Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

Prominence: 2426 ft, 739 m

Elevation: 5946 feet, 1812 meters

Approx. Isolation: 14.84 mi, 23.87 km
Elevation Info:NAVD88 Elevation: 5946 ft / 1812 m
Highest SummitCallaway Peak
SubpeaksAttic Window Peak (5880 ft/1792 m)
MacRae Peak (5845 ft/1782 m)
Linville Peak (5280 ft/1609 m)
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)36° 6' 41'' N; 81° 48' 42'' W
36.111501, -81.811614 (Dec Deg)
426954E 3996621N Zone 17 (UTM)
CountryUnited States
State/ProvinceNorth Carolina
County/Second Level RegionAvery
Watauga (Highest Point)
Caldwell (Highest Point)

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Other Web Sites Trip Report for Caldwell, NC by Ken Oeser Trip Report for Caldwell, NC by Bob Packard Trip Report for Caldwell, NC by Jerry Brekhus Trip Report for Caldwell, NC by Patrick Craft Trip Report for Caldwell, NC by Don Desrosiers Trip Report for Caldwell, NC by Edward Earl Trip Report for Watauga, NC by Ron Tagliapietra Trip Report for Watauga, NC by Roy Schweiker

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Lists that contain Grandfather Mountain:
     USA Lower 48 Range5 High Points (Rank #419)
     USA/Canada Range4 High Points (Rank #139)
     Southeast USA Peaks with 2000 feet of Prominence (Rank #13)
     USA Lower 48 Drainage Basin High Points (Rank #25)
     USA Lower 48 Range4 High Points (Rank #78)
     Southeast USA Peaks Top 50 by Prominence (Rank #13)
     2000-foot Prominence CoHPs - 48 States (Rank #197)
     North Carolina 5000-foot Peaks (Rank #36)
     Eastern U.S. County High Points over 4500 feet (Rank #13)
     Appalachian Mountain Range4 High Points (Rank #5)
     North Carolina County High Points (Rank #9)
     Fifty Highest Eastern CoHPs (Rank #11)
     Southern USA CoHPs (Rank #18)
     Eastern USA 5000-foot Peaks (Rank #40)
     Top 10 County High Points Grid for U.S. States (Rank #141)

Selected Trip Reports from this site:
     1977-08-10 by William Musser
     1991-10-26 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     2003-04-08 by Michael Devall
     2004-07-24 by Cynthia Nemcik
     2009-01-01 by Joe Rego
     2009-08-08 by Ben Lostracco
     2010-05-30 by Sam Roback
     2010-12 by Matt Lennon
     2011-09-13 by Dennis Stewart
     2011-10-21 by dan chamley
     2011-11-13 by Ken Jones (GPS Track)
     2012-02-11 by Shannon Dillmore
     2012-05-01 by Wilson Eury
     2012-05-12 by Wilson Eury
     2012-08-26 by Justin Bell
     2013-04-14 by Bradley Reese (GPS Track)
     2013-10-20 by Vic Hanson
     2014-05-25 by Tim Ault

View ascents of peak by registered members (112 total)

Nearby Peak Searches:
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     Elevation Ladder from Grandfather Mountain
     Prominence Ladder from Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain is both the highest mountain on the main Blue Ridge crest, and the most spectacular. All higher peaks in the southern Appalachians are on subsidiary ranges to the main Blue Ridge, such as the Black Mountains, Smokies, and Great Balsams.

A substantial part of Grandfather's summit ridge is wide-open rocky pinnacles with an incredibly steep and rough trail winding its way over the rocks, often with ladders. Rising 4500 feet above the valleys of the Piedmont to the east, the views from the crest are spectacular. It's not surprising that early explorer Andre Michaux thought he had scaled the highest mountain in North America after Grandfather's first ascent in 1794.

Grandfather Mountain is privately owned, and has considerable tourist development at its southwest end. A short toll road leads to a visitor center, museum, and a pedestrian suspension bridge spanning a rocky gap between two low rocky pinnacles. A network of trails leads from this tourist area and from other trailheads (which avoid the toll road), but a hiking permit, available for a small fee, is necessary for any hiking or camping.

The Ridge Trail is by far the most scenic and important. It leaves the visitor center/museum area and climbs northeast over the awesomely rugged Attic Window Peak (5949') and McRae Peak (5939'). (The USGS map calls this area of the mountain by the name of "Raven Rocks".) The trail over these two peaks is one of the most rugged in the country, and is not reccomended for those afraid of heights or rickety ladders scaling sheer cliffs. After this section Grandfather Mountain reverts to standard Southern Appalachian mode, namely a rounded, forested crest. Calloway Peak (5984', the highest summit of the mountain) has some views cleared through the trees nearby, but is still in the trees. There are some nice spots on the ridge further northwest, too, but the Attic Window/McRae area is still the highlight of any trip to Grandfather.

The Blue Ridge Parkway skirts the southeast slopes of Grandfather Mountain up high on the Linville Cove Viaduct, the last section of the entire Parkway to be finished, in 1987. A visitor center almost underneath this long, curving bridge caters to those who want a close-up look at this engineering marvel.

Grandfather Mountain features a swaying suspension bridge as part of its many attractions (1991-10-26).
Web Map LinksAcme Mapper   MyTopo   Gmap4   MS-Research
TopoQuest   Bing Maps   MSN/Encarta   Google Maps
ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 2426 ft/739 m
  Optimistic Prominence: 2466 ft/751 m
  Line Parent: Grassy Ridge Bald
  Key Col: Cranberry Gap    3520 ft/1073 m
Isolation14.84 mi/23.87 km
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Grassy Ridge  (W)
Not verified: May be a major NHN that is not in the database.
RangesContinent: North America
Range2: Appalachian Mountains
Range3: Blue Ridge Mountains
Range4: Southern Blue Ridge Front (Highest Point)
Range5: N NC Blue Ridge Crest (Highest Point)
Ridges/DividesAppalachian Divide (Highest Point)
South Blue Ridge (Highest Point)
Drainage Basins
Santee (HP)
Atlantic Ocean

South Fork Holston
Gulf of Mexico
Atlantic Ocean
OwnershipLand: National Forests in North Carolina
Topo MapGrandfather Mountain O36081a7 1:24,000
Route #1 Maintained Hiking Trail
Trailhead: NC 105?? 4020 ft/1225 m
Vertical Gain: 1926 ft/587 m
Google Maps Dynamic Map

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