First highpoint of 2021 and in almost two years. Beautiful and varied scenery, with dense pine forests and open scenic highlands with wild ponies. Absolutely poured for much of it with thunder and lightning but absolutely one of the best highpoints in the East and my second favorite so far after Katahdin.
A beautiful June day to do this hike starting in Grayson Highlands State Park. Saw ponies and long horns. Loved the variation of terrain. No view at the summit but nice views along the way and a fun trail in general.
The hike was great, cool temps and the trip up was nicely private. The summit could use some work, the trail blazes end a couple hundred feet before the summit. There is no indication as to where the summit is once you get there, and the marker is on the back side of the boulder. Lots of downed trees makes it hard to realize you were actually at the top.
Once you come to the boulders look to the right, there is a higher boulder, the marker is on the back side not quite at the top of the boulder.
Loved everything about this hike - the vast meadows, the rocks, the views, and the wild horses. It was like the West came East.
Ok, I expected snow. And long distance. And cold. Somehow that didn't add so I felt caught off guard with exactly how deep the snow was, and how far of a hike it was. It took my dog and me 3 hours to get to the top, breaking trail for most of it. Sometime snow dunes as deep as my waist covered the trail. But, it was sunny and very pleasant. Enjoyed the views and the adventure, but now we are pretty pooped.
Hike was interesting, the Shetland Ponies assigned to clearing an invasive species also leave their mark, everywhere.
The USGS marker is difficult to find. The trail comes to an end in a heavily wooded area. Any possible trails leading away end quickly.
Once you climb up the short ascent to where the trail ends, there is no bench, no mailbox, no markings, no indication you are at the end other than the trail dead ends. I told other hikers that when they reach that point, retrace your steps to the end of the obvious trail, walk forward about ten feet, look 90 degrees to to your left, and you will see a large flat rock rock about the size of a 1970s large car yet only as tall as a Ferrari. Climb on top of the that, center yourself in the middle, and then look at your feet. There you will find the USGS Marker.
Great hike. Peaked with Leah (my awesome wife), Dave, Kat and Skylar. Beautiful day. The horses (and bulls) were really cool. Loved every minute of it. Peak was in the middle of the woods but it was still the peak!!!
excellent hike, surprisingly chilly for June
great hike, wish the weather was better. the ponies are cute
This was an enjoyable hike.. I took the trail from Massie gap. I used Gaia and had it at 8.21 miles RT. 1,210 ft ascent. It took me 1:30 up and 1:20 down. Spent 10 minutes at summit.
So, what I like about the trail is the terrain mixes up quite a bit. Lots of rocky outcroppings and crossings, some enclosed spots surrounded by rhododendrons and whatnots, etc. Semi-wild ponies are also in the area. I saw 4-5, and walked right past them, as they are used to people. If you are there on a clear day, you will have certain spots where you get panoramic views. And, if you go in winter as I did, you get the whole area mostly to yourself. I really enjoyed the day, even though the wind and sleet/rain hit me on the way down.
Great hike, great ponies
I liked this hike, about 8 miles RT and seeing the ponies was a bonus.
HP# 29. Slept in the car at the Elk Meadow parking area of the AT. Took 1 hour 50 minutes to summit the next morning via the AT. Returned on the horse trail, took an hour and a half. With time on the summit, no views, whole gig was 3 hours 55 mins.
Arrive Grayson Highlands State Park with some snow flurries. Layered up since the temperature was 33 degrees. Hike to Mt Rogers is along a mild section of the Appalachian trail . On way up met with alot of water on the trail. started snowing mid way up and met with ice on the trail on the way down The wild horses were all along the trail and fun to watch Long hike due to weather - well worth it.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! First of five in a highpoint and whiskey trail driving vacation. Slogged through the hike in rain and mud, but embraced the suck and happily checked off another highpoint.
Saw plenty of ponies, including a mother and new foal. Glad some kids had beat me to the high point, never would have seen the marker.
I camped in the Grayson Highlands and summited Mt. Rogers through two rainstorms along the Appalachian Trail. Even met Favio, the stallion of the heard, appropriately named for his unique loooooooong blond mane and tail. In total it was 13.1 miles round trip and 1,917' elevation gain.
Good day hike on long weekend.