Explore North Carolina - 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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A much needed hiking reprieve after doing Grandfather Mountain the day before. This trail and the waterfall views were well worth the couple of small hills. Not terribly crowded on the sunday that we went but I could see it being very popular especially in the summer.

Giving this one a three star rating because after doing some research and learning about the $20 per person admission we decided to hike up profile trail rather than pay $100 for a day hike. The problem with this is that once you get up you have to hike the entire mountain then hike back down the profile trail in decent timing because if someone comes to pick you up they also have to pay $20. This led to a major time crunch for my group because we did not expect this trail to be as physically challenging as it was. It is a very fun trail with ladders and ropes and bouldering but it is a full day event especially if you hike the profile trail up to Grandfather. I would highly recommend doing your research before taking this mountain on.

When you get to the tower stay to the right trail will take you down to the river and you can hike it all the way back! Hike back up is fun! Beautiful views and water. my favorite place I’ve been to!

Great hike today despite no view from the top due to clouds. Had some great views from the lower elevations on the trail. Pretty easy hike. Last part is steep and rocky. You can camp out on the summit which is super cool. We will be back. 40min up and 30min down.

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.

hiking
3 days ago

Short hike with beautiful views. Family friendly trail.

Views are extraordinary!

hiking
4 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.

$20 per person to get in. Ridiculous! Would never pay that!!

This hike is definitely not for those with physical impairments. I was a bit sore the next day and consider myself athletic. Climbing the boulders was the most challenging but the Views are So worth it....

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.

Had a great day on this trail. Not too long not too hard and great pay off with a beautiful view at the end.

Great hike. Better views.

9 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
10 days ago

Hiked all the way down to the bottom of the waterfall. Absolutely gorgeous hike. Steep incline in some areas but family friendly!

Included in my first hike up the mountain. Started at Profile Trail and then journeyed down this one after Calloway Peak. Definitely much more difficult than the walk from the parking garage to the office. Do not attempt if you are overweight, have knee problems, or back issues.

hiking
10 days ago

Beautiful and easy hike. Be ready for the stairs but the rest is easy.

Beautiful and strenuous hike. Worth every minute. Wear waterproof hiking boots and make sure you have strong traction. About .5 miles into the hike it gets strenuous. Lots of mountain climbing.

We almost made it to the summit. We are experienced hikers but some rocks were covered with ice right at the .2 mile mark so we had to turn around. It was a challenging hike and worth it

My boys and I had an awesome time on this hike. Beautiful from start to finish. Pretty strenuous but not terrible (and I’m not an avid hiker). Will definitely do this again.

do NOT pass up the opportunity to do this hike. i hike a lot and have a decent peak bagging list and this is by far one of my favorites. the views of the gorge are phenomenal. take a map and compass and check out the countless peaks which are visible from the summit

Fun little hike with gorgeous views, great for kids and dogs. The unpaved road up from I-40 is extremely bumpy, so it’s rather slow going, and we even managed to get lost on the way back down.

hiking
11 days ago

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

Cool rock formations and views at the end. Moderate is accurate because of the beginning and end, both are steep, but the rest is pretty flat and easy.

One of my favorite hikes in Boone. The view at the top is fantastic!!

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.

hiking
16 days ago

Not very well marked but just keep going up until you reach the top. Long drive in but totally worth it for the beautiful views!

great hike with amazing views. did it for sunset and was not disappointed. it was a little chilly (around 26 degrees) and very windy but if you're prepared it shouldn't bother you. lots of camp sites along the trail, hoping to do it again as an overnight

by far one of the most difficult and challenging hikes I've done. this is not for inexperienced hikers, start early and bring plenty of water and food.

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