At any rate, it was a good hike. The trail is very, very steep as you approach the summit. It hits the mountain head-on with no switchbacks. It’s roughly as steep as the Woody Ridge Trail in the Black Mountains, but doesn’t hold that steepness for as long as the Woody Ridge path manages. Still, I had to very carefully pick my way down as I headed back. A fall there would be dangerous.
Oddly, the rims of the Gorge held onto huge cloud formations with some tenacity, making for difficulty in grabbing good photos. I did manage a few decent shots, but it wasn’t easy.
After the hike I went over to the Linville Falls picnic area on the Parkway and had lunch. Then I drove over to Beacon Rock and took a few shots there, but again Grandfather Mountain (aka Tanawha) was socked in by clouds lingering over the summits.
After that I headed home. It was a good day.
|I was the only one at the trailhead. Parking is at a premium at this trailhead. Maybe four spots.|
|View from the first set of cliffs.|
|From closer to the Sitting Bear summit looking back on the spot where I took the time lapse video.|
|Now and again the clouds would break. Right after this it got really dark and misty and made photography difficult.|
|The Linville Falls Picnic Area is amazing. Right by the Linville River.|
|Then I drove over to Beacon Rock below Grandfather Mountain. Most people don’t know there’s a GrandMOTHER Mountain. This is it, as seen from the exposed surface of Beacon Rock. It has a horrible radio tower, which is hear mainly hidden by clouds.|
|Tanawha was a tease. She played with the clouds and refused to reveal all of her beauty. At 5,964 feet she is technically the highest summit in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Less than 40 feet shy of 6,000 feet.|