Sunset Rock Trail is a 0.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Highlands, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 0.8 miles Elevation Gain: 141 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust 828-526-1111 www.hicashlt.org

hiking
6 days ago

We had a fun time on this trail with our kids and dogs. It was a good way to start doing hikes in Highlands as it was an easier one with a great reward at the top with the awesome views and fun rock feature. It also helped that when we went it was pretty sparse.

hiking
21 days ago

Park on the side of the road - I would not recommend driving this. When we went, there were washouts all along the road. The hike up the road really isn’t bad, it’s a decent little workout but nothing too crazy. It is a rock/gravel road so wear good shoes. When you get to the top, the view of Highlands is beautiful. We didn’t stay for sunset, but I wish we would have. If you plan on staying for sunset, make sure you bring a headlight or flashlight because the road is not lit.

hiking
muddy
7 months ago

A beautiful sunny day after heavy rain. The modest gradient trail up would have been a problem by car unless by 4x4. Autumn (fall) colours were spectacular. The trail was a bit muddy with shallow flooding at the top, but we had no problem walking along the edges and the view from the top was well worthwhile even without a sunset.

hiking
7 months ago

Great spot to see the sunset. Easy parking below and easy walk up.

hiking
washed out
7 months ago

I would definitely walk unless you have a 4 wheel drive. Beautiful view and short distance to Sunrise trail view also.

hiking
8 months ago

We started up a bit late. We parked at the bottom as suggested and it took 20 minutes at a good clip. It was a bit overcast so there was no picturesque site but nice all the same. only recorded the way down

hiking
8 months ago

beautiful

hiking
9 months ago

Fantastic view of the sunset. It’s a great spot for a picnic, however, the road is very rough and in desperate need of repair. Walking 0.8 miles with a cooler and possible children in tow may be daunting but the view is truly amazing.

hiking
9 months ago

Good for young children

hiking
10 months ago

Perfect spot to watch the 4th of July fireworks over Highlands.

hiking
10 months ago

Perfect spot to watch the 4th of July fireworks over Highlands.

hiking
11 months ago

This is an short easy walk on a fairly unmaintained gravel road! I parked across the street from Highlands Biological Station. At the top, Sunset Rock is to the right. There’s a ton of space, it didn’t seem crowded, even though they were other people there. Sunrise is to the left, it’s smaller, but only five minutes away. You need to see them both!

hiking
Tue Apr 30 2019

A great half mile uphill walk on rocky terrain. About half of the walk is covered by trees, and it’s just enough to get you sweating a little until you reach the view. Sunset rock is an absolutely gorgeous place to sit and relax and soak up the sun.

hiking
Sun Mar 17 2019

Quick hike, unfortunately everyone seemed to have missed the sign about parking below and walking the .6 mile hike and we kept having to watch for cars.

hiking
Fri Feb 15 2019

This is a very popular spot, especially at sunset as the name indicates. Wonderful views of the sunset, bring a bottle of wine and get there early! The path will be bombarded with cars, so park at the bottom of the trail and walk up if you can, otherwise you may get stuck trying to leave. Plus, who doesn't want some extra exercise!

hiking
snow
washed out
Sun Jan 27 2019

walking
Sat Jan 12 2019

Nice walk. It is a steady,gentle, uphill walk up to Sunset Rock. There were some icy patches on the road up so use caution in the winter. Pretty view of nearby mountains and the town below.

Wed Dec 26 2018

Gently winding one-lane road with ruts and mud in spots. If you drive up you risk encountering another car and passing them on the heavy brush -lined road is difficult. The incline is not steep but is steady so the strain adds up, at least for an older person. The view is nice on the smooth rock top itself where you see the town a mile beyond.

hiking
Wed Nov 07 2018

Sunset and autumn view is awesome. Easy to find and hike. Really good for workout after work.

Mon Oct 08 2018

Beautiful spot for sunshine!

Fri Sep 07 2018

Definitely the place to view the sunset on a clear night. There are a few parking spots near the rock itself but a better bet is to park at the bottom of the gravel road across from the Nature Center and walk the half mile up, as turning around in the limited parking area can be tough. Lots of room to sit on the rocks and enjoy, even when there are 50 or 60 other people with the same plan. A must see in Highlands!

hiking
Sun Apr 01 2018

Views at top are nice. Trail is not pleasant to walk. Not much of a hike. But, a walk up the road. The road is very boring for kids. Only took about .3 of a mile for them to get bored. The views are great from the top. The east view is beautiful and the west is a bit more developed within the view. Sunset is amazing. I will make the track again for a sunrise. Head up early if you want to catch sunset. A lot of people go up for that. Worth the views and especially for sunset! -Stilts

hiking
Sat Feb 24 2018

Cute little walk with the kids and dogs. Beautiful view! You used to be able to drive to the trail head but last time we were there you had to walk the road to get there.

Tue Sep 19 2017

two trails one goes to a sunrise point snd one goes to a sunset vista, both are worth seeing at any time of day. came across a mama black bear and 2 cubs, they were about 50 ft from everyone way too close for comfort. keep a sharp eye!

Sat Sep 09 2017

Beautiful overlook!!! Nice trail to walk in the evenings or early morning for some exercise!

hiking
Sun Jun 18 2017

Great hike that won't totally kick your butt! Good workout climbing up on a gravel road and nice views on the top. We park in town to get a little extra walking in. A good beginner hike!

hiking
Thu Jun 15 2017

good hike nice vews

walking
Thu Aug 04 2016

Very easy. You walk on a dirt road. Cars can drive on the trail as well. Other than that, it's a great place to go day or night

hiking
Fri Jun 24 2016

Pretty scenery and view of Highlands. Got there a bit early for sunset. Will return for photos.

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