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

Kat & Zo: NC Map

Hopped on this trail after finding out the Blue Ridge Parkway was closed. Nice hike, dog friendly, but did not appreciate a scenic view. Not sure if we just missed it somewhere along the way.

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

Great hike. Will definitely do again when the water is lower.

Loads of fun with three young kids. Wading, running, skipping rocks, hiking, lots of inspiration for imaginative play... oh and hiking! Stream was chilly but the kids left soaked and muddy. Would love to come back and picnic when it’s hot.

12 days ago

Beautiful river views along the trail, with many short diversion trails leading to really nice spots along the way. As others have stated, the trail is wide and can be very crowded on a pretty day. But the trail surface is natural, somewhat muddy in places, and an overall nice hike. The falls are beautiful and a look a bit different from every angle. There's also a steep trail up the right side of the falls (muddy, rocky, and slippery with ropes added for stability) that will take the more adventurous to the top, or almost there. Plenty of places for a cautious person to step out on the falls for great views and photos. Obviously popular destination and not a private afternoon by any means but well worthwhile.

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.

16 days 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.

Nice view of River all along the one mile from parking to falls. Lots of people on trail this beautiful Sunday afternoon!

Love this hike. I have done it usually once a year for the past 18 years. Easy to get too. Dog and kid friendly.

21 days ago

Nice hike. Dog friendly. Very muddy.

One of my most fave hikes I have done! Would of been better if my buddy was in better shape. They held me up on pace. But you can actually bring a hammock and pitch it up at the peak and be fully relaxed through the day and have a pic nic too!

29 days ago

Used to be a 5-star hike before trail 'improvements' (clearing, widening/grading, bridges) made it more accessible and less of a 'wilderness: experience. Now the crowds (some of whom clearly aren't outfitted with proper footwear or fitness levels) have made this more of a Disney experience. Kind of sad. Plus, always lots of dogs and now more & more poop along the trails
The creek leading to the falls, and the falls themselves, are truly beautiful -+ especially after heavy rains. Alas, like many things in western NC, now that all the tourists have 'discovered' the place, it's no longer as quiet or special. If you come early during weekdays you may only have to share the trail with just a handful of others. Otherwise, the parking area is jammed and the trail is noisy and crowded. Not sure why this isn't considered an Easy hike at this point. But do take care around slippery rocks/boulders. And one portion of trail, about 1/3 of the way in, has experienced a major landslide and is a bit dangerous (until/unless they stabilize the slope and install a fence/railing).
Anyway: 5 stars for the creek and falls; one star for crowds. Three stars overall.

Trail is definitely longer than 5.3. more like 6.5 or so miles. The view at the end is worth it.

sweet views at the top. really enjoyed this trail, its a good workout but not long enough to be too challenging tho.

Beautiful! Stunning waterfall :)


1 month ago

Easy hike with a beautiful pay off.

easy family hike & easy access

1 month ago

great little hike, with a variety of scenery. There's enough of an elevation game here to get your attention but it's not too bad. The loop section is really cool as you walk through the rhododendron. the history of the rattlesnake Lodge itself is pretty interesting and it's always cool to see the ruins. Be careful and pay attention to the markings, at the top of the loop make sure you take the blue markers down the hill. If you keep staying on the white marked Trail it'll take you a much further than you're anticipating going.

Even in winter, amazing views once you reach the end! Make plenty of time to sit up top and enjoy things.

It was a hard climb, but worth it once you get to the top. A lot of ice still on the trail, so be careful.

2 months ago

Looking Glass trail is a great challenging hike, however you don't get any great views, except on the trail. We made it to the top, had it not been winter one would not have been able to see the surrounding mountains. Plus we met many hikers on the trail, good to see people taking advantage!

Great view at the top enjoyed the climb

Spectacular views at the top! Well worth the climb!

My wife and I have now hiked this trail twice in the past few months, and 3 times since we moved to Ashevillle back in 2011. Not too strenuous, and as already mentioned a great view at the top. It was a little muddy in several spots, I assume residual wetness from the snow we got a couple of weeks back.

Mapmyride indicated that this was 7.5 miles round trip, and that seems legit as it was about 1.5 hours to the top, and that speed is consistent with what my wife and I have done in the past for an uphill hike like this.

lots of switchbacks helping to keep the trail not too steep. All in all , a very good workout.

Great hike. Pay attention to blue and white trail markings. You'll be Happy you did.

Great summer or early fall hike. If you’re in to fly fishing there are some holes along the river that follows the trail that hold not big but wild rainbow and brooks

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