081 – Unnamed Waterfall on Looking Glass Creek #3

Accessibility – Easy+

Height – 12′-15′

Distance – 0.1 (out and back)

Beauty – 7

Photo rating – 9

Solitude – 4

GPS Info: LAT 35.3398 LONG -82.7892

When driving along US276 through Pisgah Forest, most of your trip will be with Looking Glass Creek mirroring your path. From where it joins into the Davidson River near the intersection with FR475, Looking Glass Creek is going to be on one side of the road or the other. Several bridges pass over the creek. Looking Glass Falls and Moore Cove are on the right side when heading toward the Blue Ridge Parkway while Sliding Rock and three lesser falls are all on the left.

Starting at the intersection of US64/SC280/US276 in Brevard, follow US276 North for 10.2 miles to a pull off on the left. If you’re coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway the pull off is on the right 4.8 miles from the stop sign at the base of the ramp. Coming from the BRP you’ll know you’re close when you see the turn off for Headwaters Road (FR475B). The pull off is 0.1 of a mile past the intersection/ If you miss the pull out coming from Brevard, you can turn around at Headwaters Road. This stretch of US276 is winding so use caution if you need to turn around.

You will know you’re in the right spot since the moment you get out of your car you will hear the waterfall. There is a trail about centered in the parking area that leads to the top of the falls. I couldn’t find a way down from this trail. The waterfall is approximately 15-18 feet high and the view from this trail makes it hard to tell what you’re looking at. On a trip to the area in October of 2015, I decided to try and improve upon my June 2015 pictures by finding a way to the base. I followed the guardrail to a point below the falls and found a faint path down. It winds its way through the boulders to a clearing below the falls. The path isn’t hard to follow but it is hard to locate. On my June visit the surrounding vegetation was too thick.

The path leads to a rocky beach area below the falls that is visible from the road. This is what led me to explore down the bank. There is a fire ring in the clearing so the sight is frequented and other than the road above your head, it is a beautiful setting. I was here in October, which is possibly the busiest time of the year and I stayed for almost an hour, relaxing and enjoying the setting. I saw no one. Of the hundreds of people that drove by this waterfall, I was likely the only person who stopped to investigate. As always, I did get a few startled looks from several passing motorists when I emerged from the woods onto the side of the road. However none stopped to see what they were missing.

The hike is short and easy enough. I didn’t have my daughter with me on the trip but I have the utmost confidence that she could have easily made the descent. The only dangerous part was the walk along the side of US276 to get to the trail. Like everything, you know what your children are capable of. Use that as a guide.

You can set up for a shot anywhere along the rocky beach below the falls. There is a collection pool in front of the falls that makes a great foreground effect for a shot, while the rhodos on the banks frame the creek and falls nicely. You can spend as much time as you want at this one. You;re going to have it to yourself.


Tranquility in the shadow of US276 – October 2015

Fire ring in the clearing below the Unnamed Waterfall on Looking Glass Creek – October 2015
Unnamed Waterfall on Looking Glass Creek – October 2015