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Stack Rock

A short hike to a unique rock formation, and a great opportunity to stretch your legs after a drive.

Hiking Moderate

698 m
18 m
18 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
1.3 km
Stack Rock Map

Paired with Beacon Heights, Stack Rock is one of the best short hikes near Grandfather Mountain. It's described by one source as whimsical, with unique rock formations and plant life that may inspire you to hike further - just to see what lies ahead! It's a great option for everyone in the family, and is the perfect way to stretch your legs if you're driving along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.


Less than 1/4-mile from the parking lot, Stack Rock is situated on one of the more technical sections of the Tanawha Trail. Part of the larger Mountains to Sea Trail, gnarled rhododendrons and mountain laurel fill the forest understory, and winter offers long-reaching views once the trees drop their leaves. A wooden staircase also runs alongside the unique rock formation, offering several unique angles to view the rock. For those driving the parkway, the top of the rock can also be seen from the road.

Parking for Stack Rock is available on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 304.8. There are no restrooms or facilities, and cell reception can be limited as you hike along massive boulders that tend to block the signal.

Sources: https://brookandholler.com/blogs/trail-guides/stack-rock-the-most-technical-section-of-the-tanawha-trail



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between March and November


  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area