip just go to macrae. But all in all the $20 was worth it and this is one of the best and most fun hikes I have done. 5stars! If I can do it anyone can, just take your time on ascents and descents, but honestly they weren’t too bad. Oh, and start early!

hiking
13 days ago

Great views on a moderately difficult hike. Kids and dog enjoyed it. Certain portions were extremely muddy and had quite a foul odor but those portions were few and far between. Very crowded.

Truly the best trail I’ve hiked in the entire Blue Ridge area. The hike did take a lot longer, because of all the heavy traffic, but it thinned out the higher we hiked. The trails had more views than I would have thought possible(due to all of the edges of the cliffs that the path etched through).

16 days ago

great!

16 days ago

Beautiful views, and a fairly easy hike. Great f you only have a little bit of time to spend or want to take a quick break from driving in the car. Some of the best views around, though it can get pretty busy.

Best hike east of the Mississippi so far!

The out and back is a little over 8 miles due to the relocation of the parking area. The top 1/3 is very steep with large rock steps. Excellent payoff at the peak though.

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful view worth going I love this place enjoy going with my family today we even took our dog (on leash) she did very well lots of muddy spots but fun.

hiking
21 days ago

Beautiful views. The trail is very wet with some mud and pooled water is spots. The views are worth the hike.

Lots of deep mud! A soggy & slippery scramble. Thunderclaps as I was coming down luckily avoided rain. Overcast with clouds surrounding mountain and wind gusts. Enjoyed it!

hiking
23 days ago

100% worth the work getting there! Views are abundant. However, come prepared with hiking boots. This trail was mostly foot to unlevel rock all the way up. The wet and sandy rocks require your constant attention to avoid a twisted ankle. Some folks i saw wore flip flops up it....
REALLY bad Idea! Plenty of places for photos but because we were there on Sat. morning in late Sept. it was crowded and some vistas were hogged by other tourist who refused to budge. The animal waste smell was present throughout much of the trail. Clearly pets were on this trail but should not be given its difficulty. This is a MUST do trail and I'd love to do it again to capture the views in different moments and seasons.

hiking
26 days ago

was super stoked to hike this trail today
the view from the top made it worth it for sure

*rocks on the trail were a little slippery and muddy but nothing too bad!

26 days ago

Great hike and beautiful seeing the sunrise. Just watch out for your early morning crazies. Went out before sunrise and heard a blood curdling scream. 3 people eventually emerged after the fact and told us they were "screaming at God." As far as I know no human sacrifices were made as we later found no bodies. Either way, mega creepy. Trail itself is beautiful

Awesome, awesome hike!! Although the mileage seems low, it is a very strenuous and technical hike. There are lots of ladders, cables, and big rocks that you have to climb up and over using your hands and feet (these were all reasons why I loved this hike, but maybe it's not for everyone!). The grandfather trail is an awesome mix of woods and walking along exposed rock faces which makes for a very dynamic hike and incredible views along the way! When I went (mid-late Sept) the leaves were just starting to change, but I bet in a few weeks (mid October) the colors will be amazing up there. Good hiking shoes with good traction are absolutely necessary - many spots of the trail were very wet/muddy when I hiked it yesterday (partly due to the hurricane, but regardless...) the steep/smooth rock faces can be very dangerous when wet, so the more traction the better. I saw a few people slip pretty bad wearing sneakers. I am a 23 year old in good shape, and a pretty experienced hiker. I hiked all the way to Calloway Peak (stopped for a bit to enjoy the amazing views at McRae peak on my way) and completed the full thing in 4 hours (this included a couple snack/water breaks and picture taking). The men at the gift shop said the hike to Calloway and back is usually completed in 5 hr for the average hiker (3 hr if just going to McRae and back). The $20 entree fee is of course a bummer, but in my opinion very worth it and they do a great job maintaining the trail (the ladders/cables are in great shape). If you are hiking on a weekend (I was there on a Saturday morning) be sure to get there early before they open (9 am) so join the line of cars that will already be forming. The parking lot all the way at the top that you will park at is right below the mile-high swinging bridge, so be sure to check that out once you finish your hike!

Great hike. Bit of a drive to trail head, but worth it. I'm a casual hiker and made it to top in 40 min. Hope to camp up there soon.

camping
26 days ago

Awesome views on a clear day!

hiking
30 days ago

One of my new favorites off the blue ridge parkway! So many spots to look out and see the 360 Mountain View’s!!!

One of my fav hikes in North Carolina. Have done it several times and several different routes. From Profile Trail to paying at entrance. Either way, worth the time and the money. I just remind myself that the money goes towards maintaining Grandfather Mountain! So I have no problem paying the fee!

Great hike, have done this a few times but this was the first time in the wet. Definitely not for children under 12 or so. After mile marker 2.5 it begins to get steep and the trail goes thru some small boulder fields which makes climbing difficult and with rain it can be even more dangerous. Be careful and have fun!

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