The hike to Craggy Pinnacle is only 1.4-miles round trip. The easy access off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville makes the 360-degree panorama of the Blue Ridge Mountains a popular destination. We left early Saturday (10-14-17) to beat the crowds and enjoy one of the best views in North Carolina.
The lower drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway was blanketed in dense fog. The curving of the road was unnerving. This did not bode well for viewing from higher elevations.
On the drive up we cleared the lower clouds and were treated to the Smokies Smokin’. The lower clouds wafted through the valleys and over peaks lit by sun through breaks in the overcast.
The misty trail ran through mostly bare rhododendron, mountain laurel, blueberry bushes and twisted birch trees creating an eerie atmosphere.
I’m sure this twisted birch tree is featured in photos of every hiker that passes this way.
We were alone on the trail up and only one man waited for the fog to clear when we arrived at the pinnacle. Visibility was zero. It would be a cold, windy and moist wait for the spectacular view.
As the frigid morning slowly passed, more people arrived. A hiker showed me his photos of the scenery on a clear day to bolster my spirits.
Excitement built with each small break in the clouds blocking our view. Karen forgot to bring her shades when we left the truck in dense fog. The bright sunshine caused happy squinting.
The sun slowly chased away the clouds and revealed nature’s and man’s handiwork. That’s Asheville’s reservoir in the valley.
Craggy Pinnacle’s upper viewing area was packed after noon. The lower viewing area did not offer a 360-degree vista, but it was still inspiring.
We waited over 2-hours for the sky to clear and the glorious view of endless mountain ranges marching into the horizon was worth every minute. Below is a visitor center on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The bright sunshine created a new perspective of the trail for us to enjoy on the hike down.
The Blue Ridge Parkway was crowded in the afternoon on our drive back to Asheville. The slow pace was no problem with all the stunning overlooks to amaze us.