SEPTEMBER 2021 UPDATE: Due to flood impacts from Tropical Strom Fred on August 17, 2021, the lower observation deck and pool are closed for visitor safety. Find details on closures for Pisgah National Forest.
Looking Glass Falls is one of the most popular and beautiful waterfalls in North Carolina. And it's perhaps the easiest to view (one of the few accessible roadside waterfalls, making it perfect for folks with mobility and walking challenges). 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 its 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 when water flow is lower. For photographs, the sun comes up over the waterfall in the morning. So, afternoon lighting or a cloudy day is best. And visit during the winter to see beautiful ice creations.
To get to Looking Glass Falls, 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 and it's always open.
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.
Looking Glass Falls is a very popular swimming hole on a hot summer day!