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MacRae Peak Out and Back



1.8 mile 2.9 kilometer loop
66% Runnable


Ascent: 697' 212 m
Descent: -697' -213 m
High: 5,813' 1,772 m
Low: 5,262' 1,604 m


Avg Grade: 15% (8°)
Max Grade: 92% (43°)


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Trail shared by Matt Raad

A challenging trail that will keep you on your game and get your adrenaline pumping.

Matt Raad

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Must have proper equipment to go on this trail.


This is a challenging trail that is a lot of fun and is a huge adrenaline rush!

Need to Know

The trail is rugged and has cables and ladders to help you get to the top.

Runner Notes

Not for running. The steepness and rocks are a high risk for runners.


From start to finish this trail is not for the faint of heart. With cables to assist you in your climb over rocks and steep ladders that will get your heart pumping, this route is fairly unusual. The trail starts at the top most parking lot in Grandfather Mountain State Park, near the mile high bridge. Keep and eye out for the Grandfather Trail, which you'll stick to for the duration of the journey.

You'll start by ascending over rocks. Then you'll keep running until you reach a series of boulders with a cable that will assist you in your climb. Then after a while you'll reach Grandfather Gap where you'll see great scenery with more big boulders. Shortly after the Gap, you'll arrive at a series of ladders. These ladders vary in length and steepness. These ladders will lead you to the top of MacRae Peak. This trail is not one for first timers, but it is definitely worth the hard work.

Once you've enjoyed the view, head back the way that you came to return to the trailhead and your vehicle.

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Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 8 votes


  4.6 from 8 votes
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142 Views Last Month
6,902 Since Aug 17, 2016



Looking out near McRae Peak.
Jul 31, 2017 near Linville, NC
Looking out onto the high country from one of many ladders on the trail.
Jul 31, 2017 near Linville, NC
A fat Black Bear eating a snack!
Apr 6, 2016 near Newland, NC
The beautiful view right after we climbed the final ladder!! Was a bit challenging trying to overcome my fear of heights but was definitely worth the views
Aug 8, 2019 near Linville, NC
Climbing back down the ladders and Cliffside...
Aug 8, 2019 near Linville, NC
Scrambling up a rock outcrop on the Grandfather Trail.
Aug 1, 2017 near Linville, NC

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