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Monday, January 1 - Thursday, February 29

Winter Photo Contest: “Nature in Winter”
Time: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
Cost: Included with Park admission.
chimney rock state park,

Though it’s often overlooked, winter is the perfect season to visit Chimney Rock. If you find yourself in the park this winter, send us your best snapshots of the gorgeous winter scenery, and you could win prizes. See full contest details below.


1st Prize: The winning photo will be our Facebook cover photo for two weeks, and the photographer will receive two annual passes to Chimney Rock State Park and lunch for four at the Old Rock Café.

2nd Prize: After the first place photo, the second place photo will be our Facebook cover photo for one week. The photographer will receive one annual pass to Chimney Rock State Park and lunch for two at the Old Rock Café.

3rd Prize: The third place photographer will receive two adult day passes (or one family pack of day passes) to Chimney Rock State Park and lunch for two at the Old Rock Café.


  1. There is no fee to enter the contest. All photographs must be taken in Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park only in areas accessible to guests between January 1, 2024 – February 29, 2024.
    The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers.
  2. Up to three photos per person can be submitted via any of the following ways to be eligible to win:
    1. E-mail: You may email your digital photo with your contact information specified in rule #3 to [email protected].
    2. Facebook: Send us a private message including your contact information specified in rule #3.
  3. Every entry should be clearly labeled with the photographer’s name, city & state, a brief photo caption, an email address and the best phone number to reach you.
  4. Photos should be available at a minimum resolution of 1200 x 1600 pixels (1 MB minimum) to be eligible to win. Photos taken via smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices are welcome if they meet minimum requirements.
  5. For entries showing human faces, you must list their name(s) and have written permission from any photographed person(s) to use their image.
  6. Entries should reflect the photographer’s interpretation of the theme. Emphasis will be placed on quality, composition and creativity. All entries may be used in promotions of Chimney Rock and park-related activities.
  7. Digital images can be optimized but not dramatically altered with photo editing software. Black and white photographs are welcome.
  8. Winners will be chosen by a team of Chimney Rock staff. Decisions regarding winners are final.

Winners will be notified personally and announced on Chimney Rock’s social media. For more information, call 1-828-625-9611, ext. 1812 or email us at [email protected].

Monday, January 1

First Day Hike
Time: 8:00 am - 10:00 am
Cost: Free

Start the New Year off on the right foot — literally. Join us first thing New Year’s Day for this NC State Park tradition: the First Day Hike. This is the only time during the year that guests can walk, hike, or bike up the 3.2 mile park road.  Motor vehicles are not allowed on the road during this time, and participants will be shuttled back to their cars in Chimney Rock Village before the park opens to the public at 10 am. Helmets are required for cyclists.

Meet at the Old Rock Café at 8am. Registration is not required.

Wednesday, January 17

Passholder Experience: Behind the Elevator
Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Cost: $11 Adult Annual Passholder, $7 Youth Annual Passholder

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of Chimney Rock’s iconic elevator? Join a staff expert on this exclusive tour of the mechanics and history of this NC landmark. The tour will include areas crucial to elevator operation that have never been open to the public. *This event is for Annual Passholder only*

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