Grandfather Mountain New Year’s Day Sunrise

There are sunrises, and then there are Grandfather Mountain sunrises. And then there are Grandfather Mountain New Year’s Day sunrises.

Ring in an epic New Year on Wednesday, Jan. 1, for the first sunrise of 2020 — atop Grandfather Mountain.

This special event will allow guests the rare opportunity to visit Grandfather Mountain outside of regular operating hours.

“These events are popular among nature lovers, photographers of all skill levels and anyone hoping to see the Blue Ridge Mountains in a new light,” said Frank Ruggiero, director of marketing and communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the Linville, N.C., nature park. “Sunrise on Grandfather Mountain is nothing short of magnificent.”

Sunrise is at 7:38 a.m. Jan. 1, 2020, and Grandfather’s gates will open at 6:30 a.m. Due to safety regulations, participants may only visit the Mile High Swinging Bridge area, including the Top Shop, during the event.

To help warm up on a likely cold winter’s morning, the mountain will offer complimentary coffee, cocoa and bearclaws for sunrise guests.

Participants are encouraged to bring a flashlight and to wear heavy winter jackets, hats, gloves, and rubber-soled shoes, as there may be slick surfaces on the mountain. The event may be canceled upon short notice in case of inclement weather.

Admission to the New Year’s sunrise event costs $15, in addition to general admission, meaning $35 for adults and $24 for children. Guests are free to remain in the park all day, but those who leave before 9:30 a.m. will have their general admission charge refunded. Bridge Club members, who receive free admission to the mountain, will only pay $10 for the sunrise event.

The event is open to no more than 100 participants, and registration is required. To register, please contact Judi Sawyer at or 828-733-2013.

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. to plan a trip.