Nestled in the heart of the Pisgah National Forest, just a short drive from Asheville, lies one of the best climbing destinations in the Southeast: Looking Glass Rock. With its stunning views, challenging climbs, and world-class reputation, Looking Glass is a must-visit destination for any climbing enthusiast.
Located just a short hike from the parking area, Looking Glass offers a variety of climbing opportunities for climbers of all levels. The area is known for its high-quality granite rock, which provides excellent grip and technical challenges for climbers. And with over 300 climbing routes, there’s a climb for every skill level and preference.
One of the most popular climbing areas at Looking Glass is the North Face section, which offers a variety of classic climbs, including the iconic “Glass Menagerie” route. This section is known for its steep, technical climbs and stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Aside from its great climbing, Looking Glass is also surrounded by stunning natural beauty. The area sits atop a large granite dome, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding forests and mountains. And with its proximity to Asheville, climbers can explore the city’s vibrant culture and outdoor scene when they’re not climbing.
When it comes to trad climbing, North Carolina is renowned for its bold, ground up climbs that oftentimes tread a thin line between frightening and fun. While Looking Glass is certainly no exception to the standard, the wide variety of climbing found at the four different areas provide a wide-range of classic climbs of all grades, from 5.5 slabs to 5.13+ testpieces.
For beginners at Looking Glass, the numerous horizontal eyebrows that are the signature feature of the towering batholith offer plentiful, but sometimes-tricky placements that lead to some fun, exciting climbing that is certain to provide a good introduction to the area’s unique style of climbing. For climbers in search of splitter cracks and Yosemite-like corners to jam and stem their way up, look no further as there are more than a few of those to be found lurking among the expansive sea of granite as well.
But what really sets Looking Glass apart is its community of climbers. The area has a rich climbing history and is home to a tight-knit community of climbers who are passionate about the sport and the area’s natural beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or just starting out, you’ll find a welcoming community of climbers at Looking Glass.
Overall, Looking Glass is a must-visit destination for any climbing enthusiast looking for a true adventure. With its stunning natural beauty, challenging climbs, and welcoming community, it’s no wonder why so many climbers come back to Looking Glass year after year.
Directions from Brevard: Head northeast on US-64 E/S Broad St toward E Main St. Continue to follow US-64 E for 3.5 miles. At the stoplight take a left on 276 and then continue 4.7 miles to the intersection where FR 475 is; take a left there. Travel a few miles on FR 475, the 64 going out road turns to gravel and splits. The right fork is the one to take. Parking will be where the sign for Slickrock Falls Trails is located. Park at Slickrock Falls Trail for everything on the South side. For the North side continue 2 miles further past Slickrock Falls Trail you will pass Sunwall Trail parking lot. Continue for a quarter of a mile North Side and Hidden Wall is in a pullout.