Looking Glass Falls is the most famous waterfall in North Carolina, and it is also one of the most beautiful waterfalls in North Carolina. I like to refer to it as the Biltmore of Waterfalls. If there is only one waterfall you visit while in Asheville, make it Looking Glass Falls.
One of the main reasons Looking Glass Falls is so famous is that you can drive right beside the falls. It is undoubtedly the most magnificent roadside waterfall in North Carolina.
The name Looking Glass comes from the water the follows down looking glass rock and freezes, creating what appears to be a “Looking Glass” or mirror.
Insider Tip for Looking Glass Falls: Visit near sunset; you will likely have the place to yourself or only a few other people. You can also walk out into the stream below the falls to see it from a new, more stunning perspective.
Photography Tip for Looking Glass Falls: Sunrise and sunset both work well at this location. October is usually the best month if you want leaf colors. Be prepared to wade out in the water to get the best shot. It is simplest to walk down the main entrance and not up the stream.
Sunrise at Looking Glass Falls is generally best in fall and winter. If your lucky, you will catch steam rising from Looking Glass Creek.
I prefer sunset; due to the shape of the falls and the surrounding rocks, it is challenging to capture the sunrise or sunset in this area unless it is winter.
Interesting Facts: You can see this waterfall in the movie Hacksaw Ridge. Peregrine falcons use Looking Glass Rock as one of their nesting sites from February to August. If you are lucky, you may spot one of the earth’s fastest animals.
Less than 100 yards to the bottom, there is also an observation platform that requires no hiking. The trail is paved the entire way down.
People swim at the base of the falls all the time, and it is pretty fun. However, there are much better swimming holes in the area. We suggest slick rock, little slick rock falls, or whaleback falls if you want to swim. If you want to swim with a waterfall, we recommend Hooker Falls in Dupont State Forest.
Dogs are welcome; the official rules are dogs need to be leased and under your control at all times. If you are looking for hiking trails for your dogs, check out 10 Best Hikes For Dogs in Asheville
Looking Glass Falls is exceptionally kid-friendly. The trail down is all paved and has handrails.
The observation area is all paved and flat; the lower falls, you need to go down paved steps.
No restrooms at the falls; however, you can head a few miles north up the road to the Sliding Rock entrance but there is an entrance fee during peak season a few miles more are the Pink Beds for free bathrooms or head back to the park entrance to the ranger station at the Pisgah National Park entrance.
There is no fee to visit Looking Glass Falls.
Yes, there is plenty of room. I would suggest visiting later in the day to avoid the crowds and lack of parking spots.
You can indeed, and the waters are stocked with trout. However, I suggest you go a half-mile down the road to the Davidson River if you plan to fish when it is busy. It is always a good idea to stop by one of the fly fishing shops and see what is working.
Looking Glass Falls is open all year and at all hours.
You cannot camp at the falls, but there are many options within 5 minutes. If you want roadside camping near Looking Glass Falls, head to Bigbear Pen, which is less than 5 minutes away. Or, if you need electricity and running water, head to Davidson River Campground right down the road. Other campgrounds in the area include…
Not at the falls; if you head about a half-mile above the falls, there is the Looking Glass Picnic area or a large group head to the Pink Beds about 3 miles up the road. Both sites have grills and benches; bring your charcoal.
Driving from downtown Asheville will take approximately 45 minutes and is 35 miles away.