Mount Rogers National Recreation Area - Virginia

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BJett

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Tucked away in the southwest corner of Virginia, Mount Rogers and vicinity...Grayson Highlands State Park, Little Wilson Creek and Lewis Fork Wilderness Areas...is an Appalachian treasure. Located in the George Washington National Forest near Abingdon and Damascus, VA, these areas are very well known with the Appalachian Trail crowd...some of the best Mid-Atlantic sections are found here...and also well known for world class mountain biking, rock climbing and beer drinking with the multitude of breweries found in the region.

Mt. Rogers itself is the highest point in Virginia at 5,729'. No views at the top, but a cool hike thru a surreal forest. The views are found along the extensive trail networks around Wilburn Ridge, Pine Mountain and Grayson Highlands. Open mountain balds, spruce-fir forests and the highlight for many are the wild ponies, thought to be related to the feral Assateague horses on the coast.

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Tuesday morning...
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Wednesday morning...
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camp amongst the wild pony poop
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5,729' Mount Rogers, the underwhelming highest point in VA
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Early morning clouds and fog took over for most of the day. This place makes its own weather.
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BJett

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Did you feed the ponies?
never! highly frowned upon. but a few of them can be a bit too friendly. I've heard some funny stories.
 

wsp_scott

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Nice, I've have a free weekend coming up for backpacking and was going to go to Big South Fork, but the heat we are having is making me thinking of higher elevations. Trying to decide on a return to Grayson Highlands or somewhere new. This is definitely tilting me towards a repeat visit.

thanks for the inspiration
 

BJett

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Trying to decide on a return to Grayson Highlands or somewhere new
Have you spent any time in Cumberland Gap NP? Another great place to spend a few nights up top...Hensley Settlement, White Rocks and Martins Fork. Views to the east are amazing.
 

wsp_scott

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Have you spent any time in Cumberland Gap NP? Another great place to spend a few nights up top...Hensley Settlement, White Rocks and Martins Fork. Views to the east are amazing.
Interesting idea, Cumberland Gap has been on my radar for a backpacking trip, just never happened. I'll have to look into it, thanks for the suggestion.
 

Miya

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Awww ponies...they would have got sick of me taking 1000s of photos haha.

Very lovely! Enjoyed seeing some different scenery. :)
 

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Tipi Walter

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Great pics of a great area. I started backpacking the Mt Rogers area back in the 1980s and have some neato pics from the early days.

In the last ten years I've pulled two long trips there---one of 19 days and one 20 day trip---and parked my car at the NRA headquarters about 30 miles north on the AT. Trips are here---



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This is one of the early trips---and this pony bit me on the butt for not giving him the apple in my hand. At the Wise shelter.

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One of my favorite camps is on Stone Mt above Scales next to Bear Tooth Rock.

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This is Wilburn Ridge showing the AT at a place I call Grandmother Gap.
 

BJett

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Great pics of a great area. I started backpacking the Mt Rogers area back in the 1980s and have some neato pics from the early days.
Very cool! I've read some of your epic TR's from Joyce Kilmer and Citico. I'm hoping to do a much longer trip to Mt. Rogers next spring, looks like lots of options. Great pics btw!
 

Nodust

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Great pics. Thanks for sharing. Really need to make a trip there with my sons.

We had one planned but family things came up and never made it. Beautiful
 

wsp_scott

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Very cool! I've read some of your epic TR's from Joyce Kilmer and Citico. I'm hoping to do a much longer trip to Mt. Rogers next spring, looks like lots of options. Great pics btw!
Out of curiosity, what are you thinking for longer?

I've had my eye on a loop out of Damascus connecting the Iron Mountain trail and the AT, roughly 75 miles, but I don't see the possibility of a longer loop without a lot of out and back on the AT.
 

BJett

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