20 Places to See Sunrises and Sunsets Near Greenville, SC

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Looking for the best views of sunrises or sunsets in and around Greenville, SC? We’ve got that list. So grab your coffee, camera, and snacks and pick a good one!

Max-Patch Sunrise
Sunrise at Max Patch

This article includes:
See the Sunrise Near Greenville, SC
Great Places to See the Sunset Near Greenville, SC
Amazing Spots to See Sunrise and Sunset Near Greenville, SC

There’s nothing quite that feeling of being the first to see the sun creep over the horizon or the last to see it go down over the mountains. In higher elevations, you just never know what you’re going to see, how the clouds will sweep over the cliffs and summits or layer just right to set up a once-in-a-lifetime photo. 

Since we live in the foothills, you’ll have to travel a bit to get to those higher elevations for gorgeous sunrises and sunsets but we think you’ll find some good spots with our list. As always, practice Leave No Trace principles so we can all enjoy the beautiful outdoors!

We are also including a map here since many of the places don’t have a traditional address. The list is organized by driving distance from Greenville.

Sunrises

Pretty Place 

The most popular place to watch the sunrise near Greenville is at Pretty Place on the property of Camp Greenville. The chapel is known for the breathtaking views of the majestic mountains against the foreground of an enormous cross. 

Hours: Open sunrise to sunset except during private events and summer camps (always check the schedule before going up there)
Hike: None
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Photo courtesy of YMCA Camp Greenville

Wigington Overlook

This sweeping view of Lake Jocassee is just amazing. It’s a great spot to hang out and watch the sunrise. 

Hours: Open 24/7
Hike: None
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Wigington Overlook

Craggy Pinnacle

Sunrises are stunning from this high point off the Blue Ridge Parkway although you can also see sunsets from here at the summit. All at least 20 minutes to hike to the summit.

Hours: Open 24/7 except during winter when the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed. 
Hike: 1.4 miles round trip 
Distance from Greenville: 2 hours and 5 minutes

Bad Creek Overlook

This hidden overlook is down past the Bad Creek Hydro Station on your way to Whitewater Falls access. Duke Energy owns Lake Jocassee and this is where their hydro station lies. All the way down the road is a beautiful overlook of the lake. 

Hours: Open 24/7
Hike: None
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Sunsets

Caesars Head State Park 

The park is part of the South Carolina State Parks system and has direct views of Table Rock to the West. 

Hours: 9 am – 9 pm daily during daylight saving time;  9 am – 6 pm daily the remainder of the year. 
Hike: None
Distance from Greenville: 55 minutes

Caesars Head

Grant Meadow Overlook

The pull-off overlook has a beautiful view of Table Rock and is located directly off Highway 11.

Hours: Open 24/7
Hike: None
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour

Jump Off Rock

The serene Jump Off Rock near Hendersonville, NC looks to the West out to the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are some benches to sit and relax and enjoy the views. 

Hours: Open 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after
Hike: None 
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Wildcat Rock Trail

Part of the Conserving Carolina trail system, this trail climbs 1,800 feet but you get panoramic views perfect for sunset. 

Hours: As long as you’re off the trail by dark, you’re good. Bring a headlamp just in case. 
Hike: 3 miles round trip
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Jumping Off Rock

Sunset views are abundant at the Jumping Off Rock overlook, which has gorgeous views of Lake Jocassee. You have to drive on a very bumpy, dirt road (Horsepasture Road) to get there. 

Hours: open all the time; the road is open year-round but will sometimes close (see SCDNR for updates)
Hike: None
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Both Sunrise and Sunset

Glassy Mountain

The closest spot to see both the sunrise and sunset to Greenville, Glassy Mountain grants views along the trail to the East for sunrise and overlooks to the West for sunset. You can hike or drive to the top and walk a quarter mile or so to a good spot.

Hours: Open 24/7
Hike: 1.3 mile round trip
Distance from Greenville: 35 minutes

Bald Rock Heritage Preserve 

While you won’t have a direct East or West view, you will get a beautiful sunrise or sunset with some trees dotting the horizon.

Hours: While there is no gate, the Preserve is typically open just before sunrise to sunset due to the vandals who have graffitied the entire rock. 
Hike: None
Distance from Greenville: 45 minutes

Sassafras Mountain

Views are stunning from Sassafras Mountain, the highest point in South Carolina at 3,553 feet. You can see northward into North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains and southward into the Jocassee Gorges and everywhere in between. There is a paved path to the top after a short walk.

Hours: One hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset; if the road is too icy, SCDNR will close it.
Hike: No
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Bearwallow Mountain

One of my most favorite hikes in our area because you can see for miles all around you, which lend to beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The hike isn’t hard either. 

Hours: As long as you’re off the trail by dark, you’re good. Bring a headlamp just in case.
Hike: 2 miles round trip, all uphill on the way there
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Bearwallow Mountain

Black Balsam Knob

A popular spot for 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Black Balsam Knob does not disappoint. Dress for changing weather as it’s high, over 6,000 feet in elevation.

Hours: Open 24/7
Hike: 1.3 miles round trip
Distance from Greenville: 2 hours

Frying Pan Tower

Views from this firetower off the Blue Ridge Parkway are unparalleled. Of course, you need to climb the rickety tower but hey, I’ve done it several times and made it down to tell the tale. If you go during the winter, the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed and you’ll have to hike down the road an extra 4 miles round trip to get to the trailhead, which is all uphill till you get to the tower. 

Hours: Open 24/7
Hike: 1.5 miles round trip unless you hike during the winter on a closed Blue Ridge Parkway, then it’s 5.5 miles round trip
Distance from Greenville: 2 hours 

Frying Pan Tower

Rabun Bald

Head south to Georgia to Rabun Bald to take in a sunrise or sunset. Be mindful of ice on the trail during wintertime.

Hours: Open 24/7
Hike: 3.4 mile loop 
Distance from Greenville: 2 hours

Lookout Mountain

Located in Montreat, NC, if you make it to the top of Lookout Mountain, you’ll get beautiful views of the Black Mountains. The trail is of moderate difficulty – the hard part is on your way up. Please be mindful of where you park as the trailhead is near a busy retreat center.

Hours: Open 24/7
Hike: 1.4 miles round trip 
Distance from Greenville: 2 hours

Waterrock Knob

Waterrock Knob summit is the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway at 6,273 feet and delivers incredible views of the Smokies and Blue Ridge Mountains – that is, if it’s clear weather. When I went, we couldn’t see anything due to the fog. But the trail was gorgeous and very steep on the way to the summit.

Hours: While the trail is never closed, the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed during the winter, making the trail inaccessible during that time.
Hike: 1.2 miles round trip
Distance from Greenville: 2 hours

Max Patch

The sunrise I saw through the clouds at Max Patch is one of the most beautiful and breath-taking I had ever seen. I choked up just being on top of that mountain and getting to witness the stunning majesty of the mountains at 4,600 feet. You’ll see the Great Smoky Mountains to the south and Mount Mitchell to the east. 

Hours: Open 24/7
Hike: 1.7 miles round trip (plan to spend around 20 minutes getting up to the top from the parking area)
Distance from Greenville: 2 hours and 20 minutes

Max Patch Sunrise


Clingman’s Dome

You’ll have to visit here during the spring, summer, or fall since the road is closed all winter. But if you make it to the observation tower at the top of a steep half mile hike, you’ll enjoy amazing, 360 degree views at 6,643 feet, the highest point in the Smoky Mountains. 

Hours: Open 24/7 except for winter
Hike: 1 mile round trip 
Distance from Greenville: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Which is your favorite, sunrise or sunset?

About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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