Looking Glass Falls is one of the most easily accessible, popular, and gorgeous waterfalls in Western North Carolina. With views from the road, stairs leading to the bottom, and plenty of room for a chair by the water this destination is popular all year. It’s a must-see on any visit to Brevard, which advertises itself as the Land of Waterfalls for good reason.
Parallel parking along Highway 276, also known as the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway, provides enough room for maybe a dozen vehicles. These spaces fill up fast on warm summer days so arrive early if you want to make this a stop. A series of steps lead to the bottom of the falls for a closer view, and a chance to get your feet wet. The pool at the bottom of the falls is a very popular swimming hole.
Visitors can view the waterfall from the top of the stairs along the concrete sidewalk beside the parking area. It’s also viewable from the road during the winter months when the trees are void of any leaves.
The waterfall is located six miles from Brevard and ten miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway on Highway 276. There is no admission fee or day-use fee to access this year. It is open twenty-four hours a day throughout the year.
Other nearby waterfalls include the Sliding Rock Recreation Area, Moore Cove Falls, Daniel Ridge Falls, Log Hollow Falls, Cove Creek Falls, and Slick Rock Falls.
I discovered this waterfall after spending a day exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway from Cherokee to Highway 276. It was getting late so I took the curvy road down from the Parkway toward Brevard. By the time I passed a sign that read “Looking Glass Falls” and could hear the roaring water it was already too dark in the ravine to see anything. The next time I was in the area I was driving the same route as before, only I was a little earlier this time. I arrived at the parking area with an hour of light left in the day, but it was already too late to capture a good photo.
Finally in early November 2013 I arrived at the waterfall at the right time of day with the right lighting to capture my first photo. Just a few fall colors remained on an otherwise barren scene. I captured just one photo, sat at the top for awhile enjoying the view, then went on about my business.
It wasn’t until July 2015 that I finally took the time to explore this amazing waterfall. It was a cloudy day which works perfect for capturing photos of waterfalls. I arrived in mid-afternoon on a warm summer day, took the journey down the stairs, and set up a chair with a view of the waterfall. I sat there for a few hours reading a good book before finally breaking out the photography equipment and capturing just one photo, the title photo you see above.
Looking Glass Falls is one of the most easily accessible waterfalls in Western North Carolina, making it one of the most popular. It is a popular swimming hole in the summer, photographic subject in the fall, and weekend destination in the spring. As for me? I just want to keep capturing amazing photos of this waterfall throughout all seasons in all conditions, so I think I’ll return here as often as I can. What about you?