Top 10 Breathtaking Overlooks in the Blue Ridge Mountains

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The Blue Ridge Mountains are a beautiful sight to behold, with steep slopes and picturesque valleys. There are many overlooks with views that go on for miles and provide an excellent opportunity to take in the natural beauty of the mountains.

The Blue Ridge Mountains have formed a splendid connection between two of America’s most renowned national parks – Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

The natural beauty of the mountains and the views they offer is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lives. These areas offer sweeping vistas that are sure to leave an impression on anyone who sees them.

Amazing Scenic Overlooks in the Blue Ridge Mountains

This list of 25 overlooks is a good starting point for finding overlooks with spectacular views. Some are located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is nicknamed America’s Favorite Drive for good reason!

Others are located in North Georgia and require a bit of hiking to reach the overlook. There are many more than just these 25, but at least these offer stunning views to enjoy while on the trail.

1. Mount Mitchell

Location: Mount Mitchell Summit Trail, Burnsville, NC 28714

If you want to see the highest peak along the Blue Ridge Parkway, head to Mount Mitchell. At 6,684 ft elevation, you can see for miles.

The summit is easily accessible, making it an excellent spot to explore. It’s also free to enjoy for everyone, making it a great place to spend a day hiking or exploring.

Related: 15 Amazing Blue Ridge Sunrise Spots with Mountain Views

2. Grandfather Mountain

Location: 9872 Highway 105 South, Banner Elk, NC 28604

Grandfather Mountain is one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains, located 70 miles from Asheville.

The peak offers rugged terrain and dramatic vistas from its rocky summit.  If you are planning on hiking, wear proper hiking shoes because the terrain is very rocky.

Grandfather Mountain is open daily for visitors, except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission for adults (ages 13-59) is $22, seniors $18, and children (ages 4-12) are $9 each. Children under the age of four are always free to visit Grandfather Mountain. Tickets can be purchased at the gate.

3. Waterrock Knob

Location: Waterrock Knob Visitor Center, Rd to Waterrock Knob, Sylva, NC 2877

Waterrock Knob is a mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, offering some of the most stunning views.

The visitor center is located at almost 6,000 feet, and from there you can see views of several major mountain chains including the Allegheny Mountains, Shenandoah Valley, and Appalachian Trail.

4. The Devil’s Courthouse

Location: MP 422.4, North Carolina 28708

The Devil’s Courthouse is located at milepost 422.4 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The paved trail starts from the overlook parking lot beside the mountain, providing a strenuous but short hike to its peak with fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

5. Ravens Roost Overlook

Location: MP 10.7, Blue Ridge Pkwy, Lyndhurst, VA 22952

The Ravens Roost Overlook is located in Lyndhurst, Virginia. It offers breathtaking views of the Shenandoah Valley and Torrey Ridge.

If you’re driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, this overlook is a must-see. It has a beautiful view and you may be able to catch people hang gliding off the top!

Related: Not sure what to bring? Here is my packing list for hiking!

6. Rough Ridge Overlook

Location: 3218 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Linville, NC 28646

If you’re looking for a short hike with a big payoff, Rough Ridge Overlook is the place to go.

This overlook located in Linville, North Carolina provides outstanding views of the Linn Cove Viaduct, Grandfather Mountain, and forested hills.

7. Thunder Ridge Overlook

Location: MP 74.7, Bedford, Virginia 24579

Thunder Ridge is a great spot to take a break when traveling on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trail loops around the parking lot at Milepost 74.7. It is a short walk that takes about 10 minutes to complete.

A stone observation deck offers views of Arnold Valley, named after the man who first settled the area around 1750. The deck provides an excellent view of the valley and surrounding countryside.

8. Graveyard Fields

Location: MP 418.8, Graveyard Fields, Canton, NC 28716

Some of the waterfalls in this area are worth exploring if you’re interested in nature. It’s not difficult to find trails, and the scenery is lovely.

The Yellowstone Prong is the main water source for two waterfalls in a mile-high valley filled with wildflowers. The valley is surrounded by the 6,000-ft. peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Related: Top 10 Easy Hiking Trails in Gatlinburg

9. Rockfish Valley Overlook

Location: MP 1.5, Blue Ridge Pkwy, Afton, VA 22920

The overlook offers a great spot to pull over with plenty of room for personal vehicles, travel trailers, and RVs.

You do no need to hike or leave your car to see the mountains here.

10. Cowee Mountain Overlook

Location: Blue Ridge Pkwy, Canton, NC 28716

The views at Cowee Mountain Overlook extend 180 degrees, and the mountain ridges stretch for miles westward.

The lookout is one of the most scenic areas on the parkway and one of the highest elevations.

11. Rockfish Valley Overlook

Location: Blue Ridge Pkwy, Afton, VA 22920

Almost as soon as the tour begins, visitors are greeted with a beautiful view of Rockfish Valley.

The panoramic vista at the overlook offers an impressive view of the valley between two mountain ranges.

12. Craggy Gardens

Location: 364 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Black Mountain, NC 28711

To get to Craggy Gardens, it’s actually a short drive up the mountain from Ashville. The drive up to the top is scenic with great views of the mountains. It’s a bit of a steep trail, so bring some decent hiking shoes.

The visitor center has a gift shop and restrooms, so it’s also a convenient stop if you’re driving along the parkway. You can also stop and have lunch at a picnic table and enjoy the nature around you!

13. Craggy Pinnacle

Location: Craggy Pinnacle Trail, 3641 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Barnardsville, NC 28709

The short hike to the top of Craggy Pinnacle offers stunning rewards. It’s only a 1.4-mile roundtrip hike, so reaching the summit is straightforward.

The views from the top are amazing, and you’ll be able to see 360 degrees of views of the surrounding mountains.

14. Woolyback Overlook

Location: Blue Ridge Pkwy, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

The beauty of Blue Ridge Parkway can be seen at Woolyback Overlook. It’s located in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.

The view from the overlook is not the widest you will get on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it is a magical sight to see the misty mountains in the distance.

15. Black Balsam Knob

Location: Art Loeb & Black Balsam Knob Trailhead, Black Balsam Knob Rd, Canton, NC 28716

If you’re looking to take in some incredible views of the surrounding countryside while enjoying a challenging hike, hiking the Art Loeb Trail to the summit of Black Balsam Knob is a great option.

The trail is relatively short and easy enough for most people, but it does gain quite a bit of elevation.

16. Chimney Rock Mountain Overlook

Location: MP 44.9, Blue Ridge Pkwy, Buena Vista, VA 24416

Chimney Rock Mountain Overlook provides a great view of the Hazey Mountains and a wide range of vegetation at Chimney Rock Mountain. The overlook is over 2,400 feet up, giving you an excellent perspective of the valleys below.

17. Mills River Valley Overlook

Location: Mills River Valley Overlook, Blue Ridge Pkwy, Candler, NC 28715

The scenic overlook provides a clear view of the valleys on either side.

It is a popular spot for sunrise and sunset, and hikers can choose to continue walking along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which stretches as far in either direction as possible.

18. Pickens Nose

Location: Pickens Nose Trailhead, Ball Creek Rd, Otto, NC 28763

Pickens Nose, a prominent mountain peak in the Standing Indian Basin of North Carolina, stands out prominently against the surrounding valleys.

The mountain has multiple overlooks that provide excellent views of the Southern Nantahala Wilderness and other surrounding areas.

The trail quickly gains elevation over a wide rocky path before leveling out after a quarter-mile. Look for the narrow side trail on the left that leads to an open rock outcropping with a spectacular view of the surrounding area.

19. Richland Balsam Overlook

Location: Blue Ridge Pkwy, Canton, NC 28716

At 6,053’ above sea level, the Richland Balsam Overlook is the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

There is a large sign on the side of the road announcing the point of interest that makes a perfect backdrop for a portrait or selfie.

The overlook itself doesn’t offer a spectacular view, with trees blocking much of the panorama, but it’s still nice enough to wander around for a moment to enjoy the overlook.

20. Cowee Mountain Overlook

The Cowee Mountain Overlook is my favorite Blue Ridge Parkway overlook. The extended parking lot offers endless opportunities for panoramic views of the mountains.

To the right, the Great Smoky Mountains rise on the horizon. To the left, the mountains of northern Georgia. It’s my favorite place to capture summer sunset photos because of the uninterrupted view and utter peacefulness.

The parking lot at this overlook is just about the largest on the Parkway with plenty of room for all kinds of vehicles.

21. Brasstown Bald

Location: Brasstown Bald Visitors Center, 2941 GA-180 Spur, Hiawassee, GA 30546

The Brasstown Bald Visitors Center sits atop Georgia’s highest mountain, 4,784 feet above sea level. It offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area and provides information about the mountain and its ecology.

Visitors can see Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina on a clear day from the center.

22. Blood Mountain Overlook

Location: Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Blairsville, GA 30512

The hike to the overlook is not easy, but it’s worth it once you reach the overlook. The view is stunning and the breeze is refreshing, making it a perfect place to take in a few minutes of peace and quiet.

23. Popcorn Overlook

Location: Hiawassee Clayton Hwy, Clayton, GA 30525

Popcorn Overlook offers year-round scenic views of the North Georgia and North Carolina mountains.

A few picnic tables are available here, so you can pack a lunch and take in the views for a while.

24. Preacher’s Rock

Location: Preacher’s Rock Trailhead, Cleveland, GA 30528

This well-known hiking trail is one of the more popular hikes in north Georgia, and its relatively short length makes it an ideal choice for a scenic day trip.

The beautiful overlook is fun to visit at any time of year, but they’re especially stunning during autumn when the trees change color and springtime when the flowers bloom.

This easy hike is perfect for anyone looking to take a beautiful break from their busy day.

25. Bell Mountain

Location: 1925 Old 41 Hwy NW, Kennesaw, GA 30152

The observation deck erected by the county was named in honor of Hal Herrin, and it offers views of the surrounding lake and mountains.

In addition, a second platform was built to provide even more stunning views.

Bottom Line

The Blue Ridge Mountains offer some of the most stunning overlooks in all of America.

Spanning from Virginia to Georgia, these mountains offer visitors a chance to see some of the most breathtaking views in the country.

From lofty mountaintops to valley floors, there are many wonderful places to view the Blue Ridge Mountains.

If you’re looking for a scenic drive or an opportunity to take in some amazing scenery, make sure to check out some of these amazing viewpoints!

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