Looking Glass Rock

13 reviews #1 hike out of 477 in
2.7 mi
Distance
1 hrs 5 min
Time
terrain
1,614 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

Looking Glass Rock is an iconic, granitic pluton (i.e., an amazing and massive mountain-sized rock) in the heart of the Pisgah Ranger District. This classic hike is a steep and enjoyable climb to the summit and beyond, for some incredible views!

This hike is doable for all ages, but bring food, water, and a spirit for adventure! At the bald rock overlook beyond the peak, you'll have amazing views of the Pisgah Ridge, along which the Blue Ridge Parkway runs, as well as the higher peaks of the Shining Rock Wilderness beyond. Be especially careful for pets and children here, however, since it can be very slippery along the cliff in cold or wet conditions.

Getting Started

Taking NC 276 into Pisgah Ranger District, take a left on FR-475 toward the fish hatchery. Before you get to the fish hatchery, you will pass the parking area and trailhead on the right. The parking for this popular trail fills up quickly, so get an early start to ensure a great parking spot and a bit of solitude!

Map to trailhead: https://goo.gl/maps/tYqnZnFmgs92

Taking Children

Steep and rough sections. Ends at slick rock overlook, above cliff. Take great care with children at the overlook.


Sights to See


    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    1 year, 4 months ago
    Actually a 3-mile hike (2.95 on Garmin and iPhone). First two mikes a moderate climb. Then a bit more rocky and rigorous. Nothing too bad. I’m 65 with an arthritic knee. View is tremendous!
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 8 months ago
    This trail was seriously tough with the high elevation change, and actually its 3 miles in 3 miles out not 2.7. However this trail was also very cool. I did it on a cool, wet and foggy day and it made for some spectacular views of the mountains in the fog. The higher up the mountains i got, the foggier it got! Near zero visibility at the top! Made trying to look out off of looking glass rock at the top impossible but thats also what made it cool! Sloughed my cooler up the mountain with me and had lunch as i stared out into the foggy abyss. 10/10 would do it again, just on a dryer day. Since it was so wet, it was a mudhole going up the mountain and made some of the fallen trees difficult to navigate without slipping off the face of the trail. I was pretty muddy by the time i got down.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 10 months ago
    Early winter mornings are perfect for this hike. Complete solitude with my pup on the way up and at the top! Met many groups coming up as we were descending. Some of the granite surfaces were very slick from the freeze/thaw cycle.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years ago
    A challenging climb to the summit but the view makes it well worth the effort. I was a little disappointed in that I missed the fall color change but that aside it’s a great hike... When you finish be sure to travel towards sliding rock and view the Looking Glass Waterfall...
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 2 months ago
    Great trail. I’ve been hiking this one for years, teook my nine-year-old daughter for the first time this past weekend. Trail is still well-maintained. Challenging with a nice view at the end.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 day, 22 hours ago
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    2 weeks, 6 days ago
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    3 months, 3 weeks ago
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    5 months, 3 weeks ago
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    10 months ago
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    1 year, 3 months ago
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    1 year, 5 months ago
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    1 year, 6 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Public Tracks

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CheapCigarMan 2 years, 9 months ago
Looking Glass Rock
trail_hike_comments: A classic Pisgah trail. Travels first through small cove, then steeply up the back side of Looking Glass Rock through many switchbacks. Mixed cove hardwood, hardwood, and pine-oak forests. Some areas of rare Carolina hemlocks. Rock slabs. End of trail is at top of cliffs; use extreme caution (however rock at edge of forest is nearly level; watch out for moss & wet rock). Incredible views of Pisgah Ridge from Mt. Pisgah toward the Shining Rock/Black Balsam Mtn. Area & valleys below. Highly recommended., trail_bike_comments: None
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Russell Galyon 4 years, 8 months ago
Looking Glass Rock (3/25/16, 1:05:52PM)
Sign for trailhead difficult to see from road. The start of this track is in the main trailhead parking lot.
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bartman92 3 years, 5 months ago
Looking Glass Rock
Properties:, name: Looking Glass Rock, segment: Looking Glass Rock, mapid: 119, type: hike
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nancy_east 3 years, 8 months ago
114 Looking Glass Rock
weight=2.0&pattern=solid&color=%23FF0000&fill=10.0&comments=&folderId=9
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nancy_east 3 years, 8 months ago
114 Looking Glass Rock
weight=2.0&pattern=solid&color=%23FF0000&fill=10.0&comments=&folderId=9
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Parris Kitt 4 years ago
Track (11/21/16, 3:29:20PM)
Looking glass rock North Carolina Pisgah National forest
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