As the last of autumn's leaves drop from the trees and fall leaf lookers retreat back to warmer climates, winter's chill sweeps through the High Country and paves the way for Grandfather Mountain's Secret Season. From Nov. 1 through April 30, Grandfather Mountain offers "Secret Season" passes, good anytime between these two dates to experience the wonder of the mountain during the winter at a very affordable price.
Passes are $32 for an adult, which means the pass holder can visit every day for six months at a price less than the cost of two adult tickets. An individual child’s pass, for those ages four to twelve years old, is $18 each. The group pass (good for six people traveling in the same vehicle) sells for $90 and pays for itself on the first visit.
For those who live and work in the surrounding areas, the Secret Season pass offers many unique opportunities to enjoy Grandfather Mountain without the bustling crowds of summer and fall. Some chose to stop by the mountain for a warm cup of soup from Mildred's Grill at lunchtime. Others enjoy trips up to the Swinging Bridge to experience endless vistas of snow-dusted evergreens. No matter your reason for visiting, Secret Season pass holders are rewarded not only with the sensation of being on top of the world, but also with the sensation of having it all to themselves.
Secret season passes go on sale Nov. 1, at the Grandfather Mountain entrance gate and are valid until April 30. Winter hours, weather permitting, are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The park is closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days.
Grandfather Mountain is a magical place when rime ice covers the surrounding peaks. Opening is delayed until all roads and paths can be cleared of snow and ice, but a phone call to the entrance at 828 733-4337 can confirm the day’s conditions and set the stage for a memorable outing for the entire family.
The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park in the public interest and participate in educational research activities. For more information phone 800 468-7325 or plan a trip at www.grandfather.com.
Grandfather Mountain's Secret Season pass holders get to enjoy a quieter time on the Mountain.
- Photo2 by Helen Moss Davis