Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 36.10326°N / 81.82061°W
Additional Information County: Avery
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 5949 ft / 1813 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Carolina High Country HikingCarolina High Country Hiking
10 May 2009

Maybe you enjoyed the game “Chutes & Ladders” as a kid. Perhaps it’s simply time to get in touch with your inner child…or inner monkey.

If any of the above applies to you, the trip to the summit of Attic Window Peak on Grandfather Mountain, by way of MacRae Peak, is sure to delight. With names like “The Chute” and “The Subway”, sections of this exciting stretch of the Grandfather Trail, punctuated by rock scrambles, ladder climbs, cable tugs and startling Blue Ridge views, make the journey to the summit of Attic Window Peak as enjoyable – or even more so – than standing on its rocky, open summit.

Regardless of the route chosen to the top (and there are several options), Attic Window Peak, a ruggedly handsome outcrop along the spine of noble Grandfather Mountain, is a fantastic destination. The views from the top are immense, the conditions rocky and rugged and the convenience of this peak to the Asheville metro area is hard to beat.

Profile photo by MarkDidler.

Getting There

Carolina High Country SceneryCarolina High Country Scenery
10 May 2009
Karolina KuloirKarolina Kuloir
10 May 2009

Attic Window Peak resides in Avery County, in Western North Carolina. The peak rises less than one mile northwest of the legendary Blue Ridge Parkway. Attic Window Peak is a highpoint along Grandfather Mountain in the Grandfather Mountain private nature reserve.

Here are driving directions courtesy of the Grandfather Mountain webpage.

The entrance to Grandfather Mountain is located on US 221, two miles north of Linville, North Carolina, and one mile south of the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 305.

The street address is: 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646.

Red Tape

Blossoms in AbundanceBlossoms in Abundance
10 May 2009

Part of the Grandfather Mountain reserve is privately owned, including the standard entrance (directions below). There is a fee to enter the reserve (currently $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $7 for children 4-12 and free of charge for children under 4). Many use regulations apply including:
  • Camp in designated sites only

  • Dogs should be leashed or under solid voice command and picked up after

  • Pack out what you pack in and burry human waste

  • Drugs and alcohol are prohibited

  • Leave firearms and many other weapons (including tasers, nunchaku & throwing stars) at home
  • No rock climbing

  • Also prohibited are mountain bikes, horses or other pack animals and geocaching

In 2008, North Carolina State Parks purchased almost 2,500 acres of land along the crest of Grandfather Mountain, creating Grandfather Mountain State Park. The visitors center and surrounding area will continue under private ownership and management.

Many thanks to SP member StarMan for bringing these land ownership/management issues to my attention.


Attic Window Peak, Grandfather Trail LaddersGrandfather Trail Ladders
10 May 2009
MacRae summit block from Attic WindowMacRae summit block from Attic Window
10 May 2009

Backcountry camping is available by permit within the Grandfather Mountain preserve.

Hotels, lodges and cabins can be found in the nearby communities of Linville, Newland, Banner Elk, Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain, Linville Falls. Additional lodging information can be obtained by contacting local chambers of commerce:

Avery County Chamber of Commerce
Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce
Burke County Chamber of Commerce

Weather & Seasons

Scrambling The Chute toward Attic Window PeakScrambling in the chute
GrandfatherChute in winter
Image by thljr922

The climate of western North Carolina is generally mild and pleasant.

Expect winters to be cool to cold and damp but a little gray. Remember that high country is high country; winter conditions in the western North Carolina mountains can be challenging, bringing cold temperatures (below 0 F.) and heavy snow, plus ice. As the traditional entry and road are sometimes closed in winter conditions, winter access to Attic Window Peak can gained via the Profile Trail. This trailhead is on the west side of Highway 105.

Summers can get hot and sticky with brutally high humidity, but the Grandfather Mountain reserve boasts that temperatures along the spine of the mountain are approximately 10 degrees (F) cooler than the surrounding foothills.

Spring is a fabulous time to visit, with wild flowers and flowering wild shrubs including laurel and azaleas bringing enchanting blasts of color to the mountainside.

The brilliant colors of autumn, combined with cooler, brisk air, would be a delightful season to visit as well.

Zone Forecast for Linville, NC

Left to right: Along the spine of Grandfather Mountain; Views from a ladder along the Grandfather Trail; Summit Signpost, Attic Window Peak.
Click on images to enlarge.



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Tanawha(Grandfather Mtn)Mountains & Rocks