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Fall Color Weekends Notice: October 15 – November 15

Fall color season is always a busy time of year for Chimney Rock. On weekends, traffic can be very heavy which can cause congestion in certain areas of the Park, especially during the peak hours of 10am – 3pm. To avoid long wait times, we suggest you come early in the morning. If your schedule permits, you may even want to consider coming on a weekday.

We are emphasizing the NC Dept. of Health & Human Services 3 W’s: Wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth in all indoor and outdoor locations where safe social distancing cannot be maintained; Wait 6 feet apart and avoid close contact with others that are not in your party; Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently. Hand sanitizing dispensers are located on every trail and at every indoor location.

We want to do everything we can to ensure that all our guests have a great experience in the Park.  We sincerely appreciate your understanding and support during these difficult times.

If you are planning to visit the Park during the fall color season, here is additional information you need to know:   

  • Entrance into the Park is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets can only be purchased at the Ticket Plaza. If parking capacity is reached, the Park will close to any further entry until space has cleared to allow more vehicles to enter.  
  • If the top parking lot is full or contractors are working in that area, we will direct guests to park in the Meadows. Guests are welcome to hike up the mountain from here, or we do offer a shuttle service up to the top parking lot for those who are unable to hike. Masks are required to ride the shuttle.
  • The elevator is open and will take guests up who came together in the same vehicle (limit 8 per trip). Masks are required. To prevent long lines in the Sky Lounge gift shop, the elevator ride down is reserved for disabled guests only. Guests should take the scenic Outcroppings trail down to the top parking lot.
  • Cliff Dwellers gift shop and the Sky Lounge (near the Chimney) will be open with limited capacity. Snacks and bottled drinks will be available at both locations.
  • The Animal Discovery Den will remain closed.
  • The Old Rock Café in Chimney Rock Village is open daily from 11am – 5pm for takeout and limited capacity dining. Please see for more information.
  • Our associates will be taking appropriate precautions to protect the safety of ourselves and all our guests. See our We Care Commitment. We are prepared and trained to handle any situation during this time.
  • Please recreate responsibly during your visit. Stay safe!

This plan is subject to change depending on circumstances. We appreciate your support and understanding during these unprecedented times and look forward to seeing you on the mountain sometime soon.