Ascent of Spruce Knob on 2017-07-09

Climber: Morris Zwick

Date:Sunday, July 9, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Spruce Knob
    Location:USA-West Virginia
    Elevation:4861 ft / 1481 m

Ascent Trip Report

Even though this is in a neighbor state, it is still a four-hour drive and the weather can be sketchy, so when I saw an excellent forecast and had the time to spare, I made the decision to make the drive.

There is a trail you can take to the summit (Huckleberry Trail) but I didn't have the time so I drove up the access road to the summit parking area. If you plan to do this on a nice day on the weekend in the summer I would suggest an early arrival as there seemed to be as many parking spaces as they have at EPCOT (a small exaggeration, but still a lot of parking at the top).

Depending on where you park, it is about a 1/4 flat hike to the summit tower. The reference benchmark just behind the tower is there, but if you follow where it's arrow is pointing, you will find the spot where the benchmark used to be. First benchmark I have ever seen physically removed.

Since this was a beautiful day, the view to the east was spectacular. The view to the west is somewhat obscured by trees. There is a .5 mile trail loop that starts below the tower and hits several nice overlooks. In between you are in beautiful boreal forest, similar to (but not as dense as) the forests on Clingman's Dome, Mount Mitchell and Mount Rogers. You also see trees affected by krummholz due to the prevailing severe weather from the west. Since it was a good 15 degrees cooler up at the summit, this place is probably pretty miserable in the winter.

The road up is a little narrow but in fine shape. I can't imagine what it was like before they paved it. Or what it is like when it snows since they don't plow the road up.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:25 ft / 7 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    Trailhead:4836 ft / 1474 m
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:10 Minutes

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