Looking Glass Rock is a massive formation that can be seen from points all over the Pisgah National Forest south of Asheville, especially along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The story of Looking Glass Rock began about 390 million years ago when continental crusts were moving across each other some rock became so hot that it melted. In the case of Looking Glass Rock, the molten rock, or magma, did not make it to the surface resulting in a volcanic eruption to become lava. Instead, it remained below the earth's surface where it cooled slowly and crystallized. Rocks made in this process are called intrusive igneous rock, or plutons named for Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld. Slow cooling allows a variety of minerals to form. Often mineral crystals can grow quite large. Mineral crystals within intrusive igneous rocks are large enough to see without any magnification. Looking Glass Rock remained under the surface of the newly formed Appalachian Mountains. Over millions of years as the mountains slowly eroded it became exposed. Erosion has in turn weathered Looking Glass Rock to form a smooth sided granitic dome.
The Looking Glass Rock Trail climbs about 1700ft in just over 3 miles. You will be rewarded with a spectacular 180 degree view from the top. There are also several good campsites on and near the summit. Looking Glass rock is not only popular with hikers, but many rock climbers use the area as a training ground for repelling and climbing up.
To claim credit for this earthcache you must meet the following requirements:
1. Hike the Looking Glass Rock Trail to the above coordinates. The trail is well marked and there is no reason to leave the trail. Take a picture of the view which includes you and your GPSr and upload the photo when you post your log entry.
2. Email me the answers to the following questions:
Can you see any of the individual mineral crystals in Looking Glass Rock with the naked eye?
What is the elevation at the summit of Looking Glass Rock?
For more information on Looking Glass Rock click the above logo.
For more information on Pisgah National Forest click to above logo.