9 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Overlooks In North Carolina
Looking for the best Blue Ridge Parkway Overlooks? Well, we have 9 for you to see! While the Blue Ridge Parkway spans from Virginia to North Carolina, this guide covers the best of the 132 North Carolina overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway. So while there are plenty more overlooks for you to explore, these overlooks are not only the best views near Asheville but some of the best views along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway.
To see this list of overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you can plan to use Asheville, North Carolina as your home base. Asheville is a great jumping-off point not only for road trips on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but Asheville is home to amazing restaurants, craft breweries, and art galleries.
The list of below overlooks near Asheville will take you a few hours North along the Blue Ridge Parkway as well as a few hours South on the very same Parkway. Now, there are loads of amazing views to see in North Carolina and this list of 9 is just a few of the best!
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The Best Blue Ridge Parkway Overlooks Near Asheville
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1. Craggy Pinnacle
Taking around 45 minutes to an hour from Asheville, Craggy Pinnacle is one of the closest and best Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks. When you enter the parking lot, you’ll have to hike a short 0.5-mile trail to get to the top of Craggy Dome. Once you reach the top, you’ll be greeted with 360 panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina’s sprawling valleys, and, the Blue Ridge Parkway itself.
This is a great place to watch the sunset on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it does get crowded. So plan to arrive well ahead of sunset to claim a seat at the top! Oh, and be sure to pack a jacket or some warm layers as you’ll be sitting pretty at 5,892 ft. Once the sun sets or a breeze picks up, it can definitely get cold.
2. Graybeard Mountain View Overlook
Graybeard Mountain Overlook is the next overlook 2 minutes North of Craggy Pinnacle. And the best part? No hiking is required to see this overlook’s amazing views. As you exit your car, park in the lot, and you’ll have exceptional eastern views of the forested valleys and the Blue Ridge Mountains as far as the eye can see from 5,592 feet in elevation.
3. Chestoa View Overlook
This overlook is located 4 miles south of Linville Falls, another great stop to add to your Blue Ridge Parkway itinerary if you have the time! After you park, a short little jaunt is required to access this overlook, but fear not, it’s a mere .25-mile walk to the rock-walled viewing area. Once you reach the end of the trail, you’ll see Grandfather Mountain to the left and Table Rock to the right. Take in the beautiful views from 4,090 ft in elevation before heading to your next Blue Ridge Parkway overlook.
4. Beacon Heights Overlook
Beacon Heights Overlook, like many of the other overlooks on this list, requires a short one-mile round-trip hike through the woods from the parking area. The hike, while rated as easy, is not on a paved path so be careful of your footing! Once you emerge from your short time in the woods, you’ll be greeted with expansive, beautiful views from a large weathered rock outcrop.
While not as tall in elevation as some other overlooks, this Blue Ridge Parkway overlook should definitely not be missed! Oh, and depending on the time of day you are here, this is a great spot to have a picnic lunch or snack!
5. Linn Cove Viaduct Overlook from Tanawha Trail
The Linn Cove Viaduct is a 1,243 ft bridge that weaves through the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Viaduct is one of the most photographed areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you are wanting to get a photo, or just see a nice vantage point of Linn Cove Viaduct, you’ll need to park at the Visitor Center and hike the Tanawha Trail. The moderate 0.8-mile out-and-back trail is one of the best places to see Linn Cove Viaduct.
ATL OPTION: You can also stop at Yonahlossee Overlook and walk a short way along the footpath (heading toward the Viaduct) to get a nice view or see distant views of the viaduct from Rough Ridge Lookout.
6. Rough Ridge Lookout
Arguably one of the best short-distance hikes that packs a punch with some seriously amazing views is Rough Ridge Lookout. Just a 1/3-mile uphill hike from the parking area, you’ll come to a boardwalk atop the rocky mountain that offers epic views of Grandfather Mountain and Linn Cove Viaduct.
You can venture out onto nearby boulders (just be careful not to step on the vegetation!) to get various viewpoints of the surrounding areas. Really, Rough Ridge Lookout is without a doubt one of the absolutely best Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks!
7. Devil’s Courthouse Overlook
A short and mostly paved trail but a challenging half-mile climb to the top is what’s in store for you at Devil’s Courthouse Overlook. However, once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with vast panoramic mountain views of nearby peaks in the Pisgah National Forest, as well as (on a clear day) views into South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee.
8. Cowee Mountains Overlook
Around an hour southeast of Asheville, you’ll find the spectacular Cowee Mountains Overlook. Sitting just under 6,000 ft in elevation, Cowee Mountains Overlook is just north of Richland Balsam on the Blue Ridge Parkway and it has some pretty epic views.
This overlook faces southeast, making it great for taking in the sunset views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Nantahala National Forest. And the best part? This overlook and all its beautiful views require no hiking to get to! Just park your car and enjoy!
9. Waterrock Knob Visitor Center Overlook
Last but certainly not least is Waterrock Knob. This overlook can be found at the Waterrock Knob Visitor Center, the Parkway’s highest visitor center sitting at 5,719 feet elevation
Here you’ll find amazing picnic spots, panoramic views, and the southernmost hiking trail along the Parkway on the way to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With views to the east and west from the parking area, it’s one of the best places to watch a sunrise or sunset on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Blue Ridge Parkway Overlook Map
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