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Hiker Reviews for the Grandfather Mountain/Daniel Boone Hike - 1 to 8 of 8   
Review the Grandfather Mountain/Daniel Boone hike here!   Average Review Rating:

By: Vik Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 7, 2017
This hike was my present to my 10 year old son. We did it only one way because of the rainy weather and hitchhiked from the Swinging Bridge back to our car.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, July 11, 2016
We pretty much followed this exact route up and back down the Dan Boone Trail. Our party included a moderately in shape 44 year old man and three athletic girls aged 17, 14, and 11. This hike certainly measures up on the difficulty scale if only on length and effort expended. The number of vistas and interesting things to see is pretty unsurpassed in the mid-Atlantic and thus worth the trip for that alone. We left the Blue Ridge Parkway at 8AM on Monday morning and didn't see a soul until we reached Calloway Gap when we ran into a father and son duo hiking up from the Profile Trail. As we worked our way toward the Attic Window we ran into increasing numbers of "hikers" coming up from the swinging bridge - most without day packs and a few shockingly unprepared in Chacos or other ill advised equipment and no water. The visitor center at the swinging bridge is a double edge sword as you can buy a cold soda - what a treat after 6 grueling miles - but you have to fight off the hordes of non-hikers scrambling around. This was a flashback experience for me to climbing Mt. Washington in New Hampshire with my father when I was 11 and finding a train a highway and about 100 people milling around the top. On the return trip we descended the cragway trail and you shouldn't miss the crag overlook - a great view of the mountain you just hiked. This view is eerily similar and reminiscent of Mt. Katahdin from Chimney pond - but with trees. We got back to our car around 7pm. The total hike was about 9 hours with 2 additional hours of stoppage time for lunch and poking around the tourist trap at the top. We had one quick 20 minute rain shower around 2pm and the temperatures were in the low 70s. The ladders and cables were an interesting addition for this hike and made for an easier ascent in most cases, but they also created some bottlenecks and were clearly not needed in all cases. Some reviewers dissed Old Rag in comparison to Grandfather, but I hesitate. Yes, Grandfather is longer and has many more views and climbs over a three mile stretch (six round trip) making it more challenging than Old Rag, but the puzzles on Old Rag to navigate the scramble are tougher and really fun. I also highly recommend doing this hike on a weekday if possible to avoid as many non-hikers as you can.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, March 22, 2016
I hiked a version of this yesterday, a different approach trail but the crest trail portion is the exact same. I'll have a future writeup for tackling the mountain in this direction, which is tougher and rockier in my opinion. I did hike this alone unlike last time, so my pace was faster but I needed frequent breaks to rest and take care of my feet. The weather was absolutely perfect, sunny, clear, mild wind, and mid-50s. In the shade it was low-40s with frequent ice and snow but microspikes were not necessary.

There's a huge benefit to hiking this in the shoulder seasons and during the week. Other than the section from MacRae Peak to Swinging Bridge, which is closest to the fee parking area, I think I encountered less than 30 people. That may seem like a lot, but that number is in the hundreds in the summer. The gift shop and swinging bridge probably had 75 people at any one time, remarkably low numbers. If you have been eyeing this hike I recommend going midweek, or doing it now before May, or after October. It is easily one of my favorite hikes in the South.

By: Alex Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, November 16, 2015
I took Profile Trail to The Bridge two years ago, but always wanted explore the east side of the massive, so hiked Daniel Boone Scout Trail to Calloway Peak this morning. Had a trail all to myself until about half way going back- if you're looking for a solitude on this hike, choosing a weekday makes a big difference. Took Cragway Trail on the way up- terrific views of Boone Fork bowl from the crags. From Calloway Peak great views west to Attic Window and Black Mountains beyond. Would like to do the same hike in June, when rhododendrons, which line up most of the trails on this hike, are in bloom.

By: Jason Viper Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 8, 2015
What an awesome hike!  Did the full route as prescribed on this site.  I would rate it as the most challenging hike I've done so far, but also the most fun, and providing the best views.  The variety you get on this hike makes it so memorable, from the rock scrambling, ladders, cables, bridge, summits, etc...  The only negative I'd give this hike are the crowds you encounter the closer you get to the visitor center.  They will slow you down a bit.  Though we did go on a gorgeous Saturday in August, so I guess that was to be expected.  Just some really unique features to this hike that you have to experience for yourself.  My favorite was the Attic Window scrambling section.  I've done Old Rag, and I think another reviewer may have alluded to it, but I can't think of Old Rag the same anymore.  You would do Old Rag, in preparation for, Grandfather Mountain!  So get out there and give this one a shot.  Don't take the easy way and do the touristy thing like the other 99%.  Put in your work and it will make it that much more memorable.  In addition, there are alot of things to do in the area before/after your hike.  It's pretty country down there.  Take a visit to Linville Falls too!  Difficulty: 5.7 (still looking for that a$$-kicking, I never want to come back 6.  But this was tougher than Wintergreen.)  Views: 5*  Solitude: 1

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, July 2, 2015
I'll start off by saying that I chose this hike as one I could do on the way down to celebrate the Fourth with my family in Greenville, SC. I left to drive down from Arlington, VA at 4:30am and arrived at the trailhead at 12:00 and signed in at the Grandfather Mountain boundary at 12:10. This was my first hike with a difficulty rating of "6". I've done some fairly challenging hikes in VA and like to think that i'm in fairly good shape. I also wanted to get the most bang for my buck for the ride down, and this seemed like the best option.

This hike definitely earns it's rating of "6" in difficulty. Do not underestimate this hike or it will crush you physically and all your hiking dreams. The trail is full of rocks and tree roots, so sturdy foot wear is a must. I would not recommend this hike to anyone that has an issue with heights. The ladders and cable descents can be a little unnerving at times. The scrambling on this trail blows Old Rag out of the water.

The day I hiked it, it was misting and overcast so the trail wasn't very crowded at all. Sadly though the fog/clouds early in the day obstructed many of the views but they were still amazing and by far worth every bit of the effort.

Even though this was the most physically and technically demanding hikes i've ever been on, I would definitely do it again. I would love to come back on a dry day, most of the rocks were wet and slick so that's never fun. I would also love to come back and do this as a two day trip. There are many GREAT campsites all along the trail. Also, if you are planning on camping, the sites are now reservation only as of May 2015. So make sure to plan accordingly.

Finally, I did the trail as prescribed but summited McRae peak twice instead of taking the side trail that goes around it. I also turned around at the Grandfather Extension Trail, cutting off the sky bridge and the final peak. I was running out of time and needed to turn back.

Fantastic hike and the views are incredible! Best I've seen so far!

Happy hiking!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, May 13, 2015
While it's been years since I did this hike, I did this twice back in the 90's(I know long time ago). I have done quite a bit of hiking out west in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado and this hike is a hike that really compares with the hiking out west. I started both times from the Mile High Bridge. The first time I did it it was quite unnerving. It's quite surprising to me to see a hike that has this level of danger in the East that is allowed by the park service. Still if you use caution and a slow pace it is not overly dangerous. That's really the aspect that sets this hike apart. The views are amazing and there's so many rewarding spots on this trail. I have always meant to go up here and spend 2 or 3 days hiking but since it's about 5 hours from Atlanta the times I have been here I hike one day and leave the next. I think I would put this hike at a 3 way tie for favorite hikes in the East along with Blood Mt(GA) and Table Rock SP(SC). As far as quick rewards it's easily #1 for the east. You can pay the park fee and drive to the Mile High Bridge then climb from Linville Peak. Within less than a mile you're paid some huge rewards. Put this on your bucket list.

By: Justin M Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, April 9, 2015

Those are the extra three stars I would give this hike if they were available to be used in rating. This hike was AWESOME!!!

The views were amazing. The rock scrambles I think were better than Old Rag, and more numerous and spread out along the length of the hike. The mossy undergrowth, the smell of the pine, the quaint rhododendron cover so much of the mountain. This was just an awesome hike!

My son and I drove down from our home in Fredericksburg Wednesday night and stayed in a hotel in Boone and hit the trailhead around 8am. We took our sweet time (my son was getting worn out by the end) and spent almost 11 hours on the 11.5mi. route prescribed here.

My mother and my son and I did Cedar Run/White Oak/Hawksbill peak again today and it was nice, but such a let down compared to Grandfather mountain. And as we drove to Sperryville, I was looking at Old Rag thinking, "Man, I'll never be able to enjoy you as much as I have in the past after hiking the Grandfather ridge trail."

Something about being over a mile high on that ridge, towering over other mountains in the area that you can tell are still big old piles of earth has a special feeling. The views on Old Rag are nice, especially of the valley, but the area around Grandfather Mountain, even though the hills are dotted with houses and's so spectacular. I love it. Now all that's left, is Mount Mitchell, the Presidential Traverse and I think it will be time to start thinking about making a trip out west to see some real mountains.

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