Sunset Rock via the Bluff Trail Lookout Mountain Battlefield, TN
miles
LENGTH 3 MILES
DIFFICULTY 5.8 Easy
Medium
DURATION 1-2 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
570
feet
TRAIL TYPE
There And
Back Again
Sunset Rock via the Bluff Trail

May 18, 2020 - Many parks and hiking trails are open but some are still closed or limiting capacity. Call ahead to verify status if possible. While hiking, continue to follow social distancing practices. Stay safe people.

Hike from one amazing view to another on this ultra scenic short hike from the tip of Lookout Mountain at Point Park to Sunset Rock. Just outside Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain has several trail options and this route is one of the more traveled trail sections. This one is good for kids and dogs with just a couple steep drop offs to be wary of.

Follow signs for parking behind the Visitor Center across from the castle-like entrance to Point Park. All other street parking is an additional fee. From the entrance, a paved path makes a loop around the tall New York monument with incredible views on both sides of Chattanooga nestled snugly around the twisting Tennessee River. At the far end, follow the sign for Ochs Museum to another loop with even more views.

On the left/west side of the Museum, the connector to the Bluff Trail heads down the steps just outside the old stone building. Pass another view, heading down a couple sets of metal steps before reaching the intersection with the Bluff Trail to the left and the Mountain Beautiful Trail to the right. A sign also points left for Sunset Rock.

You won't get much in the way of views, but the Bluff Trail travels 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 Point Park, going from view to view to view. 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
Length
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0.9 mi
68 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.4 mi
146 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.2 mi
115 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0.1 mi
127 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
0.1 mi
196 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
Navigation
0.0 mi
0.0 mi - Trailhead, Turn Right You can go any way you want at Point Park, but for listing mileage this navigation will describe staying to the right.
0.13 mi
0.13 mi - Follow Sign for Ochs Museum On the opposite side of the paved path, turn right to follow the sign for Ochs Museum at the far end of another loop. Turn right on this loop as well.
0.23 mi
0.23 mi - Ochs Museum, Views and Connector Trail The museum is inside an old stone structure. Outside you'll get views from the tip of Lookout Mountain. On the left/west side of the building take the steps down for the connector trail to the Bluff Trail.
0.31 mi
0.31 mi - Turn Left Turn left on the Bluff Trail. A sign also points to Sunset Rock. Right takes you along the Mountain Beautiful Trail.
0.82
0.82 - Stay Straight The Cravens House Trail connects from the right. There is a posted map at the intersection.
1.36 mi
1.36 mi - Under Sunset Rock Pass underneath Sunset Rock.
1.43 mi
1.43 mi - Left, Left Turn left on the signed trail for Sunset Rock. After some steps, turn left again at an unsigned intersection. Right heads towards some houses.
1.5 mi
1.5 mi - Sunset Rock View
Details
length3 miles
difficulty5.8 Easy-Medium
duration1 - 2 hours
features Dog Friendly  History  Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeNone
elevation gain570 ft.
state Tennessee 
park/forestLookout Mountain Battlefield
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
hoursSunrise - Sunset
parking fee$7/person entrance fee to Point Park, free parking behind park Visitor Center, extra cost for street parking.
trailhead coordinates 35.009862, -85.343755 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°0.59, W 85°20.63 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°0'36'', N 35°0'36'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
35.009862, -85.343755 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°0.59, W 85°20.63 most GPS units use this one
N 35°0'36'', N 35°0'36'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
Across the street from the park entrance is the Visitor Center. Follow the sign for free parking behind the building. Otherwise, parking on the street is an additional fee managed by the city.
Parking Capacity
19 parking spaces + 2 handicap. Additional street parking.
Notes
Visit the Visitor Center across the street from the park entrance for restrooms and maps.
There are several steep drop offs. Pay close attention to kids and dogs.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-9 months ago
From View to View
This hike begins and ends with amazing views. And between them you'll be passing beneath tall rock bluffs most of the way. An easier hike with a few steep sections, this is one of the best bangs for your buck on Lookout Mountain.
Easy-Medium | Hiked Fall 2019
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