Grandfather Mountain Trail

HARD 224 reviews
#3 of 132 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
6 days 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
10 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
19 days 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
20 days 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.

hiking
21 days ago

backpacking
24 days ago

Great trail with scenic views. Not for the inexperienced hiker

hiking
24 days ago

29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Amazing trail!

1 month ago

hiking
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

hiking
1 month 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!

1 month ago

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

Love this trail!