Breathtaking Overlooks with No Hiking Required

Blue Ridge Parkway overlook in North Carolina mountains with fall foilage.

Witnessing the iconic layers of the Blue Ridge Mountains is one of the top reasons people ‘pack up and run off to the mountains.’ It is a breathtaking sight to see, but don’t worry- you won’t get out of breath with these 8 North Carolina overlooks, where you can take in the views with no hiking required.

8 NC Mountain Overlooks Without Any Hiking

Stretching almost 500 miles across the mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a “museum of the managed American Countryside.’ This public work program created by President Franklin Roosevelt aimed to preserve and make these enchanting views accessible to everyone, regardless of their physical limitations.

Most of the overlooks below are right along the scenic highway, so you can pop in for the view and then head on to the next!

#1: Grandfather Mountain’s Stack Rock & Rough Ridge – Linville, NC

Stunning views of Grandfather Mountain and the Linn Cove Viaduct! This short boardwalk stroll has built-in benches and large boulders to sit and enjoy the panoramic views.

Located at milepost 302, this overlook has a parking area and sits at about 4,500 of elevation.

You can choose to continue to the Rough Ridge Summit, and the views keep getting better!

#2: Wiseman’s View – Linville, NC

Wise Man's View off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Linville, NC

Just a short dip off the Parkway, at milepost 317, this overlook has 2 stone viewing decks, along with a wheelchair-accessible viewing platform.

Enjoy views of Table Rock and Hawksbill, which sit above the deepest gorge in the Eastern side of the USA: Linville Gorge. This view is about 3,400 ft of elevation and faces east- so the afternoons make for great lighting.

At night, however, the eerie light phenomenon known as the Brown Mountain Lights can be seen within the gorge.

#3: Elk Mountain Overlook – Boone, NC

Looking over the Yadkin Valley at milepost 274, the Elk Mountain overlook has almost 360-degree views at 3,795 feet of elevation.

This overlook is a quick stop directly off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. You can sit in your car on those chilly days and still enjoy a great view.

#4: Thunder Hill Overlook – Blowing Rock, NC


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One of the most exemplary overlooks in the High Country- especially for sunrises! On one side gaze over the NC Piedmont, then cross the street to see peaceful pastoral views of Boone.

Similar to Elk Mountain, this overlook is directly off the Blue Ridge Parkway with a big parking lot.

This overlook is located at milepost 290 and is just a short drive to Downtown Blowing Rock and Chetola Resort.

#5: Yonahlossee Overlook – Newland, NC


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The last overlook before the Linn Cove Viaduct, this small overlook has some long-range views at the south end.

If you can walk, there is a path along the guardrail that will make you feel like you are on top of the world! This overlook sits at milepost 303 and at a cool 4,412 ft of elevation.

#6: Raven Rocks Overlook – Blowing Rock, NC


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Just a bit North of Thunderhill at milepost 289 is Raven Rock Overlook. Sitting up above the Parkway, this overlook has a parking lot and large boulders that are easy to climb.

Opposite its neighboring overlook, Raven Rocks are great for sunsets as it gazes out over Boone and Tweetsie Railroad.

#7: Price Lake Overlook – Blowing Rock

One of the largest overlooks, this highly visited parkway stop has a stunning view of Grandfather Mountain and of course, Julian Price Lake.

This 47-acre lake offers parking, hiking, camping, fishing, and canoe rentals to go out on the lake.

Located at milepost 297, Price Lake is a great central location to Moses Cone Visitor center, Grandfather mountain, and Blowing Rock.

#8: Mt. Mitchell Overlook


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The highest peak east of the Mississippi and named for geologist Elisha Mitchell, Mount Mitchell sits at 6,684 ft of elevation.

Access via the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 349.9 this overlook has 360-degree views from its famed observation deck.

Accessible Blue Ridge Parkway Roadside Overlooks

We are so fortunate to have so many accessible outdoor adventures in the High Country of North Carolina. The roadside overlooks and parks of the Blue Ridge Parkway are great for every age and are probably one of the reasons our area was named one of the best places to retire.

If you are considering finding a place to retire or start a family with an incredible view, 828 Real Estate is eager to help. 828 Real Estate can find you a view that will make you say “wow!”

About the Author

Shalamar Blevins grew up in Ashe County, right next to the North Fork of the New River. Shalamar loves the outdoors after spending most of her life kayaking and hiking in her own front yard. 

Throughout her life, Shalamar tried to learn every art form she could get her hands on, from ceramics to African Batiking! Being creative and adding a splash of lively color is Shalamar’s superpower. After studying the classic mediums from local masters such as Stephen Shoemaker and Lenore DePree, Shalamar attended the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston- Salem before attending UNC-Asheville. After graduating in 2011, Shalamar spent time traveling through Europe and Asia before moving back to the North Carolina High Country to start her own studio and to work for Florence Thomas Art School.

To this day Shalamar still loves to travel and hosts small art classes on location and at festivals. She joined the 828 Real Estate gang in the fall of 2021. Since then, she has been working diligently to provide their agents and clients with the latest marketing tools, while celebrating the adventures that await in the 828! Shalamar got married to wonderful fellow Ashe County native, Micheal the summer of 2021. Micheal is a 13 year US Army Veteran, recently graduated from Nursing school and just started a career at Watauga Medical. They have 2 fur babies, an Australian Shepherd named Quill and Chocolate Lab named Brody. These boys keep Mike and Shalamar on their toes!

 When Mike and Shalamar aren’t working on their garden and home improvement ventures, they love spending time with their big family and friends while exploring the local music and art scene of NC High Country!