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:
Grandfather Mountain's stone profile faces have long gazed out over the ancient Appalachians, earning the acclaim of explorers and botanists alike as the apex of the Blue Ridge in grandeur and ecological diversity. Towering nearly a vertical mile over the Piedmont, Grandfather has been recognized for centuries as a sentinel summit. In 1794, the mountain's dramatic views convinced the Botanist Andre Michaux that he'd climbed "the highest peak in all North America." From alpine-like vegetation and vistas on the highest peaks, to cascading streams far down in the foothills, more than a dozen distinct ecological zones stretch across the landscape. Seventy-plus species of rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals populate this rugged mountain, making it one of the East's most significant peaks; a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve. The park is known for some of the South's most severe weather and challenging hiking trails. Be prepared—at times, hikers climb ladders up cliffs. Nature lovers and hikers alike find Grandfather Mountain to be a special, indeed globally significant place to encounter the outdoors.
In 2008, agreement was reached for the state parks system to acquire 2,456 acres of Grandfather Mountain to become North Carolina’s newest state park. The property is commonly known as the “backcountry” of the famous travel destination. The acquisition was arranged with the help of The Conservation Fund and The Nature Conservancy, which holds conservation easements on the mountain covering nearly 4,000 acres. The acquisition was financed by the Parks and Recreation and Natural Heritage trust funds.
In early 2009, the General Assembly formally authorized Grandfather Mountain State Park. This gives the state parks system the option of seeking additional acreage for traditional park facilities. Any additional tracts or facilities would be identified and prescribed through a public master planning process.