Beam Rocks Overlook is one of the most scenic mountain vistas in the Laurel Highlands of western Pennsylvania!
Located in the Forbes State Forest near the Westmoreland / Somerset County line, it offers a fantastic 180° view from high above the treetops and the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail below.
The hike to and from Beam Rocks Overlook is an easy one, provided you know where to start.
A one mile out and back hike along a well maintained trail, with less than 100 feet of elevation change between the parking area and the overlook.
So where DO you start the hike to this outstanding overlook?
How to Find Beam Rocks Overlook in the Forbes State Forest
- From Route 30 near the Westmoreland / Somerset County line, turn onto Laurel Summit Road.
- Travel 4 miles on Laurel Summit Road.
The first 2 miles will be paved road. After passing Laurel Mountain Ski Area, the last 2 miles will be dirt state forest road.
- Arrive at Beam Rocks parking area at GPS coordinates 40.13467, -79.16372 .
- Proceed down the Beam Rocks Trail from the back of the parking area.
- Arrive at Beam Rocks Overlook after hiking 0.5 miles.
Exploring Beam Rocks Overlook
First a few words on safety.
Heed the warnings posted by the DCNR.
Having said that, Beam Rocks Overlook is a very relaxing place.
It offers fantastic views and stellar “leaf peeping” in the fall.
How far you can see depends on the weather, of course.
On a foggy morning, you’re lucky if you can see a hundred yards.
Whereas on a clear day, you can see for what seems like a hundred miles.
Exploring the Crevices At Beam Rocks
In between several of the enormous rocks are crevices large enough to walk through.
As I mentioned earlier, use caution when exploring these areas between the rocks.
The Return Hike
Returning to your vehicle is a simple matter of backtracking for a half-mile along the Beam Rocks Trail.
The return hike is ever so slightly uphill – 90 feet of elevation change over the course of the 0.5 mile trip.
Hiking to Beam Rocks in the Winter
Beam Rocks Overlook is beautiful in the winter!
Getting to the trailhead can be tricky, as Laurel Summit Road is typically NOT plowed past Laurel Mountain Ski Area.
But if you’re able to get to the trailhead, the hike itself is relatively easy as far as winter hikes go.
And that view – well worth the effort!
Beam Rocks Overlook makes for an excellent beginner’s hike – a one mile out and back hike to a superb vista and rock formation, with very little elevation change.
If you’re exploring the best vistas in the Laurel Highlands, then Beam Rocks Overlook has to find its way onto your bucket list!
Wolf Rocks Overlook is just minutes from Beam Rocks Overlook in the Forbes State Forest.
Linn Run State Park is a 612 acre park in Westmoreland County, popular with hikers, campers, and picnickers.
Spruce Flats Bog is a unique, 28-acre high-altitude ecosystem located less than 2 miles from Beam Rocks Overlook.
Fish Run Falls in the Forbes State Forest may be the prettiest little waterfall in Westmoreland County that you’ve never heard of!
Mill Creek Falls is located near the base of Laurel Mountain, on the Westmoreland County side.
For a complete list of all the best waterfalls in the area, check out 24 Must-See Waterfalls in the PA Laurel Highlands.
The abandoned hunting lodge at Linn Run State Park is a remarkable set of ruins from the early days of “retreat camping” in western Pennsylvania.
The 14 Best Scenic Overlooks in the Laurel Highlands gives you directions to ALL the best views in the region!.
Exploring Laurel Hill State Park in Somerset County will introduce you to some of the best things to see and do at this iconic Laurel Highlands destination.
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