Join us as we hike Grandfather Mountain. This is a challenging hike. Please read the Itinerary all the way through.
This is a D6 Hiking Event due to the technical nature of the event.
Total Miles = 15 miles (in one day)
A long section of the Grandfather Mountain Backcountry Trail has ladders that go up and down the side of the mountain, sections where you'll be scrambling on exposed rock, and areas where you'll use both hands to hold on to guide wires to move across slanted rock surfaces. We recommend that you be in excellent physical shape and that you not have an immobilizing fear of heights. Also, if you are not confident and comfortable with rock scrambling this is NOT the trip for you. You will be rock scrambling , as well as climbing up and down ladders, with your daypack on.
You will need to book your own campsite (everyone must stay at Grandfather Campground). You will notice an 'early cutoff date', this is so we can confirm your qualifications and you should have time to book your campsite. Do NOT book your campsite until you get confirmation from us that you are qualified to attend. There is no carpool, but when we confirm your qualifications (which we will do via email), we will ask whether you want to participate in a carpool and we will assist in making a carpool happen. We (Ralph and Ann) will drive to the carpool (information provided later once we know the requirements) but cannot take any riders because we have other hiking we are doing up North after this event. There is an inherent weather risk (isn't there always?!) and we will determine our start time based on that, but you should review the cancellation policy for your campsite. We will not hike if the weather is dangerous.
"Towering 5,946 feet above northwest North Carolina, Grandfather Mountain is operated as a scenic travel attraction by the state of North Carolina and is designated by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve."
Campground cost: Rustic Tent (area water spigots)Includes Fire Pit (no grill) and a Picnic Table is $18/night.
We'll leave the carpool and drive up to Banner Elk, NC where we'll throw up a couple of tents at the Grandfather Campground for about 8 hours of sleep. We'll get up super early Thursday morning, have breakfast and drive down the street to start our hike at the Boulder Field TH along the Blue Ridge Parkway where we'll start our hiking adventure through the back country of Grandfather Mountain.
We will go on the Tanawha (Cherokee for beautiful hawk or eagle), Daniel Boone Scout, and Grandfather Mountain Trails. We'll spend the next couple of hours slowly playing our game of Chutes and Ladders as we climb up and down ladders, scramble over and under rocks, and climb down metal guide wires as we follow the little blue arrows (Grandfather Trail) up, over, and around Grandfather Mountain.
Trekking poles are worthless on this section and will only impede your progress unless they can be securely stowed to a day pack.
We finish at the Grandfather Mountain Mile-High Swinging Bridge and gift shop. We'll stop and have lunch.
We'll head back down the mountain the way we came and then we we'll head back to the campground where we can cleanup and then we can drive to Blowing Rock or Banner Elk where we'll find a place to grab dinner and look around for a little bit.
Friday morning we'll have breakfast and pack up camp and start our 5 hour drive back to Atlanta.
You can expect to pay your campground fees for both nights of camping. ($18/night)
Bring extra money and we'll go somewhere to eat Saturday night in Blowing Rock or Banner Elk, NC.
You may also want to bring a little extra cash for the Grandfather Mountain Gift Shop.
Be sure to bring additional cash for your drivers (if you are in a carpool).