Looking Glass Rock Trail

Transylvania County, North Carolina

Elevation Gain1,830ft
Trailhead Elevation2,305ft
Elevation Min/Max2305/3965ft
Elevation Start/End2305/2305ft

Looking Glass Rock Trail

Looking Glass Rock Trail is a hiking trail in Transylvania County, North Carolina. It is 2.7 miles long and begins at 2,305 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,830 feet. The Looking Glass Rock Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. Looking Glass Rock (elevation 3,967 feet) can be seen along the trail. Near the end of the trail is a viewpoint.

Looking Glass Rock Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes Near Asheville, North Carolina (Falcon Guides)
Johnny Molloy
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"This hike leads to one of the area’s most notable peaks—Looking Glass Rock. Here, you can rise to a granite grandstand rising above the Davidson River valley, where vistas of the Blue Ridge await. A first-rate but busy path switchbacks from the river through woods, passing occasional rock slabs before opening onto a colossal stone slab availing panoramas of the Blue Ridge rising in the distance as well as greater Davidson River valley stretching out below." Read more
Five-Star Trails-Asheville-2nd Edition (Menasha Ridge Press)
Jennifer Pharr Davis
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"Looking Glass Rock is one of the most recognized natural features in Western North Carolina. For many motorists who travel the Blue Ridge Parkway, viewing the giant monolith is one of the highlights of their trip. However, to actually hike to the top of the granite rock face, you will have to take a narrow trail up multiple switchbacks to reach Looking Glass ridge. There you will enjoy some relatively level hiking before the trail offers a brief descent that places you directly on top of Looking Glass Rock. From this overlook, you will enjoy fantastic north-facing views." Read more
Waterfalls of the Blue Ridge: A Hiking Guide to the Cascades of the Blue Ridge Mountains (Menasha Ridge Press)
Nicole Blouin, Steve Bordonaro, & Marilou Wier Bordonaro
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"Does the classic waterfall exist? Most people agree that Looking Glass Falls is the epitome of a postcard waterfall. Because of its easy access, Looking Glass Falls is a major tourist attraction, one of the most well-known falls in the eastern United States." Read more

Looking Glass Rock Trail Reviews

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This is a great hike along a fairly well maintained trail, although the heavy rains of 2018 have not been kind to parts of the trail. As of August there was one downed tree near the beginning that you have to climb over, and there are a few steep spots where you have to find a way to climb up small embankments. Hiking poles are a definite suggestion. Still, the view at the end is spectacular, and if you go early enough or late enough in the day you can enjoy the view and the silence with little disturbance.
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Been on this road trip twice already within 3 days. Really nice waterfall would like to go back again in the summer and swim there nice spot

Looking Glass Rock Trail Photos

Trail Information

Transylvania County
Nearby City
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Waterfalls, Views
Local Contacts
National Geographic #780 Pisgah Ranger District, USGS Shining Rock
Local Maps