COVID Updates


The holiday season can be a busy time of year at Chimney Rock. With the recent completion of the top parking lot construction project, we now have more parking capacity than before, which should result in less front gate closures. However, weekend 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.

With the recent announcement of Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 180, masks are required in all indoor locations, on buses, and outdoors whenever 6 feet of social distancing from non-household members cannot be maintained, including on trails. On busier days, be prepared to wear your mask everywhere while in the Park.

Please remember to always follow the NC Dept. of Health & Human Services 3 W’s:

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, but also keep everyone safe. We sincerely appreciate your understanding and support during these unprecedented times.

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

  • The Chimney Rock section of the Park will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, otherwise, we will be open daily, weather permitting. The Ticket Plaza’s hours are from 8:30am – 4:30pm. Guests can stay until 6pm.  
  • Once the top parking lot is full, 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 guests who are unable to hike back down. Guests should take the scenic Outcroppings trail down to the top parking lot.
  • At all outdoor locations and while hiking our trails, guests must wear a mask whenever 6 feet of social distancing from non-household members cannot be maintained.
  • 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. If you dine indoors, you must wear a mask at all times unless you are actively eating or drinking. 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.