Fryingpan Lookout Tower
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
hike difficulty
hike difficulty
Duration 1 hour
Elevation Gain 425 ft.
State North Carolina
Park/Forest Pisgah National Forest
Parking Fee None
Blaze None
Nearby City Asheville, NC
Trailhead Coord. 35.395146, -82.768502

Escape the crowds at the neighboring Mt Pisgah trail to tackle the easier Fryingpan Tower. Soaring views in all directions await you at the top of Fryingpan Tower. If you’re afraid of heights, this isn’t the trail for you.

There is no official parking area for this hike. Although Fryingpan Tower can be access by longer hikes, if you want to take this short route you simply need to park on the side of the Blue Ridge Parkway along FS 450. Make sure not to block the road. At this trailhead, you will see a trail leading off to the right with a sign for Mt. Pisgah Campground and Fryingpan Tower. Just ignore this trail, as it connects back with the gravel road shortly.

While this trail is a short .8 mile walk along a gravel road, the hike does gain 375 feet in elevation, gaining another 50 feet if you climb to the top of the tower. At .4 miles in you will pass a gated road to the right, along with several no trespassing signs. These signs continue along the right side for the rest of the way. Continue past the communication tower to the fire tower behind it.

If you’re not afraid of heights, make your way up the metal steps of the fire tower. The very top is blocked off but you’ll have views once you climb above the immediate tree line. At this elevation along the parkway, the top is often cloud-covered, but if you have a clear day, views from the tower will be amazing. Above it all, you will have expansive views in all directions, including Cold Mountain, Mt. Pisgah, Looking Glass Rock and numerous others. Completely exposed, expect strong winds.

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Green MarkerTrailhead   Blue MarkerPoint of Interest   Yellow MarkerDirections
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Trailhead Coordinates
35.395146, -82.768502 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°23.71, W 82°46.11 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°23'43'', W 82°46'07'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)

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Most auto GPS units use the Degree Minutes format as the default.

Further Directions
Look for the gated road, FS 450, on the west side of the parkway between mile marker 409 and 410.


Ranger District Information
Pisgah Ranger District
1600 Pisgah Highway, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

Cautions & Warnings
Climbing Fryingpan Tower is safe; however, hold on to the hand rails due to strong, unexpected burst of wind that can occur at this altitude and exposure.