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Chimney Rock State Park

Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina

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Chimney Rock State Park

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  • Directions to various attractions in the park are located throughout.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • Restrooms and vending machines are plentiful in the park.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • A climbing tower for children at the Meadows.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • The Great Woodland Adventure Trailhead.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • Hickory Nut Falls Trailhead across from the Meadows.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • Chimney Rock from the parking lot.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • A restaurant and gift shop at the base of Chimney Rock.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • Lake Lure seen from the parking lot.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • The beginning of 500 stairs to Chimney Rock.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • Paths have been carved through the rock to make it easier.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • Stairs. So many stairs.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • The view from Vista Rock.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • Just 200 steps left.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • The final flight of stairs to the Chimney.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • The view from Chimney Rock.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • Exclamation Point Trail leads even higher for unprecedented views.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • There are multiple viewing places along the walkway at the top.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • The gap between the mountain and the Chimney.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • Pulpit Rock from above.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • The view of Chimney Rock and Hickory Nut Gorge.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • The stairs make this hike much more accessible.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • The Grotto.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • There are two paths leading to the Chimney: One takes you past Pulpit Rock, the other passes the Grotto and Subway.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • A hiker winds through the rock gaps.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • Day use picnic area with grills.- Chimney Rock State Park
  • - Chimney Rock State Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful views. Hiking trails. Supervised rock climbing.
Cons: 
Large crowds.
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Region:
Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, NC
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Chimney Rock State Park centers around a 535-million-year-old monolith that the park is named after. Chimney Rock reaches 315 feet above the surrounding area, its apex 2,280 feet above sea level. It offers panoramic views over 75 miles of the beautiful Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure.

To reach the top you'll have to walk up almost 500 stairs, although there are multiple lookouts along the Exclamation Point Trail and even more stairs to get a view of the monolith itself. There is an elevator to the top that arrives at a snack shop that is built into the granite mountain. There are several other trails in the park, including the kid-friendly Great Woodland Adventure Trail and Hickory Nut Falls Trail. The trail to the 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls is an easy 0.75 miles and has many native plant species that can't be found anywhere else, not even within the park. Bathrooms and picnic areas are plentiful throughout the park, including along the 3-mile drive from the main road to the parking lot. The gneiss cave is also a popular attraction.

The park is very family friendly and offers animal and plant educational courses at the Animal Discovery Den, easy hiking trails, and a climbing experience in the Meadows on a climbing tower. The park implemented a program to get children outdoors where kids can complete TRACK trails and enter a contest online to win prizes. 

Supervised rock climbing is offered at the park, weather permitting, with a minimum age of seven and minimum weight of 50 pounds. The sessions must be booked in advance, and instructional sessions for all skill levels are available with a number of routes to train on. There is also access to Rumbling Bald, which offers world-class bouldering and trad climbing via a 1.5-mile hiking loop. Rumbling Bald has over 1,500 bouldering problems, and for individuals there is no fee. However, for groups, you must obtain a special activity permit and pay a $35 fee.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(19 within a 30 mile radius)

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26 Adventures Explored
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