Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass rock, located near Brevard NC in Pisgah National Forest is one of the most popular waterfalls in The Blue Ridge mountains and the most visited waterfall in North Carolina.  Not only is Looking Glass Falls large and beautiful, it's literally right next to a main road, making accessibility easy.   Looking Glass Falls is visible from the road, and getting an even better view is just a very short walk down some stairs.

Looking Glass Falls Details

Location:

 On Highway 276, outside of Brevard NC in Pisgah National Forest

Roundtrip Distance: Short walk

Difficulty: Easy

Handicap Accessible: Yes, with assistance.

Dog Friendly: Yes

Features: Waterfall, swimming

Directions: 

Take US 276 North from Brevard for six miles.  Or take U.S. 276 South from the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 10 miles.  There is a long parking area along US 276

Recommended Gear:

Digital camera and be sure to bring a bathing suit, towels and water shoes if you think you might want to swim below the falls. 

Looking Glass Falls, Pisgah National Forest NC

Looking Glass Falls is named after Looking Glass Rock, as the creek the Falls is on is also called Looking Glass Creek, which flows past Looking Glass Rock.  Looking Glass Rock is a very large Mountain/Rock, visible off of the Parkway.  During the winter, it's rock faces often get covered with ice, giving the appearance of a "looking glass", especially in the early mornings.

Looking Glass Rock

Looking Glass Falls is located in the Cradle of Forest area of Pisgah National Forest, near Brevard NC.   This area was previously part of Biltmore Estate, and was sold off to the federal government after George Vanderbilt's passing.   Logging Railroads used to come right by the waterfalls.

Looking Glass Falls is nearly roadside.  The parking area is alongside Highway 276, and often full during peak season.   Be prepared to walk a bit up to the falls.

From the parking lot , you can get a nice view of the falls without having to walk down any stairs, making this handicap accessible.  For a better view. walk down the short flight of stairs to the observation deck.  Here's the view from the deck:

Looking Glass Falls

From the deck, you can climb down onto the rocks, and get to the bottom of the falls, which is a popular place for wading and swimming during the summer.  

Going down below the falls is a popular place for photographers, and provides the best view of the falls and of the Looking Glass Creek, as you can see in the photo below.   Mornings are not a good time for photos at Looking Glass, as the sun comes up directly behind the Falls.  You'll want to visit during very early morning, late afternoon, or preferably on a cloudy day.   

During the summer, the creek area below the falls is often full of families and children, wading, swimming and playing the water.  Just be very careful, the rocks can be slick and people have gotten injured here from falling.

Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls is a gorgeous 50 foot waterfall that should definitely be on your list of things to see while visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.    Looking Glass Falls is open year-round for viewing.

Looking Glass Falls in the Movies!

Some of you may recognize this waterfall from the blockbuster movie Hacksaw Ridge.   To our knowledge, this is the only document appearance of this waterfall in a Hollywood movie, but tell us in the comments if you know of others.

Our Waterfall Guides

See our full guides to more than 40 waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, on our Waterfalls Page.  Information, Directions, Photos, Video, and more!

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Looking Glass Falls Video

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6 comments
deaconsbench says October 13, 2014

In the video, start watching the left side where the greenery and large rock meet. Twice there is something moving from left to right. Cryptid? Hmm?

Reply
    Larry says October 16, 2014

    The greenery looks like it’s on top of the rock, but it’s not. There is a path between the rock and the greenery, the two things moving are people’s heads as they walk down to the water. Almost an optical illusion! Thanks for watching the video.

    Reply
Vanessa Ventre says December 6, 2014

How would one find out if it’s possible to hold a small wedding at Looking Glass Falls? Who would we talk to /ask?

Reply
    Larry says December 6, 2014

    Hi Vanessa – I would just call the National Park Service. I’m sure they could tell you.

    Reply
    Jennifer bowman says March 21, 2016

    Hi Vanessa , did you ever find out about that? I’m hoping to get married there on July 13th

    Reply
      Hannah says July 28, 2016

      Did anyone find any information out on getting married there?

      Reply
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