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.
Beam Rocks Overlook and the Beam Rocks Trail 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!
Also be sure to check out Baughman Rock Overlook in neighboring Fayette County, if you haven’t already.
Looking for more great adventures in the Forbes State Forest?
Then check out Cole Run Falls and the Cole Run Trail loop hike.