Motor Coach & Church Groups
Inspired views. Inspired you.
At Grandfather Mountain, everyone can experience natural wonders found nowhere else on Earth — and sometimes they’re even more awe-inspiring when you enjoy them with the whole group. Whether your group is looking for a place to reflect and reconnect or an adventure to take you to new heights, you can find it here.
Reservations are essential!
To make your visit more enjoyable, Grandfather Mountain will limit the number of groups visiting each day. Contact the Group Tour Coordinator at the Grandfather Mountain office, 800-468-7325 or (828) 733-2013, as soon as possible to make sure your preferred date is available. You must make reservations during weekday business hours to receive the group rate.
Group Admission Rates
Grandfather Mountain can accommodate just about any ability level. Views can be enjoyed even from a bus window, plus limited-mobility visitors can visit the Mile High Swinging Bridge via elevator, picnic areas near parking lots, paved pathways along the animal habitats, and more. To learn more, visit the accessibility page.
Because sharp curves near the top of the mountain restrict commercial motor coaches and some school buses to the lower part of the mountain, Grandfather Mountain provides free shuttle service to the top in its own buses. Reservations for the shuttle buses are required. Motor coaches or buses longer than 28′ are not allowed in the park without prior reservation. No exceptions will be made.
Duration of Visit
On average, a group visit takes about 3 hours. Allow about ½ hour to walk through the animal habitats, 1 hour in the theater/museum/shop, ½ hour at the Mile High Swinging Bridge/Visitor Center, and ½ hour for lunch. Your visit can easily be shortened or lengthened, depending on group size. Expect a longer stay if your group opts for a habitat tour or naturalist program.
The 140-seat restaurant, Mildred’s Grill, serves hot, tasty food at reasonable prices. For extra convenience, order your meal in advance — we’ll have the food for your group ready and waiting at the time that best fits your schedule. A private dining room is also available by reservation. Click here to learn more about Mildred’s Grill and view a current menu. The Mountain has more than 100 picnic tables located in scenic locations throughout the park, including a covered picnic area situated next to the Nature Museum. Your group is welcome to bring its own picnic, or our staff will be happy to prepare box lunches for you.
Your group’s visit to Grandfather Mountain will be even more fascinating when you participate in a naturalist program or habitat tour. Choose from a wide variety of topics, or let us customize a program to fit your group’s specific interests.
Click here to learn more about the educational programs Grandfather Mountain offers. These school programs can be adapted to suit any age.
You may also be interested in one of these programs:
Habitat Tours: A guided walk through our Animal Habitats, talking about our animals, why they are important and the adaptations that help them survive in the wild. We welcome any questions about the animals.
Nature Near the Swinging Bridge: We focus on the rare and endangered plants and animals found on Grandfather Mountain, and relate the history of how it became a not-for-profit organization.
History of Grandfather Mountain: This program illustrates the history of Grandfather and the surrounding area through a slideshow picture presentation, using many of Mr. Hugh Morton’s photographs.
Wildflowers: Enjoy this program outdoors if the weather, wildflowers and abilities are suited to it, or indoors using a picture slideshow of the wildflowers of Grandfather Mountain.
Beginner Birding: Enjoy this program outdoors if the weather and abilities are suited to it, or indoors using a picture slideshow of the birds of Grandfather Mountain.
For more options or to discuss a personalized program, contact Chief Naturalist Mickey Shortt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Naturalist Office at (828) 733-4326.