Grandfather Trail

At A Glance

Most Difficult

2.4 mi one-way

Difficulty Rating: 2.4
Steepness: Hilly
Tread Condition: Very Rough
Blaze Color: Blue
Hikes That Use This Trail: Grandfather's Profile


Follows the length of Grandfather Mountain's summit ridge from the Attraction area near the Swinging Bridge to the summit of Calloway Peak. Travels through a spruce-fir forest, up and around rock walls and pinnacles, and through open meadows. There are steep, hand-over-hand sections and some rock outcroppings which must be negotiated carefully with beefy, in-place ladders. Despite its heavy use and beginnings within a tourist attraction, don't underestimate the seriousness of this trail. Its exposed sections present a real risk if you should lose footing, and the roughness of the trail is taxing even to experienced hikers. Should you attempt it, you'll be rewarded an experience you'll never forget.

Intersecting Trails

  • Profile
  • Daniel Boone Scout
  • This trail is located in the Grandfather Mountain State Park area. For a list of all the trails in that area, see the Grandfather Mountain State Park trails list page.

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    GPS Map

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    Trail Segments

    Trails are often made up of several connecting paths which may have different characteristics, allowed uses, and seasons. This trail is divided into multiple segments as follows:

    Grandfather Trail - Parking Area to Grandfather Tr. Ext.

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 0.34 mi

    Grandfather Trail - Grandfather Tr. Ext. to Underwood Tr.

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 0.19 mi

    Grandfather Trail - Underwood to Underwood

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 0.44 mi

    Grandfather Trail - Underwood Tr. to Profile Tr.

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 0.73 mi

    Grandfather Trail - Profile Trail to Watauga View

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 0.29 mi

    Grandfather Trail - Watauga View Spur

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 107 ft

    Grandfather Trail - Watauga View to Calloway Peak

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 467 ft

    Total Calculated Length: 2.11 mi

    This value is derived from our underlying map data, and it may not match officially published information.



    Average Rating: 3.8 (rated 12 times)

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