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: 2014-09-29 14:26:14
IMPORTANT NOTICE (New Ladder); Bear Activity Reported; Attention GRMO Campers
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> 09/26/14 IMPORTANT NOTICE:
A new ladder is being installed on the Grandfather Trail at the "Squeeze" portion of the trail. Location is where the 2nd cable is before MacRae Peak (on the bridge side of the peak). The cable can still be used; there is no obstruction or closing of the trail. Do not attempt to use the new ladder
as it is not completed and could lead to injuries if attempted to be used. Again, this ladder is not ready for use. Please call the office if you have any questions 828.963.9522.
> 7/28/14 Bear sightings have increased recently. Sightings have been reported on the Tanawha and Cragway Trails. This is normal activity with ripe berries and late summer approaching.
6/14/14 Campers on Daniel Boone Campsite reported hearing what they thought sounded like more than one bear near the campsite.
No human-bear interaction has been reported and this is not intended to alarm hikers. Rather, it is intended to remind hikers to be diligent about packing out all trash, keeping clean campsites and lunch sites and keeping dogs on leashes.
Campers: 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
> Summer Hiking Notice
-- Summer weather can be dangerous. Immediately head down the mountain if you hear thunder or see lightning. Hypothermia can occur in the summer: bring extra clothing. Stay hydrated, wear proper clothing/shoes and monitor the weather. If you are hiking to the swinging bridge, you must have a pre-arranged ride or hike back down. The attraction staff will not drive you to your vehicle. Vehicle access to the bridge is closed before sunset. Hiking to the bridge is very strenuous: it is NOT easier than hiking up the Profile or Daniel Boone Scout Trails. Do not exceed your abilities: turn around if conditions are unfavorable for you. BEARS – Campers must hang all food. Pack out all trash and do not leave food scraps in the fire ring. Hikers – also do not leave any food behind.
> 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.
> The Swinging Bridge -
the state park property does not
include the swinging bridge and animal habitats. These areas are part of the private Grandfather Mountain Attraction. For more information about the private attraction, please call 828-733-4337 or visit www.grandfather.com
> 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: 2014-09-29 14:14:32
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