Grandfather Mountain has been an icon in North Carolina’s landscape for generations, offering stunning scenery and unmatched ecological diversity. This state park opens the mountain’s 2,456-acre backcountry to spectacular hiking and backpacking. The park is known for some of the South’s most severe weather and challenging terrain, with trails that have hikers scrambling along cliffs and up ladders. Access to 12 miles of trails and backpack camping sites is generally from the Profile Trailhead on NC 105 or trailheads along the adjacent Blue Ridge Parkway. However, trails can also be reached from the park of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation (which includes the mile-high swinging bridge and other attractions) and there is a fee for this access.
Camping is allowed with a permit at 13 backpack camping sites along the trail system, including the Hi-Balsam Shelter.
Reservations are required for all 13 campsites. All campsites must be reserved in advance, which can be made as late as the same day. We recommend making your reservation prior to your park visit, as cellular service is not reliable at the park. A fee is charged for all campsites, and campers must have a reservation code to be able to camp. Camping fees are listed at the bottom of this page.
Upon your arrival, please fill out a camping registration permit at the Profile trailhead or at the kiosk near the Boone Fork parking lot. You must register for a permit on-site, in addition to making your reservation online.
Camping is permitted in the designated areas only, which are identified by signs at the campsites and with a camping icon on the trail map. There is no dispersed camping (camping off a designated site) on the mountain. All camping regulations apply to hammock campers.
All 13 campsites are hike-in backcountry, primitive sites. There is no car camping. There are no facilities. The terrain is rugged and can be challenging. Trailheads are near 3,800 feet in elevation and Calloway Peak reaches 5,946 feet.
Please do not disturb nearby campers. Take care to protect the terrain and plant and animal life.