COVID-19 Update: At REI, we encourage you to get outside responsibly. Stay local, avoid recreational travel,
practice social distancing and check ahead for area and facility closures. Learn More
Trail Run Project Logo

Graybeard Trail



4.6 mile 7.4 kilometer point to point
78% Runnable


Ascent: 2,368' 722 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 5,382' 1,641 m
Low: 3,014' 919 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Brandon Thrower

A diverse trail that leads along a creek up to the trestle switchbacks, then a steeper climb to the summit.

Brandon Thrower

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife


The trail starts on the edge of Montreat, and follow Flat Creek for a mile or two over rocky technical terrain, before reaching a section of the trail called the Trestle switchbacks. This 2-ish mile section of the trail is along an old logging rail line, and the gradient is very smooth, averaging about 3-5% the entire stretch. During this section, you'll also pass by the small Graybeard Falls.

After the switchbacks, the trail then starts climbing more steeply on its way to the summit of Graybeard through many short, technical sections of trail. The summit has a great view of the Black and Craggie Mountains and the foothills below. This is a must-do trail in the Asheville area. The blaze is a blue diamond.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes


Land Manager: Buncombe County, NC

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In


Jul 27, 2019
Richard Beck
Jun 26, 2019
James Warnick
Timber rattler on upper trail 9mi
Jun 23, 2019
Luke Richey
Tons of rocks and roots. And mud. Very beautiful 5.5mi
May 21, 2019
Mike D
Rocky and tough climb but it beat the lowland heat. A few mud puddles but completely manageable. Great views at the top and waterfall 9mi
Dec 2, 2018
Abdiel Flores
Up graybeard down seven sister to big piney ridge 9.5mi
Apr 24, 2018
Robert Hill
Brutal conditions with a cold, steady downpour – thought I was going to get hypothermia. Pretty technical and sketchy decent due to the rain. All t… 9.2mi
Jul 8, 2017
Mark Snyder
Did Graybeard loop (west ridge - big and lower piney). Trail was great heading up before the switchbacks. Lots of downed trees next to the river. 9mi — 2h 02m

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 13 votes


in Montreat


  4.4 from 13 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Trail Rankings


in Montreat


53 Views Last Month
2,200 Since Dec 15, 2016



Across the Sanctuary Pond on a sunny winter day.
Jan 24, 2019 near Black M…, NC
Bridge over Flat Creek at the Graybeard Trailhead
Jan 24, 2019 near Black M…, NC


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running