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Beautiful hike!

hiking
10 days ago

Challenging on the way up and much steeper than anticipated. Took Helon Taylor up to Pamola Peak and then down/up the Chimney, which was much more intimidating for me than the knife. Crowds bottle necked at Pamola and took a while to cross the Chimney, but was expected. The knife was awesome and worth the climb up 100 fold. The trip down was pretty brutal on the feet and poles may have helped a bit. Overall, one of my favorites and definitely one of the most challenging in New England. 12 hours is about what it took me and I'm in average shape. One of the best hikes E of the Mississippi without question.

Great trail that isn’t too challenging with some great Mountain View’s.

hiking
12 days ago

My brother and I did this hike back in August this year. The weather was great, not hot or cold, but it had rained the day before so it was a little muddy, and was very windy with strong gusts once we cleared the trees on Helon Taylor going up to Pamola Peak. Like others have mentioned, getting onto Knife Edge from Pamola was daunting to say the least. We both wore bouldering gloves which really helped when crossing Knife Edge. Be aware there is a scree when coming down from Baxter Peak to Saddle and can be slippery. We took Saddle down to Chimney Pond, which we hadn’t been aware is also another rock scramble in a dry wash - so be prepared. Eventually the dry wash turns into more of a trail. From there it’s an additional 3.5 miles to the trailhead. We made it back a few hours after dark, but had headlamps and trekking poles. What’s nice: there are painted blue trail guides so generally speaking the trail is easy to stick to.

Definitely was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting but the feeling of accomplishment can’t be beat! We had plenty of snacks and water and finished them all so make sure you bring plenty along. Our mistake was not stashing any food in the car to eat once back - there’s a “24/7” McDonald’s in Millinocket that we were hungry enough to eat, but was closed when we drove past and nothing else is open in that area after dark seems like, not even convenience stores.

Anyway - gotta say that this was a pretty great hike but not sure I’d do it again, but that’s not to deter anyone who wants to give it a shot! For me, it was a bucket list item and it feels good knowing I did it.

Gorgeous views from the tower. Very busy, lots of people when we were there. Concrete pathway with incline.

Very nice trail with incredible views from the observation tower! Trail is wide and paved, but steep.

It’s alright. Very, very busy. Fantastic views of the Smokies. Concrete path all the way up.

hiking
16 days ago

An excellent hike. I left from Massie Gap parking area in Grayson Highlands State Park and it took me about 5 hours round trip. That included some time for detours to scenic spots, snapping photos, and sitting down for a quick lunch.

The summit is surrounded by trees, so there is no view. However, not far away there are some some outstanding scenic overlooks.

The map and some of the posts are a little misleading in that there are three routes to the summit starting at these areas:
1) Grayson Highlands State Park
2) Grindstone Campground Trailhead (this is the route shown on this posting)
3) Elk Garden Trailhead

Fees for parking in the state part are $5 for VA residents and $7 for non-residents. Here is the link to a helpful map for Grayson Highlands Park: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/document/data/trail-guide-graysonhighlands.pdf

I will also post a pic I took of a poster with information on Mt. Rogers. It has history and shows the three routes.

Short hike, but with an incline. We went at sunrise hoping to see the sun hit the trees in the fall, but the fog was so thick we could see much at all. However, this didn’t bother me. It was absolutely beautiful – the fog rolling off the evergreens. I’d say this is a must do for everyone visiting the park. It’s a great spot with wonderful vantage points.

walking
16 days ago

extremely short nicely paved pathway from the parking lot to the top BUT the path goes straight up very challenging will stop a couple times to catch your breath but worth every View at the top

walking
16 days ago

Nice hike up the hill. Mighty cold on top but nothing you can’t survive.

Nice hike with quite a bit of incline. I struggled to get to the top, definitely had to stop and rest for a couple of minutes about 5 times! Views from the top are stunning!

Went their in the middle of October amazing views the walk would’ve been easy if I was in shape but the views at the end were totally worth it. Just take your time coming up the mountain. We came on a Friday and it was packed their was no where to park in the parking lot so we parked about a 1/2 mile down the road because that’s where most people were parking so be aware it gets busy lol but totally worth it

Excellent for kids. Nice trail for moderately fit people . Trail is easy just a bit of an incline. I did it with a 5 year old and he handled it well.quick movie at top of mountain

11/12/18
Bring micro spikes. The top of Thunderbolt and the summit are slippery with black ice. Also, stay clear of the potential for falling ice from the monument. We had a great day, taking our time, with sunny skis and temps in the mid 30s. I enjoyed this walk and the summit views are pretty spectacular. We spotted a mink, the cutest little predator ever. He was undaunted by us as he was so busy hunting field mice. All in all- fabulous hike and memorable experience.

hiking
26 days ago

Great little hike with quite a bit of inclined. I was up top on the tower for the better part of an hour waiting for the fog /clouds to clear. I finally got to see a few peaks of mountain tops coming through the clouds and it was amazing

hiking
27 days ago

There is a paved steep pathway to the observation deck. Not far but steep. Beautiful view from the top. Take the clingmans dome bypass trail back down to the parking lots it’s worth it. I wish I knew there was an adjacent trail before I saw the ranger at the deck.

Great hike. A lot of scrambling and very steep climbing in first leg. Whole thing took 2:20. Great views. Would not try if snow and ice on ground. First third is very well marked. Last two thirds are basically flat. Overall great hike.

hiking
28 days ago

Worth the hike. The view is something from a lord of the rings movie making it very rewarding from the climb up. The horses are beautiful. It has became a yearly visit from PA.

The hike to the top is very steep but the views are amazing and so worth it! Parking is a challenge.

hiking
1 month ago

May be slightly difficult for a beginning. Continuous uphill slope, but it has a nice view at the end with a picnic area. Very rocky (and slippery when wet). Make sure you have good boots!

Went to see the fall foliage on 03 November, but majority of leaves had fallen (cold season starts earlier there). Still well worth it. Beautiful moss covered rocks line many portions of the trail. Eventually, you walk along some roaring mountain streams. Probably not an "easy" trail, but certainly not hard. Would recommend as a pleasant day hike.

Great view from the tower.

Completed 10/30/18 - the trail is long and gradual. If you like to get the climbing out of the way, this trail is not for you. There was a couple inches of snow from the loj and once we reached the top there was more than a foot of snow. Clouded-out conditions once we reached the top, but the alpine zone was unbelievable, even without the mountain views it felt unreal. I wouldn't do this hike without spikes or snowshoes in the winter. Probably don't need snowshoes right now since there was huge rainstorms past couple of days, but waterproof hiking boots and spikes will be much needed. Lots of hidden puddles, mud, and run-off all under the snow tuesday made this trail a lot more daunting. The overall experience and trek of this hike made this my favorite journey I've ever embarked in Nature to date, the high peaks are surreal.

While we had no view at the top due to weather, the drive up was beautiful! The hike is an asphalt path which was fine for footing. Saw many people in street shoes as opposed to hiking shoes. Be aware on a wet day it might be slick coming down in street shoes. I’d do this again on a clear day.

Mount Marcy was a great hike. My wife and I just hiked the mountain on Nov. 1. The temperature was high 30s and a mix of precipitation. The snow started halfway and got a bit deeper as we went up. The trail changed from thick mud to seemingly endless boulders. There was a lot of snow covered ice and we needed to put on the microspikes to get traction on the rocks. Water streamed down the entire trail and could be seen in spots not covered in snow. There are a couple river crossings that required rock hopping. The water still came over our boots. My feet were wet for most of the trek thanks to leaky goretex boot linings. Wool socks made this more tolerable.
I'd say the trail wouldn't be technically difficult on a good summer day. However, the ice and snow made it a tougher and more time consuming trek. The mileage also made Marcy a physical challenge.
The summit area was completely covered in thick clouds that poured icy rain. We could barely see the trail behind us through the heavy fog. One must be careful not to lose their way in these conditions. Needless to say, we never encountered another soul on the trail throughout the hike. It was still worth the journey.

Not too strenuous of a hike, except for the quick incline. Go early morning and you’ll be the only ones up there!

Short (moderately steep) walk up a heavily traveled paved trail. This hike is on most tourists short list of things to see, so the parking lots fill up quickly. Make this hike on a clear and sunny day and you'll see mountains for miles. Dress appropriately. The temperature can be about 15 - 20 degrees cooler and the wind can be strong. Bathrooms available.

I'm an early Boomer who just had spinal fusion surgery in April....so I was a little apprehensive after reading reviews. We started at 7:30. Rainy and chilly in the parking lot. It stopped raining because it turned to hail and ice pellets. It's hard work after the first few miles. The rocks and roots and mud made it quite slippery. And worse when the snow started. We made it to Indian Falls where we bailed as the stones were almost underwater and we didn't have 'croutons'. The trip back down was actually harder because of more snow and mud and ice. We were the first ones out and back that day. If you want to avoid crowds go on a rainy cold day. I was surprised that I wasn't tired over the next few days. I'd definitely do it again on a sunny day.

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