Insider Tips to Chimney Rock Park
Insider Tips to Chimney Rock Park

Tips to Save You Time and Money

Want to make the most of your time and have the best experience possible at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park? Just follow the simple tips below.

If you still have questions, visit our FAQ page or Contact Us and we'll be happy to help.

Best Time to Visit:

  • Come early in the morning to avoid crowds and take advantage of the cool mountain air. The Park opens every day at 8:30am EDT spring—fall. For winter hours, check our Hours & Rates page
  • Come late in the afternoon. If you purchase your ticket after 4pm (3pm in the winter), you can come back for more the next operating day on the same ticket. This is the perfect opportunity to catch the views from the Chimney, get your bearings and then come back the next day to hike and explore.
  • Weekends are our busiest days; July and October are our busiest months. If you like to hike in solitude, try coming on a weekday or during slower months.
  • Best times to take in the view: fall and winter are great times for expansive, clear views of the mountains. Because the air is cooler, there is less chance for haze, and in the winter, the leafless trees don’t block the views.

Best Hiking Practices:

  • Hydrate and refuel often. Bring extra water to stay hydrated on the trails. There are no potable water sources along the trails. You can purchase bottled water in the Sky Lounge or Cliff Dwellers. Pack a snack or a picnic lunch to keep your energy level up. Picnic tables are located along the road and hiking trails. You can also eat at the Old Rock Café, indoors or outside on the riverside deck.
  • Wear comfortable shoes made for hiking or walking. The trails in the Park are maintained but are naturally rugged. This can make for unsure footing if you wear inappropriate shoes such as flip-flops, sandals, heels or slides.
  • Mountain weather can be very unpredictable. Even in the summer, mornings and nights can be chilly. And, it can be sunny on one ridge and raining on the next. When choosing what to wear, prepare for the worst and hope for the best! Dress in layers and bring your rain jacket. Ponchos, sweatshirts and other hiking apparel are also for sale in our gift shops.

So You'll Know:

  • Pet Policy: Pets are welcome in all outdoor areas of the Park. Just keep them on a leash and clean up after them. Be prepared to hike and get some exercise with your 4-legged friend!
  • Strollers are not recommended on any of the trails. Rent a kid carrier backpack (rated to 40 lbs.) for the day for only $8.
  • There are no rest rooms on the trails. Make sure you take advantage of the rest rooms located in the Meadows, the upper parking lot and the Sky Lounge before heading out.
  • No walking or biking is allowed on the road up the mountain because it’s curvy and narrow. Please observe the posted speed limit—15MPH—and drive safely.

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