Sunset Rock via Cravens House Lookout Mountain Battlefield, TN
DURATION 1-2 hours
There And
Back Again
Sunset Rock via Cravens House

Hike to expansive views on the edge of Sunset Rock from the historic Cravens House at Lookout Mountain Battlefield Park outside Chattanooga. While not quite as scenic as the route from Point Park, this path doesn't have an entrance or parking fee and will usually give you a little more solitude than starting at Point Park.

You may want to start this hike by exploring around the parking lot if you're interested in the history of the area. Cravens House and other historical monuments lie around the area. Otherwise, begin the hike at the trailhead at the entrance to the parking lot, following the sign for Sunset Rock.

At just under a tenth of a mile, a signed but overgrown side trail on the left leads to several more monuments. Just after this the Rifle Pits Trail splits off to the right. Stay to the left, following the sign. From here the trail gets considerably more rocky. At .84 miles the Cravens House Trail connects to the Bluff Trail. Turn right for Sunset Rock. Left leads to Point Park.

The Bluff Trail travels tightly alongside many exposed vertical rock cliffs with steep drop offs on the opposite side of the trail. Just before the next intersection, hike underneath a huge rock bluff jutting out over the trail. You are now under Sunset Rock. Continue on to the signed intersection, turning left. After some steps, you'll come to another unsigned trail split. Go left, right leads towards some houses.

Pass several amazing views to the larger open view atop Sunset Rock. From here you'll get 180-degree views toward west Chattanooga, the Tennessee River Gorge and Prentice Cooper State Forest. Now just turn around and retrace your steps back to the parking lot. If you want the view without the hike, try the .1 mile Sunset Rock Trail.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0.7 mi
75 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.4 mi
173 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.2 mi
138 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0.2 mi
139 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
507 ft
148 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
0.0 mi
0.0 mi - Trailhead Start at the front of the parking lot, following the carved rock for Sunset Rock.
0.09 mi
0.09 mi - Stay Straight On the left an overgrown side trail leads to a couple monuments.
0.11 mi
0.11 mi - Turn Left Turn left to stay on the Cravens House Trail. The Rifle Pits Trail branches off to the right.
0.84 - Turn Right Connect to the Bluff Trail. Right leads to Sunset Rock and left leads to Point Park. There is a posted map at the intersection.
1.45 mi
1.45 mi - Turn Left, Then Left Pass under Sunset Rock then shortly after turn left onto the signed trail. After some steps, turn left at the unsigned intersection to head back to Sunset Rock. Right leads toward some houses.
1.55 mi
1.55 mi - Sunset Rock Pass a couple good views before arriving at the expansive view of Sunset Rock.
length3.1 miles
difficulty5.1 Easy-Medium
duration1 - 2 hours
features Dog Friendly  History  Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
elevation gain620 ft.
state Tennessee 
park/forestLookout Mountain Battlefield
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
hoursSunrise - Sunset
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 35.013494, -85.341761 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°0.81, W 85°20.51 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°0'49'', N 35°0'49'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
35.013494, -85.341761 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°0.81, W 85°20.51 most GPS units use this one
N 35°0'49'', N 35°0'49'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
The roads to access the Cravens House parking lot are a little rough, narrow and have very limited sight distance around curves, so go slow.
Parking Capacity
19 parking spaces.
There are several steep drop offs. Pay close attention to kids and dogs.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
4 (1)
hikethesouth-4 years ago
Classic Lookout Mountain Hike
This is a great shorter hike to explore Lookout Mountain on and the view at Sunset Rock is worth it. I only give this 4 of 5 stars due to the route from Point Park has considerably more views at the beginning and this route just has the view at the end. Still a great hike!
Easy-Medium | Hiked Fall 2019
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