2.0 miles
Distance
1,176 ft
Climb
-545 ft
Descent
1 mile
High Point

Grandfather Details

  • Activities
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Riding Area
    Grandfather Mountain State Park
    Banner Elk, North Carolina
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T2 Mountain Hiking
  • Trail Type
    Singletrack
  • Trail Usage
    Multi-use
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Physical Rating
    Hard
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • Local Popularity
    85 in Hiking [+]
    • 75 in Trail Running

The Grandfather Trail runs the length of the summit ridge from the Grandfather Mountain attraction to Calloway Peak. It offers astonishing variety, running in and out of wind-dwarfed spruce and fir, across or around rock walls and pinnacles and into open spaces with mountain views in every direction. It was along this trail two centuries ago that explorer/botanist Andre Michaux broke into song thinking he had arrived at the high point of North America. The pace is often slow. There are chutes where progress is hand-over-hand and extra steep sections where hikers use in-place cables and ladders. An alternative to taking the ladders up MacRae Peak is to opt for the more sheltered Underwood Trail. Not recommended for children, inexperienced hikers, or pets.

More Stats for Grandfather hike trail trail
  • Altitude change
    630 ft
  • Altitude min
    5,263 ft
  • Altitude start
    5,263 ft
  • Altitude end
    5,892 ft
  • Grade
    5.9%
  • Grade max
    -67.3%
  • Grade min
    85.9%
  • Distance climb
    1 mile
  • Distance down
    3,665 ft
  • Distance flat
    381 ft
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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Ridden Direction
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The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
Trail Last Ridden
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  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
Contribute Details
Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail.
  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos
Trail Popularity ?
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors.
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  • popular
  • less popular
  • not popular
ATV/ORV/OHV Filter
Max Vehicle Width
inches

Radar Time
      Directions to grandfather trailhead (36.096110, -81.831730)
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      Grandfather Trail Reports

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      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 1 rides
      • 3 miles avg distance
      6 Months
      • 7 rides
      • 3 miles avg distance
      All
      • 5 rides
      •  

      Photos

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