Asheville TrailsbyTrailful Outdoor Co
Pisgah National Forest

Looking Glass Falls

Catch views of the gorgeous cascades of Looking Glass Falls, a roadside waterfall just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Brevard, NC.

georgia hiking trails: 0-2 miles .25 miles
(round trip)
? Your mileage may vary! Accuracy of your GPS device, weather conditions, and stops along your route will affect your own recorded distance.
georgia hiking trails: easyeasy to
?Our difficulty estimate, based on distance, terrain, elevation change, & ease of wayfinding. May vary daily due to weather, trail reroutes, downed trees, etc.
georgia hiking trails: dog-friendly Dog-
?Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. We’ve loved hiking this route with our trail-loving Labrador Retrievers! Check out more of our favorite dog-friendly trails near Asheville for a great hike with your pup.

LOCATION:Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC

PACK:our Osprey day pack and our hiking gear list

OFFICIAL MAP: Nat Geo 780 Trails Illustrated Map (find it at Trailful Outdoor Co.)

Set just off highway US 276 between the Blue Ridge Parkway and Brevard, a tall, spilling waterfall cascades in a single, stunning, perfect drop from a towering cliff.

Looking Glass Falls is one of North Carolina’s most popular waterfalls, given its easy, roadside access and classic waterfall beauty. US 276 is a gorgeous drive, well-loved for its winding meanders through the Pisgah National Forest and access to the area’s most popular attractions, including Sliding Rock, Moore Cove Falls, and Pink Beds at the Cradle of Forestry. If you’re adventuring in the Brevard area south of Asheville, there’s a good chance you’ll pass this waterfall – and it’s absolutely worth a visit.

Looking Glass Falls

At under a half mile, round trip, this barely counts as a hike for most trail fans – but this waterfall is a must-see. Framed by a towering, blocky cliff, the waterfall drops in a beautiful cascade into a deep, clear pool. In warm summer months, colorful wildflowers and vibrant green moss blanket the surrounding rock, drenched in the nearly continuous, cool spray of mist from the thundering falls. It’s nearly fully visible from a roadside viewing platform – or descend the trail’s stairs for an up-close view of the falls.

Catch views of the gorgeous cascades of Looking Glass Falls, a roadside waterfall just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Brevard, NC #asheville #nc #northcarolina #travel #outdoors #adventure

Looking Glass Falls NC: the adventure

The short, but exceptionally beautiful, walk to the base of the waterfall begins at the signed trailhead on US 276 near Brevard (view maps and driving directions), catching its first views of the tumbling waterfall roadside observation deck.

Limited parking is available at the falls, so arrive early and visit on weekdays, if possible, for the best chance of avoiding crowds. Early morning fog and the rising sun make for a beautiful backdrop to the waterfall – and the unspoiled quiet of having the falls to yourself make an early morning visit especially worthwhile.

Looking Glass FallsFoggy mornings at the falls can be simply magical.

For an up-close view of Looking Glass Falls, descend the trail’s stairs to a middle and lower viewing platform. The area just below the falls is open for exploration, too – but the rocks surrounding the waterfall can be extremely slippery. Swimming is allowed at the falls, but swim at your own risk and don’t climb on or around the rocks or cliff.

The lower viewing platform and surrounding rock outcrops are great places to take in the waterfall’s beauty – and a gorgeous place for a picnic. Morning mountain valley fog, the waterfall’s continuous, cool mist and scores of wildflowers make this one of our favorite places near Asheville for a trailside breakfast and morning coffee.

Looking Glass Falls

Note: slippery rocks and fast moving water can be extremely dangerous! Please don’t climb, stand on, swim near, or jump from any waterfall.

More outdoor adventures near Looking Glass Falls

The area surrounding the waterfall is full of adventure opportunities. Hike the nearby Moore Cove Falls Trail to a towering, wispy waterfall set deep in a scenic cove. Head to the Blue Ridge Parkway to hike Skinny Dip Falls, a beautiful waterfall that cascades into a crystal-clear, deep pool that’s a popular spot for a summertime swim. Scale the nearby summit of Looking Glass Rock to catch stunning summit views from the mountain’s enormous, domed top.

Explore beautiful mountain bogs and high-elevation wetlands on a five-mile loop through Pink Beds at the Cradle of Forestry. Or catch a stunning view from a mountain summit on the Mt Pisgah Trail or Fryingpan Mountain Tower Trail, both north on the Blue Ridge Parkway from its intersection with US 276.

Up for more easy waterfall hikes with a big, scenic reward? Our favorite waterfalls near Asheville under two miles are all spectacularly beautiful, without a long hike.

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

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out.

Stay on the marked trail, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, and don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way. Please always practice good trail etiquette. And before you go, always check the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and the park or ranger office for notices of changed routes, trail closures, safety information, and restrictions.

Looking Glass Falls Map, Directions & Details

This map shows our approximate route while exploring this trail, but does not replace an official trail map. Please refer to the official trail map for the most current and accurate route.

Love the trail?

This trail is maintained thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers and donations from supporters of The Pisgah Conservancy. Please support them by making a donation or joining a volunteer day. Let's work together to keep these fantastic trails maintained and open for use!

Driving Directions


Free roadside parking is available, but may be limited on weekends and holidays.

GPS Coordinates

35.296333, -82.769583     //     N35 17.780 W82 46.175


Eric Champlin is a creative director and photographer who loves to explore southeast. He's the co-owner of Trailful Outdoor Co, a locally-owned hiking outfitter shop in Hiawassee in the Georgia mountains near the Appalachian Trail. He’s also the co-founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.