Lookout Mountain Loop

A scenic, yet demanding, trail run to some of the best views in Montreat.

Trail Running Difficult

Distance
6.4 km
Ascent
383 m
Descent
383 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
903 m
High Point
1.2 km
Gradient
12˚
Lookout Mountain Loop Map

This route is one of the best ways to experience some of Montreat's premier views. Located about 15 minutes from Interstate 40, and just north of Black Mountain, this area is a favorite among many. According to Montreat.org, the extensive, yet elusive, trail network includes 20 trails and over 40 miles as of 2019.

Description

Stage your run at the trailhead along Lookout Road. There are a couple of small unpaved parking areas, with plenty of additional parking along the road.

The run begins with a steep, demanding climb to the summit of Lookout Mountain. As you near the peak, the trail ascends in a stair-like manner before scrambling up a rock outcropping. Atop the summit, soak in the incredible views to the west—an excellent reward for your effort.

Ahead, the loop follows rugged, narrow singletrack across a ridgeline on the East Ridge Trail. Passing Boggs Bunion, the trail heads north to Brushy Mountain, where you'll be welcomed with even more views. At times, you may be able to catch a glimpse of Mount Mitchell to the north, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.

The return trip follows Old Trestle Road in a steady descent back to the junction with the Lookout Mountain Trail. Head downhill to return to the trailhead and end your run.

Difficulty

Difficult

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area