Very warm day for hiking at Pilot Mountain State Park. i checked out the Sassafras Trail, a nice little nature walk with an excellent vista looking over the Sauratown Range. Trip writeup to come at Two-Heel Drive.
Bathrooms at the Summit parking lot are still under construction, which functionaly means no running water available at the summit. Porta-Potties have been set up.
Our Half Dome hike during the summer of 2010. We thought we started late and would hit a lot of traffic at the base so we kept a pretty brisk pace out to the cables (this was before you needed permits during the weekdays), but ended up fine. Hit the summit just a hair past 4 hours, rested for about an hour at the top, then headed back via the John Muir Trail.
Stopped in on Clingmans Dome, a half-mile walk up a fairly steep paved path to see the 360-degree vistas from the viewing tower. Writeup at Two-Heel Drive.
The road to Clingmans Dome is closed in winter (December-March) and any other time weather warrants. Wind, rain, storms and blizzards can blow in very quickly -- at the very least make sure you've brought some rain gear.
The last day of our 3 day backpacking trip. We leave camp at Panther Creek and head towards the High Sierra Trail, which we take back to civilization at Crescent Meadow. Along the way you will see beautiful waterfalls and snow covered mountain tops in the distance. Many more water crossings than during the previous 2 days. We stop and spent some time at Eagle View and taking in the amazing views.
Day 2 of our 3 day backpacking trip, and our only full day of hiking. First, we leave our backpacks and gear at our camp in Mehrten Meadow and head out to summit Alta Peak @ 11,200 ft. The trail had some areas of snow cover which required some scrambling but nothing that required crampons.The last 500 feet or so before the summit was covered in snow.
We start from the Wolverton parking lot mid-morning on a 4.2 mi hike that brings us to the amazing vista at Panther Gap and finish at Mehrten Meadow where we camp for the night.
I went to the Craggy Gardens area of the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 20 mile north of Asheville, NC. I missed the rhododendron bloom by a few weeks, but there were still ample examples of local color and gnarled trees, two of my favorite things.Trip writeup at Two-Heel Drive
Best time to come is in early to mid-June, when the Rhododendron bloom is out in full force.
Rugged hike from Profile Trail parking area to Calloway Peak at Grandfather Mountain State Park.This is from one of the two "free" trailheads (it costs $15 per person to drive to the top and hike the summit trails) -- note that if you think you're going to save $15 and hike all the summit trails too, you'd better be in extremely good physical condition (like a triathlete or something) ...
Long hot hike up the Indian Creek Trail from Dan River in Hanging Rock State Park. It's just under 4 miles up to the Hanging Rock Visitor Center parking lot, then a short, steep climb to Hanging Rock along the Hanging Rock Trail.The first two miles of Indian Creek Trail from the Dan River to the road leading into the park climb gently through thick forest -- nice hiking if you get an early start.
Short moderate hike to Swinging Bridge followed by crazy-rugged 2.5-mile out-and-back to MacRea peak. Despite short distance, it's a very strenuous outing with multple ladder and cable ascents. Trip write-up at Two-Heel Drive
Be ready for anything at Grandfather Mountain (even bears). Weather can go bad on you very quickly, especially on summer afternoons.