Grandfather Mountain State Park »  Permits and Access
Hiking to the Bridge? Hike back down or have pre-arranged ride.
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If you are hiking to the swinging bridge (at the private Grandfather Mountain attraction): you must have a pre-arranged ride or hike back down the trail. The attraction staff is not permitted to give rides to hikers and hikers are not permitted to hike down the Attraction road.
Call 828.733.4337 for Attraction gate hours.
BE AWARE THAT RIDGELINE CONDITIONS ARE MORE EXTREME THAN LOWER ELEVATIONS. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS HIKE IF YOU ARE NOT PHYSICALLY PREPARED AND PROPERLY EQUIPPED.
Updated: 2014-10-21 12:37:50
HOLIDAYS; NEW Fall Hiking Notice; Attention GRMO Campers
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The private Grandfather Mountain attraction is CLOSED on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Hikers will not have access to the attraction for drop-offs or pick-ups inside the attraction area. Please plan your hiking trips accordingly. NOTE: The state park will be OPEN during the holidays.
The park is not part of the private attraction. Trails and campsites will be open as usual.
> 10/08/14 FALL HIKING NOTICE
— It is possible to have below freezing conditions
on the mountain during the fall season: hikers can expect to see ice in the higher elevations, especially in the shady areas.
— Hikers - be prepared:
Bring gloves, hats and extra layers of clothing. Hypothermia can occur in the fall with colder temperatures.
— It is imperative that hikers carry food and water
in these cooler hiking conditions.
— It is dark by 7:30PM now.
All hikers should carry a headlamp. Plan your hike to return before dark. Turn around before your planned destination if you need to do so to be back before dark.
are not permitted on campsites above
the Briar Patch or Profile campsites. Campfires are not permitted on the Hermitage site on the Nuwati Trail.
— If an injury occurs
, a hiker may be exposed to environmental conditions for many more hours than expected. It is YOUR responsibility to be prepared with enough food, water and warm clothing to survive.
— If you are hiking to the swinging bridge:
This is not a loop trail; you must hike back on the same trail or have a pre-arranged ride. Staff will not drive hikers from the attraction back to the trailheads. The Attraction gate closes well before dark and you need to be off the trail and through the gate before they close. Check with the attraction for current hours: 828.733.4337. Pedestrians are not permitted on the road in the attraction area.
> 10/20/14 - TRAIL WORK ON GRANDFATHER TRAIL IS COMPLETE
There have been no reports of negative bear interaction in the park. Still it is important for campers to remember to hang all food and scented items away from your campsite. There are cables for this purpose on all the campsites on the Nuwati Trail. There is a cable at the Daniel Boone Campsite, but lifting cables have been broken: campers can still use the supporting cable with their own throw ropes. Do not, ever, take food into your tent. Do not burn food or food containers: take them with you. Please report all bear sightings or activity to the park office at 828.963.9522
> ATTENTION CAMPERS
-- Our park offers 13 backpack camping sites (See map for campsite and registration locations)
. At this time, there is no fee to camp in the park; however, camping permits are REQUIRED
. Campers must self-register at the trailheads. Please Note: In addition to completing a permit,
campers are asked to write in dates of occupancy for their selected campsite on the “CAMPER REGISTRATION”
form (located on clipboard at registration area). This is extremely important for all campers, so they know which sites are taken before hiking to a particular site. This is an aid only and does not guarantee availability of a campsite. If a site is marked as occupied, it is unavailable to other campers.
Please remember that camping is permitted on designated sites only. Camping in undesignated areas is a citable offense.
> Monitor local weather before heading out on the trails - LOCAL WEATHER INFORMATION
Check our website often for updates. Please call our office if you have any questions: 828.963.9522.
[Real-Time Blue Ridge Parkway closures http://maps.nps.gov/blri/road-closures
Updated: 2014-10-21 12:37:50
Hiking and Camping permits are free and mandatory. Hikers and campers must be able to produce a valid
permit when on state park trails or campsites. This permit system ensures safety for hikers and helps us
protect the natural resource. Hikers and campers must leave the white copy of the permit in the permit box
located at the trail head and keep the yellow copy in their possession. Permits can be obtained from the
Profile Trailhead parking area located off of Hwy 105 and along the Tanawha Trail before accessing the Nuwati
and Daniel Boone Scout Trails located off of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
There are three entry points to the hiking trails in Grandfather Mountain State Park. Hikers should be
aware of their timing and hiking ability when hiking the trails at Grandfather Mountain. NC State
Rangers and Grandfather Mountain attraction staff will not provide rides from any of the trail heads
to or from another location. It is the hikers personal responsibility to make appropriate accommodations
to get from one place to the other.
West Side - From NC 105 near its intersection with NC 184 in Banner Elk, the trailhead
for the Profile Trail offers parking. Near the ridge area, the Profile Trail connects to other
trails in the system.
East Side - From the Blue Ridge Parkway area, there are two points of access. Most hikers use the
Boone Fork Parking Area at mile 299.9 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The second is the Parkway's
Asutsi Trail, which begins across from Serenity Farm on US 221 (the only winter access when
the Parkway is closed). From either of these points, hikers can follow the Parkway's Tanawha
Trail south to reach Grandfather's Nuwati/Daniel Boone Scout Trailhead. (Note: no camping is
allowed on trails of the National Park Service on the Blue Ridge Parkway).
Grandfather Mountain Attraction - A parking area for hikers located just below the
summit area has short connectors that link to the 'backcountry' trail system. You may also
use this parking area to access the shorter trails within the attraction. Entrance fees apply to
all hikers who use this parking area and this entry to the backcountry trail system. It is not
necessary to pay entrance fees to obtain a camping permit if you are not entering the attraction.
Download Special Activity Permit - pdf
Click this link for Research and Collecting Permits