Attractions > Craggy Gardens Information

Craggy Gardens

the best of the Great Craggy Mountains

craggy gardens view

Craggy Gardens is a popular stopping spot along the Blue Ridge Parkway featuring a visitors center, hiking trails, scenic views, and an excellent mountain picnic area. It is located in the Great Craggy Mountains above Asheville, NC.

The Great Craggy Mountains name refers to rock outcroppings on the mountain summit balds. The mountain is actually blanketed with grasses and mountain shrubbery giving the impression of a large garden. Craggy Gardens has been recognized by the state of North Carolina as a Natural Heritage Area.

Craggy Gardens has the spring's most dazzling display of pink and purple rhododendron blooms. Catawba Rhododendron grows in abundance on the slopes and summits of Craggy Gardens. The low growing vegetation in this area makes for an unobstructed view of the colorful rhododendrons. Throughout the summertime the high slopes of Craggy Gardens display smaller native wildflowers and rare plants that cover the ground with vibrant splashes of color.

When To Come

The best time to come to Craggy Gardens is mid to late June during the spectacular floral display of pink and purple flowers. Long after the blooms on the lower elevations have come and gone, the violets, blackberry, may-apple, and turkscap lily are all going strong in this high-altitude portion of the Parkway.

Things To Do

craggy gardens view

The small visitor center with a book shop has as selection of items geared towards outdoor recreation and nature study as well as exhibits on the history of the Craggy Gardens area. This is also where you start on the Craggy Gardens Trails. The trails here are easily accessible from the Craggy Gardens parking areas. They are all about one mile long and vary in difficulty. Hikers are asked to please stay on the trail due to the presence of rare and endangered plants.

The Craggy Gardens Trail takes you from the visitor center to the large picnic area and leads you to Craggy Flats. The mellow, steady uphill climb crosses the high mountain grassy bald making it a great place to have a picnic.

The Craggy Pinnacle Trail leads to a spectacular panoramic view of the endless peaks. This moderate 20 minute walk begins at the upper level of the Craggy Dome Parking area. You'll be mesmerized as you view the surrounding heath bald and the summer rhododendron display from the summit of Craggy Pinnacle. The incredible view of the Black Mountains from Craggy Pinnacle has been recommended as a National Natural Landmark.


Your first stop for Craggy Gardens along the Parkway heading North from Asheville, NC is the 86 site picnic area with restrooms located at milepost 367.6. Next you'll come to the view of Craggy Dome at milepost 364.1. The Craggy Garden's Visitor Center and Parking area located at milepost 364.5 is open from May through October

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