Grandfather Mountain Trail

HARD 235 reviews
#3 of 136 trails in

Grandfather Mountain Trail is a 3.9 mile moderately 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 birding and is best used from April until November.

DISTANCE
3.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1522 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

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. 20$ per person to access trail via park

hiking
15 days ago

Love doing this trail starting at 105 or the brp then going up and to the bridge then back down

23 days ago

I hiked this in October 2017.. I am also afraid heights. I was ok with the climb and elevation just rest if you need to but the ladders were a big challenge for me considering they are on the edge of the mountain. but I am so glad I did it. It is beautiful at the top . McRaes peak and attic window are amazing views.. lots of great hiking here.

hiking
28 days ago

One of the most rewarding trails I’ve hiked. I’m absolutely terrified of heights, and wanted a challenge. This trail didn’t disappoint! The pictures of the ladders don’t do them justice, they’re straight up and down at points- a few in a row with only a tiny ledge to stand on in between and a straight drop down. Not for the faint of heart. I saw a few people try to attempt this with dogs, would not recommend doing that. Beautiful views, would go back in a heartbeat.

30 days ago

Hard and rewarding hike. It keeps things interesting with the ladders and cables, definitely would not recommend to someone who is not experienced.

1 month ago

One of my favorites in the high country. Really fun trail with stunning views. Generally like to connect this with Profile and treat it as a point-to-point, but traveling between the two points is tricky.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome does not describe the hike. Not your average age hike.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

One of the most rewarding hikes I've ever done. It's a tough one (especially on a windy day! There were times when we considered going back because we felt like we were about to get blown off the mountain into the fog below) and we didn't even get to see the views because of the fog. That's mountain weather though--the forecast called for sunny clear skies! When we finished this hike, I felt proud. I highly recommend this for anyone in or around North Carolina, but only if you're at least somewhat experienced.

hiking
2 months ago

Strenuous hike with a steep elevation gain, but amazing views. Definitely not for inexperienced hikers. If you plan on camping, get to the Briar Patch campsite. Worth the trek!

hiking
2 months ago

Fun, scary at times, worth knowing you accomplished it. I am not a advanced hiker, but I think I might have graduated to a new level? The ladders clouds and wind are a adventure to on their own. Icy at times coming down the other way, scrambles rough, take water.

backpacking
3 months ago

Great trail with scenic views. Not for the inexperienced hiker

3 months ago

I love this trail. The ladder and cable system is incredible. Can’t wait to go back.

hiking
3 months ago

McCrae Peak is beautiful and lots of great scenery. Watch out for the ice on part of the trail right before McCrae Peak.

hiking
3 months ago

Continuous great views and technical hiking at its best. Don’t carry any hiking poles on this one.

hiking
3 months ago

Awe inspiring hike with lots of excitement due to the use of ladders and cables to make your way to the summit-exquisite views, one of my favorite hikes of all time!

3 months ago

Difficult and challenging hike. Views were awesome. Highly recommended.

hiking
3 months ago

Love this trail!

4 months ago

Great views from the top! Try out the ladder system!

hiking
4 months ago

Lots of ladders and being on the edge so if your afraid of heights STAY AWAY, can get slippery on the rocks so wear shoes/boots with good grip. I didn’t wear boots and I didn’t feel I needed to. Amazing view, getting to the peak feels amazing. TL;DR Hard Hike, Highly Recommend

hiking
4 months ago

The hike from the profile trail to the suspended bridge is one of my favorite trails in NC. Amazing views, especially when the leaves change.

Load More