Grandfather Mountain is a place of amazing biodiversity and scenic beauty that towers 5,946 feet above northwest North Carolina. A part of the United Nation’s Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve, the mountain is estimated to be 300 million years old - with certain rock formations dating back 1.2 billion years.
One third of the mountain is operated as a scenic travel attraction by the non-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, Inc. All proceeds from sales of tickets and souvenirs go toward preserving Grandfather Mountain and sharing its wonders in ways that deepen visitors’ appreciation of nature and inspire good stewardship of the earth.
The mountain is an amazing classroom. Grandfather is home to 16 distinct ecological communities and 73 rare or endangered species. Through education programs, annual events and behind-the-scenes experiences, the park provides countless learning opportunities in nature for all ages.
Guests to the attraction drive their own vehicles through the park, stopping along the way to enjoy a variety of activities, such as native wildlife exhibits, the Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, hiking trails and the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge.
The Wilson Center is home to more than a dozen new state-of-the-art interactive exhibits to explore the natural history, flora, fauna, geology and weather of the mountain. Outside the center, outdoor learning spaces include an amphitheater, a pavilion and botanical garden.