Looking Glass Falls, located near Asheville, is one of the most popular waterfalls in North Carolina, and perhaps the easiest to view (one of the few accessible roadside waterfalls in NC, perfect for those with challenges with mobility and walking). The name "Looking Glass" comes from Looking Glass Rock, where water freezes on its sides in the winter and then glistens in the sunlight like a mirror or looking glass. Looking Glass Creek, which flows past the rock, is also named for the impressive natural structure.
Its easy accessibility makes Looking Glass Falls a popular spot for travelers along U.S. 276, Forest Heritage Scenic Byway, near Brevard in the Pisgah National Forest. Enjoy nice views from the parking area along the road. Or take a short walk for a closer look. The waterfall is 60 feet tall.
Steps lead down to the falls for a close-up view. You can venture onto the rocks in the stream below the falls, and even do some wading and swim underneath the falling water. The photo at top was taken at the base of the falls. For photographs, the sun comes up over the waterfall in the morning. So afternoon lighting is best.
To get to Looking Glass Falls, either take U.S. 276 North from Brevard about six miles. Or take U.S. 276 South from the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 10 miles. There is no admission fee.
Nearby are Sliding Rock, Moore Cove Falls, Daniel Ridge Falls, Log Hollow Falls, Cove Creek Falls, Slick Rock Falls, Pink Beds Hike and the Forest Discovery Center at Cradle of Forestry.
Directions from Downtown Asheville (about 36 miles): Take I-240 West / I-26 East. Continue on I-26 East to Exit 40 for Highway 280 (and the Asheville Airport). Take a right onto Highway 280 West and go 16 miles toward Brevard. As you enter the Brevard area, you will see a big shopping center on the right (with Wal-Mart). Just past the center, turn right onto US Highway 276 North (Forest Heritage Scenic Byway) to enter the Pisgah National Forest. Go 6 miles.
Also see our Top 50 waterfalls near Asheville, Waterfall Drives & Maps & Pisgah Forest Waterfall & Hiking Map.