Behind-the-Scenes Tours


behind scenes Behind the Scenes ToursCome see what happens beyond the overlooks of the wildlife habitats in our enlightening Behind the Scenes tour.

You will get to see where the cougars and otters sleep overnight, meet black bears that are not commonly on display, learn the ins and outs of what it takes to care for the animals year-round, observe a training session and learn about why the animals call Grandfather Mountain home. Our knowledgeable and experienced keepers will gladly answer any questions as they guide you on your tour.

Each Behind the Scenes tour takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.


Minimum of two persons per session, maximum of six. There is no minimum age limit, but small children must be carried if they are not capable of walking on their own. Strollers are not an option. Participants in the behind the scenes tours must:

  • be capable of walking up and down steep, rough terrain
  • must be wearing closed-toed boots or tennis shoes
  • sign a waiver of liability


  • no wheelchairs or strollers
  • no pets


Closed-toed hiking or work boots or tennis shoes are required. It is recommended that you dress in layers and be prepared for any weather condition. We recommend that you have coats, jackets and rain gear in your vehicle.


Behind the Scenes Tours will continue on schedule regardless of weather conditions. Tours will only be cancelled due to thunder and/or lightning. In the event of a cancellation, the tour can be rescheduled or refunded.

The weather on Grandfather Mountain can change at a moment’s notice. Temperatures are commonly 5 to 10 degrees colder than what they are at the bottom of the Mountain in Linville.


The cost is $25 per participant ($20 each for Bridge Club members). Admission to the park is purchased separately ($20 adult/$9 child 4-12). To ensure there is space available when you plan to visit, call (828) 733-8715 for a reservation, or sign up at the Nature Museum gift shop when you arrive.


Each Saturday and Sunday, April 1 to Oct. 29: 12:30 to 2 p.m.

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  • Last summer I returned to Grandfather Mountain after a more than 40 year absence and the return trip was even more magical than the initial trip. I was able to appreciate the majestic views of nature and all it's splendor with my grown son and my mother. We spent an adventure-filled day stopping at every spot mentioned on the CD and enjoyed a great deal of time in the animal habitats, especially the bears. My son's nickname is Bear, and frankly he resembles at least one of Grandfather Mountain's bears. We went up to the top by car since the hike was a little tough for my mom, however, she and my son crossed the Mile High Swinging Bridge together while I recorded their experience. Upon their return I crossed solo and was able to appreciate the views from the bridge and mentally check "GM Mile high Bridge" off my bucket list. My hope is to be able to visit Grandfather Mountain as often as possible and during every colorful season of the year to watch Mother Nature show off one of her greatest treasures.

    Palm Harbor, FL
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