Looking Glass Rock Trail is a 6.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Brevard, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,706 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Directions from Brevard, NC: Travel US 276 northwest for approximately 5 miles, then turn left (toward the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education) just before Looking Glass Falls. The Looking Glass Rock Trailhead will be on the right.

6 days ago

Do the hike several times a month.
Great hike,magnificent view from the rock face.
One of my favorite hikes.

hiking
9 days ago

Great hike! Good trail running parts of it as well, especially on the descent. The view was beautiful, but wish there was a bit more to it. Recommend, though!

13 days ago

Wouldn't rate this as "hard" but decent hike up with a nice view at the end.

hiking
14 days ago

It was amazzzzing! it was fairly long, taking us about 4 hours, including stopping along the way and at the top. lots of zigzags, and an upwards hike at almost every location on the trail, but the view is totally worth it! you're so high, and youre standing on a stone face overlooking miles and miles of mountains and trees, and it is really just breathtaking. really makes you feel in tune with nature!

hiking
15 days ago

Solid hike with a nice reward at the top. The view off the rock face was great. Pretty steady incline the whole way that is not hard. I hoofed it pretty quickly so I actually did feel it a bit the next day.

Overall a nice trip if you are looking for something in between leisurely and challenging that has a unique lookout at the top you will remember. Seemed like a great date hike or family hike.

I went on a beautiful fall day so there was a steady stream of people. Quite a few dogs (maybe 15 or so) making the hike up since the incline is reasonable and no real climbing needed. Almost all were on a leash although two were not - plus there was a sign for a lost dog. :( Sounds like a lot of dogs but over the course of 6 miles it wasnt really much.

20 days ago

Great workout on the way up, and the view is worth it!

27 days ago

This trail delivered just what I was looking for as far as being a bit challenging but nothing crazy and the payoff at the top was amazing ! I went on a Sunday morning , on the way up it was only minimally busy, the rock itself was pretty crowded and on the way back down around 1pm was very heavily trafficked and SO MANY off leash dogs, which would have been fine as long as you don't have a dog reactive dog with you, as my friend did . I would not suggest bringing a dog unless it is extremely well trained and non dog reactive because it appears that off leash dogs on this trail is a big thing .

I would totally do this hike again but probably on a weekday or a colder day to avoid the crowd.

28 days ago

not horribly difficult. it's is almost completely uphill on the outward leg. lots of springs so the trail gets pretty wet. We did it in tennis shoes and had no issues. amazing view at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a really nice 1/2 day hike. The payoff at the end with the view is really beautiful, especially in the fall. Definitely would suggest making that your lunch spot. I would rate this moderate not hard, at least when comparing it to some other hikes in the region such as table rock. That being said however, it is overall an upwards gradient just about the whole time, but the switchbacks in the first half are generally pretty smooth and gradual which is why I rate it more moderate (I saw young children making it to the top...albeit it took them extra time). Lots of dogs in the trail. It took us 1 hour 20 minutes to get up with one short water break, stayed at the view for about an hour, and then took 1 hour 10 minutes to come back down. Trail was pretty busy, but did go on a Saturday.

Hiked this with my 7 year old; took about 3 hours. We both loved it! Got a little nervous go be up so high at the summit with just the kiddo, dog and me; but a good opportunity to teach safety. It was beautiful, especially during leaf season. I would not rate this trail as hard; more moderate than anything. My son and I even trail ran the last mile.

1 month ago

Amazing view as everyone said. Took me 2hr 50 min out and back. I'll take it considering I'm a bit out of shape. lots of dogs and can be very muddy after rain.

1 month ago

Oct 20 18: leaves at the summit view were 10-20% turned to their fall colors.

hiking
1 month ago

The hike is SO worth the view, especially in the fall with all the changing colors. I went on a Wednesday in October and the parking was full, but the trail wasn’t nearly as full of people as I thought it would be. The trees kept me shaded almost the entire way and it took me about 2-2.5 hours to do the entire thing. Highly recommended hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Was challenging at points but nothing crazy, was able to hike the whole thing going up without stopping. Very narrow at points so you will have to move to the side if someone is coming. Parking gets tight but you can park on the street. The only place to go to the bathroom is at the visitors lodge fyi which is at the start of the park.

hiking
1 month ago

this Trail is listed as hard but I imagine it's because there's a gradual incline most of the hike. Periodically there are sharper climbs with quicker elevation and some Slippery Rock When Wet. this hike is it should be listed as heavy moderate. when you do reach the summit and you step out onto the looking rock it'll make every one of your steps worthwhile. The view is absolutely Majestic.

1 month ago

Gorgeous views from the top! Worth the climb.

2 months ago

Tough but manageable 3-mile upward climb with an awesome view at the top. We are 51 and 62 in average shape and had no difficulty, but it did wear us out! It took about two hours to get to the top, where we stayed about 30 minutes, then another 90 minutes or so to get back down. Take lots of water. Don’t wear sandals as there are lots of tree roots and rocks to trip over. Hiking poles were useful.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing!!! One of the best trails we done!

hiking
2 months ago

No one is kidding about the view, it's absolutely breath-taking. My fiancee and I chose this hike after seeing it across the valley from Black Balsam Knob. The hike itself starts out slow and gradually gets more difficult, after the gradual switchbacks it starts getting really rocky and the path becomes a tangle of roots, it's gets maybe a little more than a 30° incline at this point but right before you hit the top it suddenly has a downward slope. We went on a Saturday and it was pretty busy, there were lots of dogs including ours and dogs of various sizes. There were people of every age on the trail, it's not too difficult but can be a little hard on the knees. Watch out for the tree roots, they tripped me on the way down. Bring lots of water!

hiking
2 months ago

Just a heads up, someone had a Lost Dog notice posted on October 6, 2018. A Brittany Spaniel went missing, by the name of Jake. The number to call if you see him is 303.717.0291.

Just wanted to pass this on!

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great hike. Moderate to Hard as it says. It took us about 2 hours to get to the top, with a few stops to drink water and let our 7 yr dog have a break. It was about an hour and half back down. The hike up doesn’t have any views (maybe later in Fall or Winter), but the view at the top is spectacular. Would be an excellent place to bring some food for a picnic.

My only warning would be to watch what time you start this hike. The first time I did it, we started to late, and ended up hiking in pitch darkness. Watching people start the hike at 4pm in Autumn, made me think they would end up hiking in the dark as well. If you start late, just make sure to bring a flashlight or two.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s a tough climb.

hiking
2 months ago

The walk up primarily is a set of switchbacks that gradually rise across the face of the same forested slope: pretty and green, but the view doesn’t change for quite a while. When the view does change, though, it is simply breathtaking. I sat on a rock just on the outside of the main exit from the forest to have lunch and to hear people’s reactions as they emerged. Just as I had done, even having read the reviews, truly 100% vocalized some instant, quiet, and genuine, nearly spiritual, version of, “Oh, wow .”

hiking
2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months 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!

2 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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
3 months 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.

hiking
3 months ago

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

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