Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain Appalachian Sunset | Dave Allen

Grandfather Mountain stretches across North Carolina’s Avery, Caldwell, and Watauga counties in Grandfather Mountain State Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachians. Calloway Peak (5,964 ft.) is the highest of the mountain’s four peaks, with the others being Attic Window Peak (5,949 ft.), MacRae Peak (5,844 ft.), and Linville Peak (5,295 ft.).

Grandfather Mountain near Linville, North Carolina, is known for its mile-high swinging bridge, the highest in America. | C Vandyke

Visitors can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the mountain from the Mile High Swinging Bridge, but be warned, this can sway heavily during high winds! Hikers will find several nearby campsites, like the Briar Patch campsite and hiking area and Hi Balsam Shelter just to the east of the mountain. The Sugar Mountain village is west of the mountain, and offers dining, lodging, skiing, ice skating, and trails.

The Mile High Swinging Bridge in fog, at Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina. | Jon Bilous
Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina, USA autumn dawn from Rough Ridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains. | Sean Pavone

Country: United States

State/Province: North Carolina

Mountain Range:  Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian Mountains

Parents: Blue Ridge Mountains

Elevation: 5,945 feet / 1,812 meters

Prominence: 2,444 feet / 745 meters

Isolation: 14.7 mi / 23.66 km

Fun Fact: Grandfather Mountain is the highest peak on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Autumn hiking on Cragway trail down Grandfather Mountain Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina | Craig Zerbe

Flora and Fauna

Plant Life: Grandfather Mountain has rich biodiversity with lush, green forests of fraser fir, red spruce-fraser fir, northern red oak, montane white oak, northern hardwood, Canada hemlock, and evergreen shrubs.

Blue Ridge Mountains landscape at Linn Cove Viaduct and Grandfather Mountain at dawn. | Sean Pavone
Along the trail at Grandfather mountain in North Carolina, view from McRea Peak | T. Markley
Grandfather Mountain from the Blue Ridge Parkway | L.F. Lamb

Animal Life: Wildlife on and around Grandfather Mountain includes cougars (though no longer in the wild), black bears, river otters and elk.

Bird Life: Birds of Grandfather Mountains include magnolia warblers, pine siskins, kinglets, winter wrens, crossbills, and ruffed grouse. Bald eagles are also common on Grandfather Mountain.

 Grandfather Mountain at Price Lake under a Full Moon | Mark Van Dyke Photography

Sources:

Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina on Price Lake in autumn. | Sean Pavone
The Mile-High Swinging Bridge in fog, at Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina. | Jon Bilous

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