Exploring Looking Glass Falls in NC: A Comprehensive Guide (2023)

Looking Glass Falls, nestled in the heart of North Carolina, is a captivating and easily reachable waterfall that should be on every nature lover's itinerary. Situated near the town of Brevard within the enchanting Pisgah National Forest, this magnificent waterfall stands tall at 60 feet, offering a picturesque display that will leave you spellbound. A great day trip from downtown Asheville, less than an hour's drive!

Looking Glass Falls
Looking Glass Falls POV from Road

What sets this beautiful waterfall apart is its convenient roadside access, allowing visitors to marvel at its beauty without needing a strenuous hike. However, if you're craving a closer encounter, there are ample opportunities to explore its surroundings. Photographers will find endless inspiration, while those seeking tranquility can immerse themselves in the splendor of nature.

Enhance your trip by discovering nearby attractions, such as Sliding Rock, Moore Cove Falls, and the Pink Beds at the Cradle of Forestry, ensuring a day filled with exploration and wonder. Embark on a journey to Looking Glass Falls and discover why it has earned its reputation as one of North Carolina's most accessible and breathtaking waterfalls.

Sliding Rock NC
Sliding Rock near Looking Glass Falls

About Looking Glass Falls

  • Location: Highway 276, right outside of Brevard NC in Pisgah National Forest.
  • Dog Friendly: Yes, Looking Glass Falls is dog friendly!
  • Difficulty: Easy. It is handicap accessible with assistance.
  • Roundtrip Distance: Short walk down the stairs to the waterfall.
Looking Glass Falls
Looking Glass Falls Stairway

Looking Glass Falls in North Carolina is a popular and easily accessible waterfall, renowned for its natural beauty and unique features. The falls derive their name from Looking Glass Rock, which can be seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway. During winter, the rock's frozen sides create a mirror-like effect when illuminated by sunlight.

Looking Glass Creek flows past the rock, adding to the allure of the falls. Located near Brevard, this attraction offers a convenient trail for hikers and picturesque views from the roadside. If you're planning a visit, consider exploring the area during sunset for a more secluded experience. Venture into the stream below the falls to witness an awe-inspiring perspective.

Don't forget your camera, as the afternoon lighting or cloudy days provide the best conditions for capturing stunning photographs. Embrace the beauty of Looking Glass Falls and discover why it has become one of North Carolina's most beloved natural wonders.

Things To Do


Hiking Trails Nearby

Explore the scenic trails near Looking Glass Falls for an unforgettable outdoor adventure. With hiking trails accessible from US 276 near Brevard, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the Pisgah National Forest. Discover panoramic views and embrace the serenity of nature. Enjoy a rewarding hike at Looking Glass Falls, one of North Carolina's top-rated waterfall destinations.

Photos and Videos

Looking Glass Falls Waterfall

Capture the mesmerizing beauty of Looking Glass Falls in your photography and videos. From the parking area along the road, seize the opportunity to create stunning visuals that showcase the grandeur of the waterfall. Optimize your shots during the golden hours of the afternoon or take advantage of the dramatic lighting on cloudy days.

Swimming hole

Looking Glass Falls Swimming Hole

Cool off and swim in the refreshing swimming hole at the base of Looking Glass Falls. While the waterfall's powerful flow creates an enchanting spectacle, always prioritize safety. Before taking a plunge, assess the water conditions and ensure it is safe for swimming.

Parking at Looking Glass Falls

Finding a parking spot at Looking Glass Falls in North Carolina can sometimes be a challenge due to its popularity. However, with a few helpful tips, you can increase your chances of securing a convenient parking spot. Here's how:

  1. Arrive Early: To beat the crowds and secure a parking spot, plan to arrive early in the day. The parking area can fill up quickly, especially during weekends and peak tourist seasons. By arriving early, you'll have a better chance of finding an available spot without much hassle.
  2. Weekday Visits: To optimize your chances of finding a convenient parking spot at Looking Glass Falls, consider planning your visit on weekdays. Weekdays typically experience lower visitor numbers compared to weekends, meaning you'll have a better opportunity to secure parking without much difficulty. By choosing a weekday excursion, you can avoid the peak crowds and enjoy a more relaxed and hassle-free experience at the falls.
  3. Off-Peak Hours: Another effective strategy is to plan your visit during off-peak hours. Most visitors tend to arrive in the late morning or early afternoon. By adjusting your schedule and visiting earlier or later in the day, you'll have a better chance of finding an open parking spot. Plus, you can enjoy a more peaceful and less crowded experience at the falls.
  4. Be Patient and Flexible: If you do encounter a crowded parking lot, don't get discouraged. Patience is key. Wait for a few minutes in case someone leaves, creating an opportunity for you to take their spot. Additionally, consider driving slowly through the parking area, as someone may be preparing to leave, and you can grab their spot.

Remember, parking availability can vary depending on the time of year, weather conditions, and other factors. It's always a good idea to have a backup plan in case the parking lot is full. Explore nearby parking alternatives or be willing to park a bit farther away and walk to the base of the falls.

When To Visit

Looking Glass Falls Winter

When planning your visit to Looking Glass Falls in North Carolina, consider these factors:

  1. Seasonal Beauty: Experience the unique charm of each season, from vibrant spring blooms to fiery fall foliage and serene winter scenes.
  2. Weather Conditions: Check the forecast for pleasant temperatures and clear skies. Keep in mind that rainfall can enhance the waterfall's flow and visual appeal.
  3. Crowds and Availability: Weekdays and off-peak hours offer a quieter experience with better parking availability compared to weekends and peak tourist seasons.
  4. Photography Opportunities: Capture the best shots by visiting during the golden hours of early morning or late afternoon. Overcast or cloudy days can provide softer lighting.

Choose the time that aligns with your preferences and optimize your visit to this captivating North Carolina waterfall.

Is there an area to picnic at Looking Glass Falls?

Road POV Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls in North Carolina offers a picturesque setting that is perfect for a relaxing picnic amidst nature and beautiful waterfalls. While there isn't a designated picnic area at the falls, there are options for enjoying a picnic nearby. Consider the following:

  1. Riverside Picnic: Look for suitable spots along the banks of the nearby Looking Glass Creek or find a comfortable spot on the rocks near the falls. Set up a picnic blanket and savor your meal while immersing yourself in the tranquil sounds of flowing water.
  2. Coontree Picnic Area: Just before Looking Glass Falls is the Coontree Picnic Area, managed by the National Forest Service. With multiple picnic tables, this area is a great place to stop for lunch. There are also spots to dip your feet in Coontree Creek, which runs alongside the Davidson River.
  3. Picnic Areas in Pisgah National Forest: Since Looking Glass Falls is located within the Pisgah National Forest, there are designated picnic areas available. Nearby areas like Pink Beds Picnic Area or Davidson River Picnic Area offer picnic tables, grills, and restroom facilities, providing a convenient spot to enjoy your meal before or after your visit to the falls.
  4. Pack a Portable Picnic: If you prefer more flexibility, pack a portable picnic with easy-to-carry items like sandwiches, fruits, snacks, and beverages. This way, you can find a scenic spot anywhere along your journey to Looking Glass Falls or explore the nearby trails while enjoying your meal.

Remember to adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace and clean up after your picnic to help preserve the natural beauty of the area. By planning ahead and utilizing the available options, you can enjoy a delightful picnic experience near Looking Glass Falls, immersing yourself in the stunning surroundings of this North Carolina gem.

Frequent Questions

How long of a hike is Looking Glass Falls?

It is about a 7-minute hike down to the falls.

Is Looking Glass Falls easy to get to?

Yes, Looking Glass Falls is easy to get to. It is visible and accessible from the road. Short train down to the falls, there are stairs and a lookout at the top.

What do you wear to Looking Glass Falls?

Recommended Gear: Bathing suit, towels, and water shoes.


35°17′47″N 82°46′06″W / 35.296338°N 82.768399°W

Near Looking Glass Falls

Sliding Rock: Just minutes away from Looking Glass Falls is the trailhead for Sliding Rock, a popular waterfall that features a natural 60-foot water slide. This unique attraction draws crowds during the summer months, so it's advisable to arrive early. Enjoy sliding down the smooth rock surface and cool off in the refreshing pool below.

Sliding Rock NC
Sliding Rock NC near Looking Glass Falls

Moore Cove Falls: Embark on the nearby Moore Cove Falls Trail to discover a majestic waterfall nestled deep in a scenic cove. The trail leads you to the base of the towering falls, where you can witness its wispy beauty up close.

Moore Cove Falls
Moore Cove Falls near Looking Glass Falls

About Lost City NC

Photo of the lost city crew for the about us section

Lost City NC started as an urban exploration page and quickly became a page to share new places to eat, travel to, and stay at here in North Carolina. Read More!

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