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 (in 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: 2015-01-23 08:46:45
> 1/23/15 Profile Parking is CLOSED
-- Due to current and impending wintry conditions, the Profile Parking lot is closed. Note: the Profile Trail is remains open, however, alternate parking is necessary.
> 1/23/15 Monitor local weather before heading out on the trails
- We recommend that hikers always check the forecasted weather conditions before hiking on Grandfather Mountain, especially in the winter months. You can check local weather at Ray's Weather: www.averyweather.com
> Icy Trail Conditions --
Expect ice at upper trail elevations. Ice traction for shoes is necessary for hiking the trails in these conditions. Be advised: only experienced alpine hikers should attempt the trails from Calloway Gap to the swinging bridge when there is ice and/or heavy snow on the trail. Note: If the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed due to weather, park visitors can park at the Asutsi Trail Parking Area (GPS: 36.116347, -81.777314). To access GM State Park trails, hike west on the Asutsi Trail (under the BR Parkway) to the Tanawha Trail, which will connect to the Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trails. To check the status of parkway closures, visit http://www.nps.gov/maps/blri/road-closures
WINTER HIKING NOTICE
— SNOW AND ICE MAY MAKE UPPER ELEVATIONS TREACHEROUS.
Hikers who are NOT experienced alpine hikers with ALL the appropriate gear should NOT hike above the Profile View on the Profile Trail and Flat Rock on the Daniel Boone Scout Trail.
— HIKERS BE PREPARED:
Every hiker should have a MINUMUM of ice traction, extra water, extra food, extra layers of clothing and a headlamp – regardless of your destination. Hypothermia can occur quickly in cold temperatures.
— IT IS DARK EARLY DURING THE WINTER MONTHS.
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.
— 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.
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 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 early and you need to be off the trail and through the gate before they close. During inclement weather the Swinging Bridge and top of the Attraction are closed with no vehicle access to the top. HOLIDAYS:
The private Grandfather Mountain attraction is CLOSED on Christmas Day and will close early on Christmas Eve (around 3:00 PM). Hikers will not have access to the attraction for drop-offs or pick-ups inside the attraction area.
For Your Pets Safety
Dogs must be leashed at all times in the state park. This is for the safety of the dog, safety of other hikers, and protection of the animals and plants that live on this mountain.
Our trails are steep and rocky with over a dozen ladder climbs on the ridgeline and higher elevations. Many dogs have been injured on these sections of trails. It is very difficult for hikers to maintain a dog's leash on the difficult sections. For these reasons we do not recommend hiking with dogs on the Grandfather Trail, Cragway Trail, or upper portions of the Daniel Boone Scout and Profile trails.
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: 2015-01-23 08:46:45
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
(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/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