There’s nothing like the thrill of catching far-flung views the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the surrounding forest and nearby rolling valleys. And there’s no better way to catch an elevated view than from one of the few remaining fire lookout towers near Asheville. These towers, once common on summits throughout the southeast, have largely been replaced by more modern fire detection methods. A small number of towers remain in our mountains, though – and they make for a great hiking destination.

Explore beautiful forests, rocky outcrops, and exceptional panoramic views on these great hikes near Asheville. Our top five fire tower hikes are ranked from shortest distance to longest – and are all pretty much guaranteed to deliver outstanding views. Where ever your adventures take you, please remember to leave no trace to help preserve these beautiful places and historic sites.

Hike these gorgeous trails through scenic forests and mountain summits to historic fire lookout towers, and score some of the most beautiful views in Western North Carolina.  #hiking #trailrunning #backpacking #asheville #nc #northcarolina #travel #outdoors #adventure

Our favorite fire lookout tower hikes in Western NC

Before heading out, be sure to check the weather forecast, and stay alert for electrical storms. Never approach any tower or a bald mountain summit if thunderstorms are in the area. And remember to pack water and hiking essentials! Check out our hiking gear list, featuring our trail-tested favorite gear and some packing inspiration.

More of our favorite hikes near Asheville

Looking for more spectacular North Carolina views? Check out these hikes to our favorite summit views on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our all-time favorites visit high elevation forests, rocky outcrops, and rolling grassy balds all with one thing in common: stunning far-flung vistas and panoramic views.

Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails and Trailful are official Leave No Trace partners

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way, and follow these trail etiquette tips.