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hiking
1 day 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 nearby.

I hiked this trial on the 19th of April. Very steep path, certainly between start and first 1.5 miles. Certainly after 2 miles it gets less demanding. At Governors Rock faced a lot of wind but enjoyed a lot the view. The overlook on top of Table Rock is magnificent. Fantastic view over the massive forests this region has. Definitely worthwhile! All in all this can be a tough hike for non trained persons. I started the hike at 11h30 and got back at the entrance around 14h30. One can do it in half a day. Great to have this hike checked of off my to-do-list. Greetings

hiking
4 days ago

This hike, in my opinion, is an ideal day hike. It has it all: a timeline totally doable in a half day, interesting trail that is well maintained, and amazing views from the top. I hiked this on a Wednesday in April, starting at 7:40 am, and reaching the summit in a little under 1 hr 40 min. I hiked with my favorite hiking companion (my dog), and we had a great time. We didn't see a single person on the way up, or during our 50- minute stay at the top! We had GREAT views from many lookouts on the huge summit. We started our descent a little after 10, and got back to the car at 11:30. We were taking our time on the way down, as I had to negotiate my dog down the steep rock sections at the top, and he had to sniff and pee on a lot of things. So overall trip time was 3 hr 50 min, but only 3 hr of that being actual hiking, with 50 min at the summit. For planning purposes, this hike was not particularly difficult if you are a semi-regular hiker and in decent shape. However, if your idea of a "hike" is something like Yellow Branch Falls (3 miles on flat terrain through the woods), then this may not be the hike for you. Would not recommend for inexperienced hikers, individuals who are out of shape, or those with joint issues, due to the steeper sections of the trail. If you are in good shape, you should get a nice little workout doing this. Overall, a great view and experience payout for relatively low time investment. I will certainly be going back!

As Everyone says... Very difficult, but worth it! It had been on our to do list for years. Don't care what anyone says, it's definitely harder coming back down. Great feeling of accomplishment for casual hikers.

6 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.

Great hike! Tough trek but the view atop make it totally worth the torture. The app underestimates the actual elevation gain and loss. The app’s elevation map stars the trailhead starts around 1200’ and the summit is around 3000’ which would put total elevation in the 3400’- 3600’ range and not the 2600’ listed. In other words it’s more difficult than you might think.

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.

Great short trail. Nice 90 ft waterfall at the end. I hiked it with two pregnant women

Challenging hike, with great views.

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.

hiking
18 days ago

Have done this trail twice. It is amazing. The view at the top is gorgeous and worth the steep climb.

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.

hiking
19 days ago

It was an amazing experience, many different hiking trials to choose from with varying difficulties. I also had the chance to enjoy kayaking right beside the trails! Definitely recommend to any and everyone.

Tough but worth it!

hiking
19 days ago

Had to do this one over 2 days to hike the full length of it. It's a little over 9 miles long. The first hike I parked at Kings Mtn National Military Park and did the SC portion of the trail, which is 3 miles to the Crowders Mtn Boulders Access. 10 mile round trip...2 miles down the Lake Crawford Trail just to get to the Ridgeline Trail and then back. Parked at Boulders Access for the 2nd hike. 12 mile round trip to the Pinnacle Summit and back. The Boulders Overlook off trail has some nice views and the Pinnacle is a good reward. Moderate...only about 500 feet in elevation gain in over 6 miles. More incline the closer you get to the Pinnacle. So I've now officially conquered every trail in Crowders Mountain State Park.

21 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.

Was super hard and we are in decent shape. My husband calls this one the stair-master! The views are totally worth it though. I would not recommend this one for small kids or first time hikers.

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
22 days ago

Very kid/ family friendly to the bottom of the falls. Hike up to the top is pretty difficult, but definitely worth it.

hiking
22 days ago

Easy trail up to the cascades. Last 1/2 mile to the upper falls is killer but well worth the effort!

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

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