The Blue Ridge Mountains are a beautiful sight to behold in the morning, with steep slopes and picturesque valleys. Overlooking numerous small-town communities and rolling green hills, these mountains are a sight to behold in any season.
Whether you’re planning a leisurely morning walk or opting for a more strenuous hike, there’s sure to be a perfect spot that will captivate your senses. While sunrise is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful moments of the day, don’t forget about the other activities available in these breathtaking mountains. There are many mountain peaks to see in the Blue Ridge Mountains!
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the more extensive Appalachian Mountains range. The Blue Ridge is a series of mountains, ridges, and valleys that run northeast-southwest through the eastern United States.
The mountain range is located in the eastern United States. It extends 550 miles southwest from southwestern Pennsylvania through Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, western North Carolina, South Carolina, and North Georgia.
There are many scenic overlooks along the Parkway and in North Georgia, where you can watch the sunrise or sunset. Here are some of the best places to see the beautiful sunrises in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
1) Raven’s Roost Overlook
Located near Lyndhurst, Virginia, the overlook is perched 3,200 ft above sea level and offers epic views. The views from Raven’s Roost Overlook are breathtaking! You will see the vast Shenandoah Valley and Torrey Ridge from this elevated vantage point. The trail is about 3 miles roundtrip, so you’ll need to prepare for the early morning if you want to see the sunrise.
Location: MP 10.7, Blue Ridge Pkwy, Lyndhurst, VA 22952
Related: Not sure what to bring? Here is my packing list for hiking!
2) Rough Ridge Overlook
If you’re looking for a short hike with a big payoff, Rough Ridge Overlook is the place to go. Rough Ridge Overlook is located in Linville, North Carolina. It provides outstanding views of the Linn Cove Viaduct, Grandfather Mountain, and forested hills.
Location: 3218 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Linville, NC 28646
3) Thunder Hill Overlook
Located in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, Thunder Hill Overlook is a great place to see the surrounding countryside. If you’re ever in the area, it’s well worth visiting to take in this fantastic view. This hike is moderately challenging but relatively easy for beginners. It was well marked and easy to follow.
Location: Blowing Rock, NC 28605
4) Woolyback Overlook
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.
Location: Blue Ridge Pkwy, Maggie Valley, NC 28751
5) Black Balsam Knob
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.
Location: Art Loeb & Black Balsam Knob Trailhead, Black Balsam Knob Rd, Canton, NC 28716
6) Craggy Pinnacle
This short hike to the top of Craggy Pinnacle offers enormous rewards. It’s only a 1.4-mile roundtrip hike, so reaching the summit is straightforward. It’s an ideal outing for beginners or those new to hiking. The views from the top are stunning, and you’ll be able to 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains.
Location: Craggy Pinnacle Trail, 3641 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Barnardsville, NC 28709
7) Devil’s Courthouse
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.
Location: MP 422.4, North Carolina 28708
8) Waterrock Knob
Waterrock Knob is an excellent place for viewing sunrises and sunsets. The views of several major mountain chains in the Appalachians are spectacular. The Waterrock Knob Visitor Center is located at almost 6,000 feet.
Location: Waterrock Knob Visitor Center, Rd to Waterrock Knob, Sylva, NC 28779
9) Clingmans Dome
The Clingmans Dome is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise, especially if you’re staying in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The drive to the dome is only about 45 minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. You can stop at some of the scenic outlooks on the drive after taking in the gorgeous sunrise.
Location: Clingmans Dome Visitor Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Clingmans Dome Rd, Bryson City, NC 28713
10) Mount Mitchell
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.
Location: Mount Mitchell Summit Trail, Burnsville, NC 28714
11) Chimney Rock Mountain Overlook
Chimney Rock Mountain Overlook provides a great view of the Hazey Mountains and the wide range of vegetation at Chimney Rock Mountain. The Chimney Rock Mountain Overlook is a great spot to view the valleys below. You’ll be over 2,400 feet up, looking down on Lake Lure and Carolina Piedmont.
Location: MP 44.9, Blue Ridge Pkwy, Buena Vista, VA 24416
12) Mills River Valley Overlook
The scenic overlook provides clear views of the valleys on either side, making it a popular spot for sunrise and sunset. Additionally, hikers can choose to continue walking along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, a rocky path that stretches as far in either direction as possible.
Location: Mills River Valley Overlook, Blue Ridge Pkwy, Candler, NC 28715
13) Pickens Nose
Rising high above the surrounding valleys in the Standing Indian Basin, Pickens Nose juts out rocky summit outcrops skyward like an angular bird beak. The mountain’s multiple overlooks offer outstanding views of the Southern Nantahala Wilderness.
The trail quickly gains 200 feet of elevation over a wide rocky path before leveling out after a quarter-mile. Look for a narrow side trail on the left that leads to an open rock outcropping with a 180-degree view.
Location: Pickens Nose Trailhead, Ball Creek Rd, Otto, NC 28763
14) Brasstown Bald
The Brasstown Bald Visitors Center sits atop Georgia’s highest mountain, 4,784 feet above sea level. It offers a view of the surrounding area and provides information about the mountain and its ecology. One can see Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina on a clear day.
Location: Brasstown Bald Visitors Center, 2941 GA-180 Spur, Hiawassee, GA 30546
15) Preacher’s Rock
This easy day hike is one of the more popular trails in North Georgia, and its relatively short length makes it an ideal choice for watching the sunset. The hike is beautiful in any season, but particularly during autumn when the trees change color and when the flowers are in bloom in springtime. The spectacular views make for a memorable sunrise!
Location: Preacher’s Rock Trailhead, Cleveland, GA 30528
These hiking trails and scenic overlooks offer amazing views of the surrounding mountains and a peaceful escape from the hustle. The colors of the sunrise against this natural backdrop cannot be missed. If you want to see an unforgettable sunrise and the best mountain view, add any of these trails to your itinerary!