Profile Trail to Calloway Peak

HARD 186 reviews
#4 of 121 trails in

Profile Trail to Calloway Peak is a 5.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Banner Elk, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2312 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

rocky

scramble

"West Side" of Grandfather Mountain, the Profile trail starts at trail head on Route 105 in Banner Elk, NC, and climbs almost 2000 feet to connect to the Grandfather Trail. Permits available at trail head and Mast General Store, Footsloggers and 105/184 Exxon (free). Beginning from Hwy 105 as a scenic, rolling pathway through seasonal wildflowers, this trail crosses the Watauga River and travels under a hardwood canopy for much of its length. Upper sections, beginning around Foscoe View, get steeper. There are frequent rest stops with stone benches and turnouts. The trail gets a bit muddy when wet. Shanty Spring, at 2.7 miles, marks a transition into a strenuous pathway of tumble-down rock that joins the Grandfather Trail after a climb of 0.3 miles. It makes the transition out of the hardwoods and into the Canadian fir zone of the crest area. The upper section is steep and rocky and calls for careful footwork. At the top of the Profile Trail, you reach the Grandfather trail, which you take 0.4miles further to the left to reach the highest point, Calloway Peak at 5946 feet. On the way you'll pass by beautiful Watauga View, and then climb three short ladders to reach the peak. The way down can be tough on the knees and the roots and rocks can be very slippery when wet, so take your time. This is an awesome hike on one of the most rugged mountains east of the Mississippi, and hiking conditions with the rocks and roots are more tedious than most trails out west.

hiking
7 hours ago

Good trail with a gorgeous view, but very strenuous. Hardest trail I have hiked in Boone, but satisfying after!

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful day!

hiking
5 days ago

Definitely difficult for me, but well worth it. Saw no other hikers on the way up (6:15 am on a Thursday). A good bit of bouldering 2/3 of the way up which was lots of fun. I would not have been able to do it carrying my 2 year old in the hiking carrier. I made it up in about 1.5 hours. Had Verizon coverage the whole way up. Very nice view at the top. Bring a camera! The hike was closer to 7 miles long.

hard hike, but beyond worth it! the tumble down and steps make it a bit rough on the knees and ankles hiking back out. absolutely gorgeous views from the Watauga view and fro. Calloway peak. be sure to allow yourself plenty of daytime to hike it.

hiking
11 days ago

Great hike with nice forest, excellent views, wildflowers and a spring near the top. Due to the lot of elevation and a very stony section of the trail, this is a bit on the hard side of hiking experience. It also could be hot and you might get sunburned.

16 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

Hiked this in the cold, sleet and ice in May. Was challenging, but a good one, well maintained but still rugged. Views were obscured by fog but I know they are awesome.

hiking
26 days ago

One of the harder trails I've done recently, but overall well worth the extra effort. One of my buddies and I decided to summit over spring break because we were too cheap to pay the $20 fee to drive to the top. We were moving at a moderately fast pace and it took us 4 hours round trip (the trail was somewhat compromised due to snow and ice) there are excellent overlooks along the trail and you are able to pack light on water because there is a marked spring about 2/3 of the way to the peak. Would do again, just make sure you allot enough time for your pace because we underestimated the difficulty and got out of town later than we would have liked.

hiking
1 month ago

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1 month ago

1 month ago

The hike to Calloway Peak from 105 is about 3.8 miles each way, so that makes it a 7.6 miler, not what is listed in he description. That said, it's a wonderful hike, and towards the top there is a potable water source (piped spring), so you don't need a gallon of water if you don't feel like lugging it. My kids did the hike, including our 4 year old, so don't think it's only for adults.

hiking
1 month ago

BEAUTIFUL

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked today and loved the views and greenery. Also the rocks and boulders along the paths were fun to climb on. The weather was amazing!

hiking
2 months ago

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2 months ago