Grandfather Mountain Trail is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Linville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until November.

Distance: 3.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,574 feet Route Type: Out & Back

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

snow

fee

no dogs

One of the most technical mountain hikes without climbing equipment east of the Mississippi, Grandfather Mountain trail traverses forest, exposed cliffs, rock outcroppings, ladders and attached cables to spectacular views. The trail climbs to McRae Peak, Attic's Window and the end of the trail at the top of Grandfather Calloway Peak at 5964' - the same point the Profile Trail ends. The Grandfather Trail runs the length of the summit ridge from the Grandfather Mountain attraction to Calloway Peak. It offers astonishing variety, running in and out of wind-dwarfed spruce and fir, across or around rock walls and pinnacles and into open spaces with mountain views in every direction. It was along this trail two centuries ago that explorer/botanist Andre Michaux broke into song thinking he had arrived at the high point of North America. The pace is often slow. There are chutes where progress is hand-over-hand and extra steep sections where hikers use in-place cables and ladders. An alternative to taking the ladders up MacRae Peak is to opt for the more sheltered Underwood Trail. Not recommended for children or inexperienced hikers. $22 per person to access trail via Grandfather Mountain State Park.

hiking
4 days ago

Great trail !. We had to book online first . They only work if you do it through internet . Amazing views

hiking
11 days ago

Drove over two hours to do this hike and when we got there was told we had to buy a permit online and reserve a time slot? Never heard of doing this for a trail and was difficult to even find the reservations on their site. They were booked up for two weeks. Very frustrating as this was not advertised anywhere online.

hiking
15 days ago

One of my favorites!!!

rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Incredible trail! Not for the faint of heart or the out-of-shape, however. The altitude change left me shorter of breath then I would like to admit, and there were some fairly intense scrambles. There were also points at which we were literally clinging to a ladder or cable on the side of a rock face looking out over valleys on 3/4 sides. In my eyes, though, these challenges are what made the trail enjoyable, not to mention the beautiful foliage, geology, and landscape.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Probably one of the most difficult to date. Enjoyed the challenge and the views.

hiking
3 months ago

Probably a great trail but be careful what time you go. Entered gate just before 2 and they said park closed at 4. When we entered trailhead by store/bridge we were told we had to be to our car by 3pm. So at $22/person, would have been good info at front gate! Can’t complete the trail in one hour...2 would have been enough. But gorgeous trail even totally fogged in.....probably BETTER for any afraid of hikes near first peak.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Great workout! The amazing views are worth the Trek!

hiking
3 months ago

This is a must hike trail if you are in the area!! Challenging few areas with ropes and ladders so if you are looking for an adventure this is it!! You can’t beat the views

hiking
4 months ago

My 15 yo son had to work up some courage to complete a few of the ladders, but he did it! Challenging for sure!

hiking
5 months ago

Get there early, as the crowds on a Saturday were insanity. Lots of people hiking in flip flops that had no idea that ladders and scrambling are to be expected to get to the peaks.

hiking
6 months ago

Short hike not much time park closes at 16:00. Rainy and cloudy but still enjoyable

icy
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
icy
muddy
6 months ago

The views are just amazing, we have been coming here off and on the last 10 years. This trail never disappoints! Today there was ample ice that slowed us down quite a bit, we had no other issues other than that.

hiking
6 months ago

We just took our 4 kids here and did the trail from Black Rock parking to the bridge. We then took the trail up to the first set of ladders. Beautiful trail and my kids can't wait to come back.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

hiking
icy
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Awesome trail, we only did half of it but very advanced. Awesome view points and steep but definitely worth it!!

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful trail. $22 fee per person to access which is fairly obnoxious when they close the trail well before sunset

hiking
fee
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

If you're up for a challenge, this is quite an amazing hike! Even on a foggy day. I would have liked to see the views on a clear day, but I talked to others that had tried 3 times without better luck. Hope they didn't pay $22 per person each time. This hike could be done for free if you wanted to hike 9-13 miles from the other sides, either Daniel Boone Scout or Profile Trail. The drive up Blue Ridge Parkway and trails at lower elevation had amazing fall colors. I would visit and hike this again!

hiking
7 months ago

Very challenging hike but worth every minute. Great views and worth the work to get to the top. First hike to put me out of my comfort zone as far as heights and climbing/bouldering. I would recommend this to anyone but have to be in decent shape and leave small kids at home.

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