With rolling mountain peaks, tumbling waterfalls and scenic valleys, Jackson County, N.C. is home to a wealth of gorgeous scenery. The panoramic views from the mountaintops are some of the most beautiful in the country – it’s hard to imagine anything more beautiful, but as the sun begins to lower and the sky fills with rich hues of orange, yellow, red and purple, adding a glow to everything in its path, the view becomes more breathtaking than ever.
To experience these magical mountain moments, check out this list of our favorite spots for a front row seat to catching a stunning sunset in Jackson County:
- Cowee Mountain Overlook: Located at milepost 430 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, this spot offers some of the most stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys that stretch on for miles. The spot is known for being one of the best for capturing a sunset photo in the area. As the sun sinks down, the peaks become shadowed, creating the perfect outline of the surrounding mountains.
- The top of the Jackson County Courthouse steps: Overlooking downtown Sylva, this historic building sits in a perfect spot for not only a gorgeous view of Sylva, but also the mountains that serve as a backdrop of the quintessential mountain town. Climb the 107 steps and prepare for a colorful evening sky unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. And just because the sun goes down for the night, doesn’t mean the town does. Sylva is home to a great nightlife, dining and brewery scene.
- Richland Balsam Overlook: Located at the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Richland Balsam Overlook is an ideal location for viewing a gorgeous sunset. Situated at milepost 431.4, this overlook sits 6,053 feet above sea level, allowing for the perfect vantage point to see beautiful mountain scenes. With such a high elevation, it is possible to catch a sunset here on even on a cloudy day depending on the cloud line!
- Waterrock Knob: Also located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, at milepost 451.2, this overlook resides in the Plott Balsams mountain chain between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Great Balsam Mountains. The junction results in majestic views and amazing sunsets. Plus, there is plenty of parking and tables for a sunset picnic.
- Whiteside Mountain: Located near Cashiers on Highway 64, this mountain rises 4,930 above sea level, making it a perfect spot for scenic sunsets over the mountains.
- Lake Glenville: Just 8 miles from Cashiers, this 1,462-acre lake, with its 26 miles of shoreline, has plenty of places to watch a beautiful sunset and is surrounded by the mountains of Jackson County. When the sun sets, it provides beautiful views not only along the lake, but also in the water’s reflection.
Catching one of Jackson County’s lovely sunsets not only involves the best location, but also the right timing. With the end of Daylight Savings Time, sunsets will now occur between 5:20 and 5:35 p.m. To find out the most accurate time of sunset during your visit, check out this calendar. Or, for visitors with an iPhone, you can find out the day’s exact sunset time within the Apple Weather app as well.
Of course, you can’t visit Jackson County and see one of its stunning sunsets without documenting it. Be sure to snap a sunset photo or selfie, use hashtag #DiscoverJacksonNC, and tag your location to share with your followers and for the chance to be featured on our social media pages.
To plan a visit to Jackson County, be sure to request a free visitor guide today. In it, you will find everything from quaint, cozy cabins to luxury resorts that would be perfect for any trip to see the sunsets in Jackson County.
Feature photo of Waterrock Knob courtesy @hammeredartworks