Chimney Rock State Park
CLOSURE ALERT: Elevator Out of Service Until Further Notice
... details ±
The elevator has been experiencing ongoing operational issues, so it will be out of service until further notice. These issues are being addressed by engineers and other specialists so that service can be safely restored to the public. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Please note that visitors can still access the top of Chimney Rock by climbing the staircases of the Outcroppings Trail. This 0.25-mile trail leads hikers through a rugged boulder field with dramatic views of Lake Lure, Hickory Nut Gorge, and Chimney Rock itself.
Updated: 2015-07-27 07:56:46
100 Years of Chimney Rock Park History - July 29 / Parking for Rock Climbing Access Limited
... details ±
Come get a sneak peek of the park's centennial celebration by attending a presentation by our Historical Archives Curator. Learn about the history of this iconic tourist destination, and view rare photos, brochures, maps, and other treasures. Join us on July 29 at 3:00 pm in the Indoor Classroom, Chimney Rock Access.
Rock climbing and bouldering are currently only allowed at the Rumbling Bald Climbing Access on the south face of Rumbling Bald Mountain. Climbers may park in the designated parking area located at 827 Boys Camp Road. Should this parking lot become full, as it often does during the busy winter months, climbers are asked to park at the Welcome Center in Lake Lure (2932 Memorial Hwy (US Hwy. 64/74A)) and walk or carpool over to the climbing access. Parking along the roads or on private property is strongly discouraged.
At this time, the only two designated parking areas and public accesses for the state park are the Rumbling Bald and Chimney Rock accesses. There are no designated parking areas or public accesses for state park properties located on Round Top Mountain and Eagle Rock, nor are there designated hiking trails or camping areas in these locations. Visitors are cautioned not to trespass and not to park on the private property adjoining these lands.
Updated: 2015-07-27 07:56:46
PO Box 220, 743 Chimney Rock Park Rd., Chimney Rock, NC 28720
GPS: 35.432799, -82.250260
In 2005, the N.C. General Assembly authorized a new state park in the scenic Hickory Nut Gorge area of western Rutherford and the surrounding counties of Polk, Henderson and Buncombe. Later that year, the first tract of land to form the state park was purchased. Since then many more acres have been added. The most notable was the 2007 transfer of Chimney Rock Park, a private nature park surrounding the striking 315-foot spire on the gorge's southern side, into the expanding park.
The daily services offered to visitors of the Chimney Rock Access of the state park are provided by a private contract managed by the Division of Parks and Recreation. This section is open year round with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Entry fees offset the cost of operating this popular tourist destination.
Currently, Chimney Rock and the Rumbling Bald Climbing Access are the only public accesses within Chimney Rock State Park. However, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation will eventually develop other areas of the state park with facilities and recreation traditionally enjoyed in our Western North Carolina state parks.
The greater Chimney Rock State Park currently encompasses roughly 6,200 acres on both the north and south sides of the gorge and expansion efforts continue to bring more of the gorge's rich natural resources into conservation.
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park has been a tourist destination in western North Carolina since a simple stairway was built to the rock's summit in 1885. In 1902, Lucius B. Morse of Missouri bought the site. The Morse family developed park facilities including a tunnel and elevator to the rock summit, nature center and a network of hiking trails to geologic points of interest including the 404-foot-tall Hickory Nut Falls.
Please click here to link to the site of Chimney Rock (www.chimneyrockpark.com) to plan your exploration of one of North Carolina's most unusual natural wonders.
The park's master plan was recently completed. Please click the link on the left to view the master plan.
Take a virtual tour of Chimney Rock on Google's Trekker:
Hickory Nut Falls Trail
Vista Rock on the Outcroppings Trail