Last weekend a group of 8 hiked to the view on Looking Glass Rock trail in Pisgah Forest. This is a very popular trail in the area and therefore if you are looking for solitude you will not find it here. That being said, there are actually two great views on this trail: one at the very end and the other beyond the helicopter landing area about two-thirds of the way up. Give yourself plenty of time to sit and enjoy the views at both places.
Unlike most trailheads, there is actually a pretty decent size parking lot here but cars quickly build up on the roadside. It’s always a good idea to double up if you can and park behind someone you are hiking with to leave space for others.
The trail starts a gentle climb immediately and the climb continues pretty much to the top. Lots of switchbacks at the very beginning and then the trail appears to make its way up a ridgeline. We noted several campsites very close to trail end but water would have to be carried up. There was one small seep I noted going up but not sure it would be adequate for a water source. There are a several small creeks close to the beginning of the trail.
Views at the top of Looking Glass Rock. Watch your footing on the slopes! There is another view at the top around the left side of the rock similar to what you would see at the helicopter pad. And a place to sit if you want a little solitude. It’s worth walking around to check it out.
This being mid-October, I would have expected more change in the leaves but unfortunately I think we still have at least one more week until the leaves at this elevation and location are at their peak this year. On the actual trail itself, there were signs of changes in the canopy and lot of leaves have already fallen on the trail but at the views it was clear that we still have a little way to go.
Trail conditions are pretty good but you still have to watch your footing. Lots of wear and tear on the trail which I suspect is due to its popularity which I especially noticed at the upper portion of the hike.
Distance: 6.4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1649 ft.