Chimney Rock | North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

It was the middle of a lazy Sunday afternoon. Austin and I had gone to church, eaten lunch, walked downtown, and made it back to our hotel room. It wasn’t too late in the afternoon and Austin spontaneously announced, “Let’s go for a hike.”

“But Austin. The hike we want to do is a two hour drive away.”

“So? It doesn’t get dark til after 8.”

So, we loaded up our backpack and made our way to Chimney Rock and this is why I love him.

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Our first destination was Hickory Nut Falls. This 1.5 mile trail wasn’t a difficult trek and it ended with an amazing view of the falls. Hickory Nut Falls are 404 feet tall and this is where the ending of the 1992 movie Last of the Mohicans was filmed.

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Am I the only one who is now having Last of the Mohicans playing in my head?

Yes? No?

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

I think that standing and gazing at waterfalls is going to become a regular theme of this summer.

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Once we had taken in our fill of Hickory Nut Falls, we turned around and made our way back along the trail so we could then head all the way up to Chimney Rock.

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Outfit Details: Elle Est Forte Tee – She Is Clothing | Shorts – Old | Backpack – Fjallraven Kanken |
New Balance 990 Running Shoe – made in the USA

Gneiss Cave was on the way so we made a quick detour and descended into the darkness. It wasn’t very large, but, nevertheless, it was an interesting change of scenery and, since Austin and I both absolutely adore caves and caverns, we couldn’t pass it by.

Chimney Rock North Carolina

On our ascent to full heights of Chimney Rock – a towering 315-foot granite outcropping – there were other lookouts we climbed to along the way. Make sure to take the detours to Pulpit Rock and Vista Rock for more incredible views as you make your way onward and upward.

Chimney Rock North Carolina

The climb can be arduous. Wooden stairs span the gaps of the immense chasms between cliffs while connecting one rock precipice to another and some of the inclines are intense. However, there are handrails to help you continue forward when the going gets tough.

(Note: There is an elevator that takes you all the way to the top. The elevator was closed when we went, though, and the hike is worth the effort! It’s about the journey, not the destination.)

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

We made it!

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

After reaching the peak at 2,280 feet in elevation, the 75-mile panoramic views were spellbinding.

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Since we still had plenty of daylight left, we decided to stop and stay a while. Sitting on a rock you climbed while gazing at the world below can make you feel so small. As humans, we have our place in the world and we each have a unique gift and calling, and it’s just so amazing that we can find our place and find our home and find the people we love in a world that is so vast and diverse and huge.

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Chimney Rock North Carolina

On this journey that you’re making,
There’ll be answers that you’ll seek;
And it’s you who’ll climb the mountain,
It’s you who’ll reach the peak…

Son of Man | Phil Collins

Chimney Rock North Carolina

We knew that we couldn’t stay forever so we took one last look at the landscape below before turning around and beginning our decent back to the real world.

Chimney Rock North Carolina

Sometimes spontaneous and unplanned adventures turn out to be the very best ones. Such was the case with our trip to Chimney Rock. Every time we go hiking, Austin and I learn new things about each other and new things about ourselves and being out in this beautiful world that God created causes me to pause as I am caught in a moment of awe and wonder. So, today I’m thankful for the sunshine, for mountain air, for strong legs, and a for best-friend-turned-husband-turned-traveling-buddy. I’m thankful for the memories we have of our day at Chimney Rock.

Have you ever hiked to Chimney Rock or Hickory Nut Falls?

Keep Reading...

  • Taylor Smith

    I love the pictures! SO so beautiful.

    • Thank you, Taylor! It was so incredibly beautiful.

  • Isn’t it beautiful there? I’ve never hiked it (because I hate hiking), but the area is beautiful and the town is adorable. I went to college about 45 mins away from Chimney Rock.

    • Yes! The area is amazing! Even if you don’t like hiking, it’s a beautiful place to enjoy.

  • It looks so beautiful! I’m not really an outdoorsy person but I truly love the hiking trails we have around town. They’re absolutely breathtaking. Looks like you guys had fun. 🙂

    • Hello Jazmine! It’s always so fun to discover local trails near where you live – it helps to explore a familiar place in a new way. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Karin Rambo

    It’s so pretty! I l’m jealous of all of these great hikes you’re getting to go on!

    • Haha. Thanks Karin! I always wanted to making hiking a regular habit and now it’s finally happening. It’s certainly a new experience for me and I’m loving it. Kit will be big enough to take hiking soon. 🙂

  • Emily K

    That waterfall is so gorgeous! *adds to adventure list*
    Looks like a fantastic hike with a pretty cool guy.

    • He *is* a pretty cool guy, but I might be biased. 😉 The hike is worthy of any adventure list – you would love it. (It’s a super easy hike, though, compared to Clark Creek.)

  • Emily Kib

    I’ve never been before but it looks beautiful! Love the waterfall!

  • Wow! How beautiful! If i’m ever on the east coast i’ll have to check this place out. I have a lot of wish list destinations that are in North and South Carolina. 🙂

  • Ahh that view is gorgeous! And so is the waterfall! North Carolina is on my to-travel list for next year, so I’ll have to hit this up while I’m there. Also, I love your backpack.

  • We’ve talked about doing chimney rock but I’m so scared of heights. I may have to eventually face those fears though. Looks like a great hike!

  • This is so amazing and such lovely photos! I loved that little poem at the end! 🙂

  • Amazing! I have always wanted to hike Chimney Rock but I didn’t know about the waterfall. That looks so pretty!

  • This is beautiful.