Explore Asheville - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Love this trail! Climb it every chance we get!!

Be prepared for "are we there yet" questions. Good luck not asking anyone how close to the top you are. The hike itself isn't that tough, just longer than you realize. After a few false hope finishes, you will get to the top and feel like you just found the portal to middle Earth. Extremely rewarding view. Just remember, you have to go back down...finishing the hike back down is the most satisfying.

First time hiker and my fiance and I truly enjoyed going up this rather short trail. It was steep, but not scary and very quick to a peak with great views and good picture spots.

hiking
5 days ago

I got to the trailhead just before noon on a Thursday so it wasn't very crowded at all (I saw hardly anyone coming back down). It was in the low 60s with a good breeze which was nice to keep from getting too hot. The first half or so is full of switchbacks and a steady uphill climb, though like others have said it's more moderate than hard. If you're not an experienced hiker and want a good test of your fitness level then this is a great choice. The view at the top is incredible and well worth the trip. It can get incredibly windy up there and the rocky endpoint of the trail is very steep so watch your step.

The Looking Glass Rock trail is very popular and is advertised in local tourism magazines. The parking lot at 35*17.411'N and 082* 46.631'W holds no more than 10-11 cars. On an April weekday morning I was first at sunrise and the lot was packed when I got back down... so go early. The climb is scenic and goes up countless switchbacks so there is no place that is steep, but it's a lot of uphill. Near the top is a helipad at 35* 17.945'N and 082* 47.328'W that is right next to the trail. Next you'll reach the summit, which is an open, sandy clearing. Go beyond the summit and descend a ways to reach the viewing area at 35* 18.262'N and 082* 47.680'W. The viewing area is steep with no fence or barricade so watch the younger kids!. Due to an abundance of rocks and roots at the higher parts of the trail, boots are advised. And you'll also want the extra traction on the rock face. The view is exceptional and gives a 180* panorama to the west. For the classic view of Looking Glass Rock as you leave, turn left onto US 276 and go 5 minutes up the road to the Looking Glass Falls and take pictures then continue up the hill to the Blue Grass Parkway, turn left, and go to MP417. There is a designated pull-off and other nice views of Looking Glass Rock nearby.

hiking
8 days ago

You can’t go into the lookout!! Major bummer. One of the hardest hikes I’ve ever done, all uphill the whole time. If you want a good workout this is it. Go prepared a lot of water and give yourself a lot of time to complete

10 days ago

No waterfall on the trail to the top, but the view from the top is gorgeous! Looks up at the parkway and black balsom area.

hiking
12 days ago

Amazing view at the top. Well worth the strenuous hike up.

What an incredible day. Mild temps (60-70’s) and sunny. Went during the week, so the trail was empty the majority of the way there and back. The view was remarkable and the hike was challenging in some areas but definitely doable. One of the best hikes I’ve been on.

Awesome trail with a breathtaking view at the mid point. Not an easy hike but worth it.

Very fun trail, 1:15 up and and 1:10 down for two able-bodied 28 year-olds. Down took longer than expected because it was just about noon and there were more groups on the trail.

We got there at about 9:45 and there was only one other car in the parking lot. By the time we got back at 12:30, the lot was overflowing.

Very well marked trail! Great views at the top. A little tricky at times with rocks and roots, but not bad. Do not go careening off the side of the Rock and die, please.

Somehow when I was a camper we did this hike in 3 days (???).

We did this hike with our two kids, ages 8 and 11. It took about 1.5 hours to the top, views were amazing. It took a little less than an hour to return. Not an overly crowded trail.

Great trail with beautiful view at the top! We went on a weekday so it wasn’t crowded.

I don't think I would call this one Hard by any means.... I think moderate would be a better description. Nice fun hike that you can knock out pretty quick. Round trip was 1:50 for me, moving pretty quick though.... Approach shoes are really nice when the rock is wet.

Tough but worth it!

25 days ago

Fun hike! We went fast with no rests in between- got up in 1h 40 min and down in 1h 15 min with three kids in top shape (5, 7 & 9 year olds). Views on top are amazing! Plan your hike to stay on top longer. It's very pretty! Some spots are muddy. Kids fell a few times. :-)

This is a fun trail that gets the blood pumping. Lovely rock face and view at the top. Parking lot gets full quickly on nice days.

This is vigorous hike with a great reward!!

Windy trail up the mountain - take plenty of water! Really beautiful views up top. I started at 9:30 AM on a weekday and was one of three people on the trail. Coming back down around 11:30 AM, there was much heavier foot traffic.

Beautiful, well-maintained trail. Loved hiking it, but VERY high traffic. I must have passed 15-20 groups of hikers on the way up and again on the way down — but they were all very pleasant and everyone was eager and willing to let me pass as an excuse to take a breather! Iconic views at the top. A little muddy, but not bothersome at all, and worth the payoff at the end. Probably less traffic in the early AM or later in the day.

Fantastic trail, well marked, moderate/strenuous. Incredible views. However, if the weather is nice and it’s a weekend day, it is heavily—HEAVILY—trafficked. Would recommend a weekday hike if possible. Lots of people and groups at the top talking loudly which put a damper on what should have been peace & solitude with beautiful scenery.

hiking
1 month ago

600+ ft of elevation in about 0.6 miles with a rock scramble at the top. We went just after a soaking rain, so there were lots of mud puddles and wet rocks resulting in some unsure footing. Other than that, the hike was challenging and rewarding with beautiful views at the top.

Absolutely perfect spot for meditation. I went later in the day in March so for a while, I had the world to myself.

hiking
1 month ago

What a great day hike from Asheville. A short drive from town to a great hike to an excellent view. Go early in the day as late afternoon photos end up going into the sun. The falls are a short walk or even shorter drive from the trailhead.

With some trekking poles this trail is not difficult at all. I highly recommend this iconic hike!

Awesome trail! :)

Good steep incline starting NW from trail info box on Harmony Lane (that leg actually called Stomping Knob Trail), then along the ridge has nice views especially with winter and foliage down. Rattlesnake Rock looks back across valley to Black Mountain. Easy access for a short day hike.

This place has an incredibly gorgeous waterfall called Looking Glass Falls and mild rock climbing if you want to get closer to the waterfall. And not far from there is Sliding Rock, which is also a waterfall but different in that you can actually slide down the whole thing like you would a water slide at a water park. It's gorgeous. Traffic was minimal, at least when we went it wasn't bad. It was really nice.

backpacking
1 month ago

Fairly strenuous, though the switchbacks make it manageable. Take water as there’s none up top. The view off the bald face is amazing but do watch your step. Hammock camping on the top is epic.

hiking
2 months ago

Very steep at some parts but a beautiful view from the top!

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