“Dollar Days” Set to Begin April 1 at Grandfather Mountain

Mar 8, 2024

2024 Dollar Days

Grandfather Mountain extends a special “Dollar Days” rate of $5 per person (plus tax and fees) during the month of April to those who live or work in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Mitchell, Watauga or Wilkes counties, along with their guests traveling in the same vehicle. Students attending a local college or university are also eligible for the discount. Dollar Days guests MUST book their tickets online and choose the Dollar Days admission rate when reserving their visit. NO Dollar Days tickets will be available for purchase at the Grandfather Mountain entrance gate.

Once tickets are purchased online, proof of local residency or employment MUST be presented by one Dollar Days ticketholder per vehicle. If a ticketholder does not display proof of local residency or employment, they and their party will be charged the full rate of admission.

Grandfather Mountain will open its gates to High Country residents, employees and their guests for only $5 each during the month of April, as the park’s “Dollar Days” promotion returns in time for spring.

The promotion allows anyone who lives or works in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell (added this year), Mitchell, Watauga or Wilkes counties — along with their guests traveling in the same vehicle — to visit at the discounted rate (per person).

Historically, the reduced pricing was extended to counties represented by High Country Host Regional Visitor Center. With the boundaries of Caldwell County extending up one side of Grandfather and to the mountain’s towering Calloway Peak, the move was made to include this county’s residents and workers as part of the monthlong special offer in 2024.

Students attending a local college or university in these seven counties are also eligible for the discount.

It is important to note, Dollar Days guests must book their visit online at www.grandfather.com. To take advantage of the reduced rate, guests should choose the Dollar Days admission calendar and rate when reserving their tickets.

Upon arrival at the Grandfather Mountain Entrance Gate, Dollar Days ticketholders must present a valid driver’s license, college ID or local utility bill as proof of High Country residency. An employee identification badge or pay stub can be used to demonstrate employment at a High Country business.

Being that the special rate applies to all guests traveling in the same vehicle, only one Dollar Days ticketholder needs to present verification of local residence or employment. If the ticketholder does not display proof of local residency or employment, they and their party will be charged the full rate of admission.

The Dollar Days rate cannot be combined with other discounts or offers, and only a limited number of Dollar Days tickets will be available for each day of the month of April. Dollar Days admission must be reserved online, as no Dollar Days tickets will be available for purchase at Grandfather’s Entrance Gate. In addition, the month is expected to be busy, and securing Dollar Days admission online early is strongly recommended.

“We are excited to once again offer Dollar Days this year and look forward to extending its reach to another neighboring county,” said Jesse Pope, president and executive director of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the Linville, N.C., nature park. “Spring is always a special time of year here, as the mountain comes to life with warm weather, friendly faces and new things to do. We encourage our local communities and friends to take advantage of the discounted pricing and see all that Grandfather has to offer.”

Solar Eclipse – April 8
April will see the mountain’s event season kick off with a truly special occurrence. A total solar eclipse, one of nature’s most spectacular sights, is coming to North America on April 8. Weather permitting, a partial eclipse will be visible at Grandfather Mountain (around 87% of the sun will be obscured in the immediate area). The best viewing time will be between 2 and 3 p.m. All Daily Programs (other than Keeper Talks – more on these, below) on this day will make thematic ties to solar and lunar eclipses. This programming, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., is included with park admission. In addition, a designated area to enjoy the eclipse will be set up.

Solar eclipse glasses will be needed to view the phenomenon. The first 100 guests on April 8 will receive a pair of solar eclipse glasses for free with their admission. The glasses will also be on sale in the mountain’s gift shops that day.

For more information, visit our Solar Eclipse event page.

Wilson Center for Nature Discovery

Grandfather’s Growing Conservation Campus
Opened at the end of June 2022, the Wilson Center for Nature Discovery nearly doubles the size of Grandfather Mountain’s former Nature Museum with 10,000 square feet of education space, including state-of-the-art museum exhibits, three classrooms, an ADA-accessible theater and expanded capacity for hosting conferences and community events.

New exhibits include a 3D interactive map of the mountain that showcases Grandfather’s ecology and history; flora and fauna walls; and other exhibits focusing on the mountain’s natural history, weather and geology.

The Wilson Center is part of a larger planned Conservation Campus. Outside the building, guests can enjoy a new botanical garden filled with native plantings. And, last summer, the Williams Outdoor Learning Space was unveiled, featuring an amphitheater with terraced seating and a pavilion built around the existing natural landscape adjacent to the Wilson Center. It is an ideal place for special events, naturalist presentations or a picnic.

Learn more about the Wilson Center and Conservation Campus.

Daily Programs
April is an ideal time to visit Grandfather Mountain, as the park’s flora and fauna become energized with the initial signs of warmer weather — and Grandfather Mountain’s talented team of animal habitat curators and park educators is on hand to showcase these natural wonders.

Starting April 1, Grandfather will begin offering daily programming, all included with the price of admission, including Keeper Talks, Community Science Weather, Junior Naturalist, Peaks and Profiles and more.

These fascinating interpretive programs throughout the park are a great way to get the most out of your visit to the mountain.

Learn more about Grandfather Mountain’s Daily Programs.

Also in April, Grandfather Mountain is bringing back special experiences, like “Meet the Bears” and Behind-the-Scenes Tours, available at an additional cost. “Paint With an Otter” will once again be offered after its debut in 2023.

These take place on weekends, with advance reservations recommended due to limited space.

Learn more about Grandfather Mountain experiences.

During the month of April, Grandfather Mountain is offering extended spring hours, meaning the park is open daily, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with ticket sales ending at 4:30 p.m. and trails closing at 5 p.m.


The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain.

Grandfather Mountain | Home to the Swinging Bridge, Animal Habitats and Nature Museum

GPS: 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646
Mailing: PO Box 129, Linville, NC 28646

Owned & operated by Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation.
Go here for Grandfather Mountain State Park information.
Member of Southern Highlands Attractions