Trail

Cravens House to Sunset Rock

Chattanooga, TN
Length: 3.00 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

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Sunset Rock is an iconic viewpoint on Lookout Mountain, overlooking the city of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River. There are several trails that lead to the overlook. The quickest and easiest is a .1 mile trail from , however for good hiking that is appropriate for older walkers and babies in carriers, the 3 mile loop from the historic Cravens House is the best way to experience these incredible views.

 

From the Cravens House parking lot, the trail starts a slow climb towards an intersection about 150 yards in. To the right is the Rifle Pits Trail, but turn left for the Cravens Trail. This goes slowly up, passing large boulders that are great for kids to play on, with a gentle slope dropping off to the right. Halfway up you will pass under the “trail tree;” a large oak with a branch that extends over the trail. At the one mile point you reach another intersection; to the right leads to Point Park, and to the left the Bluff Trail towards the Sunset Rock overlook.

From here the trail gets more technical; while the first mile is appropriate for walkers of any age, the Bluff Trail winds underneath towering sandstone bluffs to the left, and sharp drop offs to the right. At this point a carrier is recommended for toddlers if they have a tendency to run off without warning. These bluffs are also popular with rock climbers, and it is common to see climbers while you hike.

You reach a final intersection where a set of stone steps turns to the left. Follow these for a steep 100 foot gain in elevation. Once you reach the top there will be a few small overlooks to the left before finally reaching the main overlook, indicated with a historical marker detailing the significance of this location during the Americans Civil War.

Return to your car the way you came, unless you have a second vehicle you were able to leave at the top, in which case continue up the trail for a final .1 mile to the upper parking lot.

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Trail Features

Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 491 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles
Yes

Trail highlights

Shaded Hike and Viewpoint

The views at the top are spectacular; among the best in the Chattanooga area. Aptly named, the western view affords amazing views of the sunset. However this means the overlook can get very crowded, especially around sunset on a nice day.

Other Trails in Lookout Mountain

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

Parking is available at the Cravens House. The lot is open from dawn until dusk, and the gates are locked at dark. If you plan to stay for the sunset, ensure you will have time to return to your car before it is locked in.

If you choose to do the short hike to the summit from the upper parking lot, parking is extremely limited there, and towing is strictly enforced on the road outside the lot.

Trail Contributor

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I am the Branch Ambassador for Hike It Baby Chattanooga. A native of Richmond, VA, I spent most of my adolescence and early adulthood hiking and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and once my children were born started taking them on adventures with me! I am a portrait photographer and freelance writer, trying to hike my way through all the trails southeastern Tennessee has to offer.

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