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I did this trail on Labor Day, which the Park itself was super busy. This particular trail wasn’t busy at all. The hike was challenging but enjoyable. The waterfall never disappoints. Some areas are more congested than others but the trail is wide enough to pass people. The roughest portions of the trail is at the beginning so keep pushing through and it’s all down hill after that.

Great hike. Gradual incline due to multitude of switchbacks. Moderately strenuous for a weekend hiker. Incredible panoramic view. Make sure to pack a lunch and plan to stay a while to enjoy the view.

Nice climb. My first goal-oriented hike. Consistent elevation rise.

on Looking Glass Rock Trail

hiking
11 days ago

As other reviewers have mentioned, the main highlight is reaching the top and getting the spectacular view of the mountains! I found it to be worth it for a day hike. There are tons of switchbacks but nothing too difficult. The trail was nice and well-maintained. Lots of shade as you are in tree cover 99% of the hike. Even though I did see what looked like a few places to camp not far from the top, I am not sure I would want to overnight camp there. Only saw a handful of people either way. Its a hike worth doing to see it for yourself!

Finally a sunny day for hiking. Parked at Boulder Field pull off. Before starting we had decided to the end point would be Flat Rock View due to the added miles just to get to DB Scout Trail. At this point the Tanawah Trail is very narrow and since we've had a lot of rain lately it's pretty muddy. The Scout Trail is in pretty good shape but pretty wet also. Next time I'll head up from 221 which will be about the same distance as if you hike from Boone Forks parking area. This hike to Flat Top was 7.8 miles round trip.

This is the hardest trail I’ve ever done.
Do not attempt.
7 hrs on trail one way from Boone Fork, mm299 BRP to the swinging bridge.
Epic scenery.
I hiked Sept 10, mostly cloudy and rainy.
Wore only baggies and no shirt, was never cold.
I wore the most slippery loose fitting shoes I own.
(That makes you a better hiker)
The trail is difficult, wet, muddy, slippery, jagged, steep, large, exposed, with many slippery wooden off camber ladders and cables.
This is mountain climbing, not simply hiking.
I was boxed in with clouds and wet conditions, I never saw anyone else on trail.
It was perfect.
I hiked one way from Boone Fork parking lot on BRP to the swinging mile high bridge alone, 7 hrs.
Super scary ladders, wet ladders, very high exposed wood slippery ladders.
Difficult rock gardens.
Steep rock gardens.
Sharp steep jagged rock gardens.
A not ideal landing of an airplane from 1978, cause of incident “controlled flight into terrain”
I heard Bigfoot threatening me on trail.
I walked faster.
I was wet the whole time and muddy but never cold. I burned 7000 calories.
This route was hard.
Hard and scary.
All alone high in the Smokies.
With Bigfoot stalking me.
The bridge at Boone Fork and trailhead is closed, you will get a citation if you use the closed bridge, I brought beer and bacon.
Everything is better with bacon.
All is factual my ph 321-720-3034

Loved it you can swim and walk they the water

Very clean trail, I love the hike going up. The summit is one of the the best I have seen.

Great trail, the reward of water at the end makes it totally worth it! Parked at the trailhead on Bear Canyon Rd which made it approximately 6.5 mi. My 8 & 12 yr old handled the distance just fine. Not a ton of water, but enough to get in and cool off. Would like to do again in the spring.

Trail closed at normal entry, took Tanawa trail from a further parking area. That added an extra two miles in and four total to the 11 hiked. Saw a bear track, but no bear. Great views at the top, the Peak was a smaller area to look around than I expected, but still worth it all the same. Several places to climb up and over rocks and just make sure you look to see where that next marker is at and hike towards it. I got off trail one time for sure, but it was easily marked over there too that got me back on track. Ladders in good shape. Always bring a poncho or rain jacket.

This is a steep climb to a nice view of the southern Smokies! Did it Labor Day weekend when trees were green, but I bet the view is even better in the fall. I also bet it's an easier climb in the cooler weather. Could be worth packing a lunch to eat at the top!

hiking
22 days ago

The trail is definitely on the moderate to hard end of the spectrum. There were people of all ages on the trail. My husband and I are in our late 20s but I saw children, as well as elderly making the trek to the top. The steady incline gets your heart pumping and sweat dripping but the view at the top is well worth it! I can’t wait to go back in the fall. I didn’t see anyone in the reviews comment on this, but don’t miss the little crystal pebbles/stones along the trail! I didn’t catch them until our way back down.

Good trail; moderately uphill/downhill at times. Was just fine with three dogs. Plenty of opportunities for them to hop in the water and cool off/swim.

Absolutely wonderful. This trail will challenge your muscle endurance because it is quite steep. The view at the top was worth it.

backpacking
22 days ago

It’s a tough one but has my favorite secret camp spot! I’ve done it twice and was able to camp there both times and only saw one little group of day hikers over there. Aside from that, the end of the trail is awesome but sketchy- no rails between you and the steep edge of the rock! Don’t set your water bottle down! It can get crowded though, because there’s not much room on the edge.

There were some beautiful parts of the hike, such as the waterfall and the creek. However I was disappointed that there wasn’t as much of a scenic view. It was a strenuous hike and had some steep areas that made it nice and challenging. Overall, I don’t think I would do the hike again but if you’re looking for a strenuous hike filled with steep hills and a waterfall this would be your go to trail.

This hike isn’t too difficult and the view at the top is 100% worth it. Switchbacks I considered to be slightly gradual. Did see a good sized snake on the trail on the way back. Well maintained trails though- went early in the morning and it started to get pretty busy on our way down.

Amazing views defiantly must go trolly was down so it was 8 miles instead of 4 but was well worth the trip we went during dry season and the water was 10 feet at one point I’m 12 and did this so it wasn’t to deficult

Fantastic views! Went after a few days of rain and parts of the trail were completely underwater. But this made it an adventure! The trail is very well maintained and the switchbacks are super moderate and covered in rhododendron, making for a shady beautiful hike.

Beautiful views! You can feel the mileage, but it isn't miserable- pleasant burn. Food and water a must.

Awesome hike! Top pools had nice water, waterfall was running but not vigorous. My GPS was 8.56 from parking out and back, FYI.

There is a white house cat at the top of this trail. I don't know how it got up 1700 feet but I was sitting at the top snacking and it just appeared. If you made the wonderful decision to take your cat hiking and lost it then now you know where it is.

Pretty tough and challenging hike with a camping pack but the views are AMAZING. There's a great spot at the very top perfect for a couple small tents or a few hammocks. Water is scarce once you get about halfway up. The first half has some serious switchbacks and the second half is greatly inclined with lots of rocks and roots to navigate.

Very scenic and had many switchbacks which made it less difficult. Parts of the trail, especially the last mile or so toward the top was rocky and many roots. Trail was well defined and the view at the rock was fantastic. I’d rate as moderate with a few parts as slightly difficult..

Great hike, but go early on the weekends... add a mile by going all the way down to Hooker falls and go swimming. Steep hike back up but only for a quarter of a mile...

so pretty! quite a few stairs and a lot of rocks/boulders, but it was very pretty and worth it. I am a beginner and not in very good shape, and I was able to do it. Will be going back!

Beautiful trail but there were trees blocking a small portion of the path.

Beautiful hike. Bring lots of water, a lunch and some energy chews. Definitely feels like 8 miles but well worth it when you get the the pools of water and the waterfalls! Bring a swim suit. And some sun screen ❤️ you will love it

-LaurenAB

Excellent hike. Challenging, The poles helped a lot, don’t leave them behind. Plenty of incline, switchbacks, roots and rocks. Highly recommend it.

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