Mount Rogers

This summer, while hiking with my parents in the Colorado Rockies, we made plans to meet with their friends Nancy and Gates in the fall to hike Mount Rogers.

Mount Rogers is the highest point in Virginia at  5,729 feet and is part of the greater Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.  The summit itself is on a broad, forested, hilltop and lacks the grandeur of some of the Colorado peaks, but the trails in the area offer plenty of scenic miles and a variety of conditions.  In addition to the landscape, Mount Rogers is also known for its wild ponies, which roam free within much of the national forestland.

I’ve been to this area a few times before, but never all of the way to the top.  Being most familiar with the area among the group, I was tasked with creating our route.  I choose a combination of several interconnected trails and included a short, off-trail section to connect two parallel routes allowing us a return track different from the way we came.  The overall course would start from the Grayson Highlands State Park and be about 10 miles with just over 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Continue Reading →

Dragon’s Tooth

Not wanting to waste a summer weekend, my father and I made plans to hike to Dragon’s Tooth.

Dragon’s Tooth is a summit just off of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in Catawba, Virginia.  The classic route is the Dragon’s Tooth trail:  A 3 mile trail which partially shares the AT on its way to the top.

Our choice is a longer route starting at the McAfee Knob trailhead and heading South on the AT until it joins with the Dragon’s Tooth trail.  This will add about 4 miles and travel along a ridgeline with ample opportunity for scenic views.   Continue Reading →