Hike Looking Glass Rock

    4.5

    Added by Justin Costner

    Distance: 6.5 miles roundtrip. Elevation gain: 1,700 ft. All seasons hike - great in the winter. Epic views of Appalachian Mountains.

    This is a really nice, moderately difficult hike along a cascading creek, up switchbacks, and through wildflower fields. A couple miles in, you'll reach a helipad that is used for rescuing injured rock climbers - Looking Glass Rock is a popular destination for world class climbing. There is a small trail leading away from the helipad with nice views of the lower cliffs.

    Continue past the helipad to the summit, which has a few campsites but doesn't actually yield the greatest views. Keep hiking along the main trail past the summit to reach the Upper Looking Glass Cliffs - be sure to keep a safe distance from the edge. This is a great spot to kick back, eat lunch, and enjoy the view of the Appalachian Mountains all around you.

    To find the trailhead from Asheville take I-26 East until the exit for Hwy 280 (towards the airport). Head west on the 280 towards Brevard for about 16 miles and turn right onto Hwy 276 North just past the shopping center. This will take you into Pisgah National Forest where you'll drive 5.3 miles and make a left turn, following signs for the Wildlife Center. About half a mile on this road, look for a parking lot and trailhead on the right hand side of the road.

    Read More
    Camping
    Photography
    Backpacking
    Hiking
    Easy Parking
    Forest
    River
    Scenic
    Wildflowers

    Go Pro.

    We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more!

    Learn More

    Reviews

    Rate this Adventure

    Great Hike!

    This hike is not for the inexperienced, but the views are incredibly worth it. I went in February, so traffic was lite. Lots of switchbacks and elevation. Bring lots of water and pace yourself! Enjoy!

    Good Workout, Awesome View

    The trail starts out with some pretty tough switchbacks and then flattens out to a slight incline till you get to the peak, then it's just a short downhill hike to the view. A very safe hike since it is usually pretty crowded and there is a helicopter landing pad at the halfway point. A very good view of the surrounding mountains that makes the hike totally worth it. There are also a few campsites on the peak that would be fun to backpack to.

    Tough Hike, Great View

    Hard 3ish mile hike to the top but completely worth the view. Did it with two other college teammates and we got a great workout of it and some great memories

    Leave No Trace

    Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

    Stay Nearby

    Pisgah Forest, North Carolina

    White Pine South Group Camp

    Canton, North Carolina

    Cove Creek Lower Group Camp

    Canton, North Carolina

    Cove Creek Upper Group Camp

    Brevard, North Carolina

    Davidson River

    Nearby Adventures

    Explore Looking Glass Falls

    4.3

    Hike to Moore Cove Falls

    4.3
    1.4 mi / 150 ft gain

    Hike to John Rock

    5 mi / 1000 ft gain

    Hike the Art Loeb Trail

    4.8
    32 mi / 7887 ft gain
    More Nearby Adventures