Compared to Table Rock, Sassafras or Pinnacle Mountain, Glassy Mountain in Pickens barely rates a mention among South Carolina’s highest peaks. At 1,647 feet, the often-overlooked monadnock doesn’t even measure up to nearby Paris Mountain, another isolated mountain towering above the surrounding Upstate landscape.
But what this humble little granite dome lacks in elevation, it more than makes up in view. With the Blue Ridge Escarpment as a backdrop, the pastoral scene of the piedmont below is simply breathtaking—and an unexpected reward for the modest effort required to enjoy it.
A one-mile trail through the Glassy Mountain Heritage Preserve leads to the rock face on the north side of the mountain where you get the million dollar view. If that’s more than you can manage or you’re short on time, you can drive to the top and take a shortcut down to the granite perch.
The shorter trail to the lookout starts at the end of South Glassy Mountain Road. While it’s not much more than a quarter mile long, it features several steep switchbacks.
If you choose to take the longer route, look for the trailhead on the right side of South Glassy Mountain Road just past the intersection with South Glassy Mountain Church Road. The lightly used footpath is not blazed, but there are arrows and other hiker signs posted on trees to help you stay on track.
At first, the trail is level, following the contours of the hillside. But as you start to ascend the mountain, the path narrows and becomes more rugged. About a half mile in, you’ll come to a three-way fork. The path on the left leads to the summit. The lower two trails form a short loop that takes you to the edge of the rock face.
The granite overlook has a steep drop off, so be careful, especially when it’s wet. Small springs at the top of the mountain trickle down the bare rock, giving it a glassy appearance and, hence, it’s name.
Sit a spell and savor the expansive view of the valley below with its picturesque farms and fields. In the distance you can see Table Rock’s famed granite face, along with the peaks of Pinnacle, Sassafras and Caesars Head mountains.
Get directions to Glassy Mountain here.