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Virginia Highpoint - Mount Rogers - 5729 ft

6 Dec 2004, around 11 am.  Highpoint #15.
Back to 2004 Southeast Highpoint Expedition

At 4 miles each way, with 1100 feet of elevation gain, I had somehow convinced myself that this would be a gradually uphill hike.  Not correct!  The weather forecast was for rain, all day long.  I started at Grayson Highlands State Park, in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.  In the summer, this is supposedly a very popular hike, but as I pulled into in the large parking lot at Massie Gap, in the fog and rain, there was not a single other soul around.  I started up the Rhododendron Trail, which soon connected with a piece of the Appalachian Trail for a few miles, and finally to the Mount Rogers Spur Trail which led to the summit.  (At the time, I assumed that I was correctly on the AT.  However, I may have been on the Wilburn Ridge Trail, which is supposedly much rockier than the AT.  I do remember being confused my multiple colors of blazes.)  This turned out to be a pretty rugged hike, as much of the trail went steeply through rocky areas, which were slippery in the rain.  I did not make good time on this trail!  In clear weather, there are supposedly great views from the trail, but on this day all I could see were rock formations looming through the fog, which were still kind of neat.  The views would have disappeared on the final spur trail to the summit, which is enclosed in trees, and leads finally to the very unexceptional summit.  If it weren't for the USGS marker, I wouldn't have been entirely sure that this was the top!  I returned the same way, and made it back to the car without seeing anybody else at all.

Of the highpoints that I visited on this trip, I would be most interested in returning to this one, for a chance to see the nice views along the trail, especially when the flowers are in bloom.

The not-quite awe-inspiring summit of Mount Rogers.

Me on the high point.  Note the blaze orange vest.

Some ponies graze on the area that the trail crosses.