Whether you are road tripping the entire parkway or just taking a day trip from Boone (or the High-Country region), you’d be remiss if you did not dedicate the entire day to exploring Grandfather Mountain and Linville Falls! 

Not only are these two attractions in the North Carolina mountains only a 30-minute drive from each other, but they also feature a variety of activities for all ages and fitness levels. 

Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway starts at Great Smoky Mountains National Park and ends at Shenandoah National Park, running through the Blue Ridge Mountains alongside the Appalachian Trail. 

Hike the Rough Ridge Trail (Milepost 302.8)

The Rough Ridge Trail is an easy 1.5-mile return hike with an elevation gain of 480 ft. It takes you to the most spectacular views of Grandfather Mountain, the parkway, and the Pisgah National Forest ridges below. 

Marvel at the Linn Cove Viaduct (Milepost 304.4)

The Linn Cove Viaduct, between Rough Ridge and Grandfather Mountain, is an iconic stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This bridge-like structure jutting out of the side of the mountain is an engineering marvel.  

Explore Grandfather Mountain (Milepost 305)

The 300-million-year-old peaks stand 6,000 feet above sea level, giving you stunning 360-degree views over the Appalachian Mountain ranges

Craig and I thoroughly recommend the 2.4-mile Grandfather Trail. Expect rocky cliffs and scrambles with cables and ladders to spectacular views. It’s definitely strenuous, but loads of fun. Allow for at least half a day just for that hike! 

Grandfather Mountain Attractions + how long do you need