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Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower is a 1.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Asheville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length 1.5 mi Elevation gain 347 ft Route type Out & Back

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

Park at the entrance to the Forest Service Road 450, at Milepost 409.6 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Do not block the road or the gate. Just walk up the .75 mile gravel road to the summit. Fryingpan Mountain (5,340 ft.) is in the Pisgah Ranger District southwest of Asheville NC. It's noticeable feature is a 70ft fire tower on its summit. It is the tallest fire tower in the entire state of North Carolina. Get the same and arguably better views as nearby Mount Pisgah but with a much easier hike and far less crowds. This is a great short family hike but the fire tower itself can be a little intimidating to climb. The cab of the fire tower is locked but you can take the old metal stairs to just below it and get stunning 360 degree views. There are communication towers on the summit as well but they don't really interfere with the view. The fire tower has views of the entire Balsam Mountains range. It has a close-up view of famous Cold Mountain which is just a mere 5 miles north. Looking Glass Rock and Mount Pisgah are not that far away either. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is visible as well. This section of the Parkway is closed much of the winter due to snow and ice. Best time to visit is April through October. It's often cooler and windier at the top, so be prepared!

Fryingpan Tower is about 22 miles from Asheville (allow 45 minutes to drive). From Asheville, head south on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Milepost 409.6 and park at the entrance to the Forest Service Road 450. The road gate is always closed (do not block it). Walk around the gate and walk up the gravel road to the summit. This section of the Parkway is closed much of the winter due to snow and ice. Best time to visit is April through October. It's often cooler and windier at the top, so be prepared!

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (320)
Photos (170)
Recordings (223)
Completed (703)
Christy Stevens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
Hiking

I did this hike with my 3 year-old grandson this morning. We were the first ones on the trail, but were lapped by 2 other ladies. As others have mentioned, it is a vertical ascent all the way up to the tower. I was so glad to have a 3 year-old to slow my pace way down to make the hike to the top much easier. Once up the tower, the views are amazing. We made it to the top of the tower around 10 a.m. Friday morning and we had the whole tower to ourselves because other 2 ladies had come and gone. We LOVED it!

Colton Marshall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 04 2020
Rocky

great short hike with incredible 360 views. I'm incredibly out of shape, so the incline seemed grueling, but in retrospect, it's a good short hike to start your morning. it's a gravel access road with plenty of shade. 9am on a Tuesday meant having the entire hike, and tower to myself. the tower was shaky, but most are until you reach the top. all in all well worth the trip. I will definitely frequent this hike

Alexis Foley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 01 2020
Hiking

Took about 40 minutes. Very easy walking. The view was lovely. Be warned, the hatch at the top of the tower is heavy and easily blown shut.

Brenna Killian
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 15 2020
Hiking

This is a nice quick trail, does have a good bit of incline going up to the tower. 360 views making it perfect for capturing sunsets.

Eric Chapman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 13 2020
Hiking

Hiked on 6/13/20. Nice quick hike with great reward. Views are awesome. Took 50 minutes to hike round trip.

Anne Swearingen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 11 2020
HikingRocky
View Anne's Recording
Mack Meller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 09 2020
Hiking

Uphill but short and easy hike along a well maintained gravel road to a great tower lookout. A bit crowded even on a Tuesday afternoon but nothing crazy, was easy to find a spot on the tower while maintaining distance from others. Great views from the tower in all directions, as the description says there is a cell tower up there but it doesn't take up much of the view which is good.

Tracie Ebersole
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 07 2020
Hiking

The length is about 2 miles, I forgot to stop the tracker lol. Some elevation but a nice leg stretcher walk up to the tower. Show stopping views make it easy to forget the time. I’d like to return in the fall for some color views as well

View Tracie's Recording
Stephanie Arnett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 07 2020
Hiking

Very uphill but the tower is awesome, breezy, and the view is amazing!!!

chris rivers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 04 2020
Hiking

Awesome view from the tower... can’t go all the way to the top tho :(. Easy short hike on a gravel road.

Robert Hunter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 01 2020
Hiking

Steep service road, fantastic views from under the main platform

Sarah Rompy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon May 25 2020
Hiking

Good hike, definitely a bit of a workout because of the elevation gain. It’s steep and short. The tower is a bit shaking and old, so if you are scared of heights I don’t recommend it. Other than that pretty good hike.

Ilona Sarmin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 10 2020
HikingRocky

One of the first hikes I went on and it did not disappoint. The view is beautiful from the very top of it. Be prepared for it to be windy. The path started kinda washed out then goes to nice gravel. Also the butterflies there are pretty!

Kim Cagle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 19 2020

it is blocked from 276 too. unable to get to that trail

alaina sambol
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Apr 16 2020
Hiking

Tried to go today, 4/16 and there was a roadblock at the arboretum on the blue ridge parkway so it was not accessible from that direction. Did not try another route.

Christian Banda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Apr 15 2020
Hiking

Pretty much a gravel road all the way up to the tower. Not too bad but would’ve enjoyed it if there was more nature.

Justin Shropshier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Apr 06 2020
Hiking

Great short trail with amazing views. Observation deck is currently locked, but you can still climb the stairs for a great view.

Melinda Irby
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 22 2020
Hiking

Short, easy hike with amazing views.

Sammi Jo Franklin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Mar 20 2020
HikingRocky

Good trail, in is all up hill but not terrible, out all down hill. Took me and my sister and our dogs, would hike again but without dogs, all and all quality short trail.

View Sammi Jo's Recording
Courtney Wohl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 16 2020
Hiking

Easy hike with great views

View Courtney's Recording
Kat Connelly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 01 2020
HikingRockySnow

Walked up from the Cold Mountain Parking Overlook since the BRP was closed and the Parkway section adds about 2 miles to either side of this hike. The lookout tower road was covered in snow and a little slippery walking up to the tower, but still obvious where to walk. The tower steps weren't icy but it started to storm once we got up there, so it was a quick enjoyment of views before heading back down. Great hike and would recommend for any season!

Reagan Shepherd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Jan 01 2020
Hiking

Awesome view at the end but not the prettiest trail. Easy hike for kids or dogs. VERY windy and cold at the top of the fire tower even though there was no wind at the bottom or anywhere else during the hike.

View Reagan's Recording
Kelli Matheny
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Dec 27 2019
Hiking

Nice walk with our young adult children & pup. It’s a bit of a workout going up. Some rocks but the path is wide. Great views! I wish I could’ve made it up the structure, but I wimped out after the first flight. Perfect hike for families and taking a drive on the BRP.

Sarah Mackenzie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Dec 27 2019
Hiking

Great short hike. Wonderful views

Katherine Okeefe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Nov 26 2019
Hiking

Wonderful views!! A little scary walking up the metal stairs, but it was totally worth it.

Rachel Sadens
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Nov 13 2019

The walk up the service road is rocky and uneven and not very pleasant. The tower is very wobbly so I can't imagine it with more people on it.

Nathan Karr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 26 2019
Hiking

Rocky service trail to the tower. I went on a cloudy, windy day and the tower was in the clouds with no view. However the wind was forced upwards after hitting the side of the mountain and was intense. Being in a complete white out with the insane wind gust was an awesome experience. I combined this hike with Moore Cove Falls, Lookout Falls and a few others nearby since it is a short hike.

Matthew Absher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Oct 18 2019
Hiking

You have to climb up the fire tower to make it worth it. The views from there are incredible.

Jonah All
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Oct 18 2019
Hiking

not really a hike, more a walk up the service road to the tower. the view up in the tower is spectacular, making the not so fun trek up well worth it.

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