9872 N.C. 105 S.
Banner Elk, NC 28604
GPS: 36.111200, -81.811140
March, April, May, September, October: 8am - 8pm
June, July, August: 8am - 9pm
To accommodate early hikes, park gates are not closed on a daily basis; however, they may close due to weather conditions.
OFFICE HOURS: The state park office is open Monday through Friday, 8am - 4:30pm. You may contact our office during business hours or after hours; leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.
P.O. Box 9
Linville, NC 28646
Winter weather is here!
During the colder months be especially mindful that it gets dark early, and temperatures drop quckly at dusk.
Don't brave ridgeline trails unless you are experienced in winter alpine conditions and fully prepared for the weather with all necessary gear.
Minimum Gear Necessary for Winter Weather Hiking:
1. Ice Traction- Microspikes
2. Extra Water
3. Extra Food
4. Extra Clothing Layers (synthetic fabrics, wool, or silk- no
Please make sure to check the local weather conditions before your hike. Since we don't have our own weather station, we check raysweather.com, and look at a nearby spot with comparable elevation, such as Sugar Mountain Top or Seven Devils. http://averyweather.com/Forecast/Sugar+Mountain+Top
Ice and snow persist at higher elevations throughout winter. Snow and ice on ridgeline.
Temperature fluctuations at lower elevations can make trails both icy and muddy. If hiking the lower Profile Trail, remember: GET MUDDY! Stay on the trail and do not walk around wet spots, as this creates more damage to the natural resources. There is a boot scraper and boot brush for you just as you get off the Profile Trail.
Both rain and melting snow can make the Profile Trail stream crossing at mile 1.5 hazardous due to high water. Rangers recommend turning around if the water line is above boulders in crossing.
Hiking above Profile View on the Profile Trail and Flat Rock View on the Daniel Boone Scout Trail is not recommended for inexperienced or unequipped hikers. High winds, cold temperatures and unseen ice are all trail hazards that should be taken seriously.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS. This includes current physical ability, level of experience in winter alpine conditions, what kind of gear you have, and overall preparedness. Weather and temperatures can change dramatically and rapidly and you do not want to get caught unprepared. Do not hike beyond your experience.Last updated on: Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Major trail renovations are being done on the Profile Trail and will last through 2020.
The trail WILL remain open during this time unless otherwise stated. To ensure the safety of contractors and other hikers, please be aware and follow trail workers’ guidance for safe passage. Your cooperation ensures the trail will remain open during this time.Last updated on: Monday, November 18, 2019
Seeing a bear in its wild, natural environment is a very special experience; and is not an imminent risk – as long as you keep your distance, act responsibly.
Please adhere to the following guidelines to stay safe in Bear Country:
*Make enough noise so that you do not surprise a bear. You can put bells, or other noise maker on your pack to make noise as you hike.
* Keep your dog on a leash.
* If you notice a bear nearby, pack up your food and trash immediately and vacate the area as soon as possible.
* If a bear approaches, move away slowly; do not run.
* If necessary, attempt to scare the animal away with loud shouts, by banging pans together, or throwing rocks and sticks at it.
* Never approach and never feed a bear.
* Do NOT store food in tents.
* Properly store food and scented items like toothpaste by using a bear-proof container/ hang food away from campsite.
* Clean up food or garbage around fire rings, grills, or other areas of your campsite.
* Do not leave food unattended.
* Never run away from a bear- back away slowly and make lots of noise.
For more tips, visit:
There are no entrance fees to enjoy the park. In addition to park-specific rules, please read the systemwide park rules for all North Carolina State Parks.
Grandfather Mountain State Park is adjacent to a privately-owned attraction, which does charge admission to their grounds and facilities. The state park does not charge admission. Contact the Grandfather Mountain attraction for information about their fees.
Hiking permits are free and mandatory. Hikers must be able to produce a valid permit when on state park trails. This permit system ensures safety for hikers and helps us protect the natural resource. Hikers must leave the white copy of the permit in the permit box located at or near the trail head and keep the yellow copy in their possession. Permits can be obtained from the Profile Trailhead parking area located off of N.C. 105 and along the Tanawha Trail before accessing the Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout trails located off of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Camping permits are also mandatory. Campers must register for a camping permit upon arrival at the Profile trailhead or at the kiosk near the Boone Fork parking lot. The camping permit is required, in addition to making a reservation online.
Event permits. Some events—such as weddings, athletic contests, company parties, etc.—may require a Special Activity Permit. If you're unsure whether such a permit is necessary for your event, call the park office beforehand. You can download a Special Activity Permit application or obtain one from the park office.
A $25 fee will be charged for all returned checks.
Research and collection permits. A permit is required for any project involving the collection, removal or disturbance of any natural or cultural resource of any state park unit and for projects that require placing monitoring equipment in any state park unit. Learn more about research and collection permits or fill out a permit application online.
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. At Calloway Gap, along the ridge, 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 (the only winter access when the Parkway is closed) – located on Hwy 221, 1.6 miles south of Holloway Mtn. Road (GPS: 36.116347, -81.777314). From either of these points, hikers can follow the Parkway's Tanawha Trail south to reach Grandfather's Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout trailheads. (Note: no camping is allowed on trails of the National Park Service on the Blue Ridge Parkway).
Grandfather Mountain Attraction - Hikers park either at the Black Rock parking area or the Top Shop parking area to access the state park trails from the private attraction. Entrance fees apply to all hikers who use this parking area and this entry to the backcountry trail system.
Or make your reservation at 1-877-722-6762
Reservations are required for all 13 campsites.
Reservations may be made as late as the same day. We recommend making your reservation prior to your park visit, as cellular service is not reliable at the park. A fee is charged for all campsites, and campers must have a reservation code to be able to camp.
Upon your arrival, please fill out a camping registration permit at the Profile trailhead or at the kiosk near the Boone Fork parking lot. You must register for a permit on-site, in addition to making your reservation online.
April 1 to
November 1 to
Primitive group campsite
all rates listed above include $3 reservation fee