Following a two-month closure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Grandfather Mountain reopened in May 2020, with ticket sales moving online.

In accordance with N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper’s three-phased reopening of North Carolina, the park is strictly limiting visitor numbers to follow social gathering guidelines and requiring that guests wear face coverings in all indoor locations within the park, as well as outdoors when safe social distancing cannot be maintained. The park has also implemented enhanced health and safety measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and federal, state and local authorities.

While guests will still be able to enjoy Grandfather Mountain’s many wonders, including the Mile High Swinging Bridge, environmental wildlife habitats and hiking, the park will be operating in a modified capacity to ensure the safety of visitors and staff.

  • Now, rather than purchasing tickets at the park’s entrance gate, visitors must do so online at by placing a reservation for a set date and time of entry. This measure aims to help limit the number of guests in the park at one time, in accordance with the state’s social gathering guidelines. A limited number of tickets may be available at the Entrance Gate during weekday hours. However, visitors are still strongly encouraged to book online in advance. On weekends, tickets will only be available online.
  • Per State of North Carolina regulation, guests must wear face coverings in all indoor facilities, as well as outdoors when safe six-foot distancing cannot be maintained, effective Friday, June 26.
  • Park officials have enacted operational measures to discourage crowds and encourage social distancing. Guests must follow directional signage during their visit, including limiting the number of people at overlooks and certain areas of the park.
  • The park’s on-site restaurant, Mildred’s Grill, has reopened its dining room with limited seating and each table separated by 6 feet, but will continue to offer takeout, allowing guests to dine in their vehicles or at one of the park’s 100-plus picnic sites.
  • High-traffic pedestrian areas, such as the Mile High Swinging Bridge and wildlife habitats, have implemented a one-way directional system to ensure that guests do not come within six feet of each other — the minimum safe distance recommended by the CDC and other health officials.
  • The number of guests allowed to visit such areas at one time will be limited, based on state social gathering recommendations, while a time limit will ensure that others can participate in turn. However, guests are welcome revisit such areas during the same trip. Time limits will be not be enforced for the park’s less crowded, lower-traffic areas.
  • The park has enhanced its already stringent cleaning procedures and placed additional sanitization stations in key areas, while boosting staff presence to direct traffic flow and encourage safe social distancing.  
  • The park’s policies and opening dates are subject to change and reflect measures implemented in the state of North Carolina’s phased reopening plan. Once another phase is achieved, Grandfather will follow suit, expanding operations accordingly and allowing more visitors to the park.
  • Guests who do not comply with park rules and regulations may be asked to leave.

The park’s new reservation-based ticketing system is now open at Tickets are only available online to encourage contact-free admission to the park. Tickets are also fully refundable and may be exchanged for a later reservation.

Bridge Club members and passholders must also use the reservation system to book their visits.

Opening dates and operational procedures are subject to change, based on current conditions and federal, state and local regulations. As such, those planning a trip are encouraged to visit for updates.

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