Ascent of Rich Mountain on 2012-10-27
|Date:||Saturday, October 27, 2012|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Location:||USA-North Carolina|
| Elevation:||3782 ft / 1152 m|
Ascent Trip ReportI investigated several approaches for this one. The route I describe here is the one I eventually used.
On US-276, 0.5 mile W of the junction with Cascade Lake Rd in the town of Cedar Mtn, turn N on Rich Mtn Rd, which is paved. Call this point mile 0.0. At 2.7 miles the pavement ends; the winding gravel beyond is no problem for any street legal vehicle. At 3.9 miles, turn L on Fox Tower Rd. At 4.5 miles the road reaches the top of a hill and begins to dip to a gate with no sign. Though the road is narrow, I was able to turn around and park near the crest.
I hiked beyond the gate. The road climbed gradually and reached a very tall radio mast. I veered L past it and the road condition worsened. Soon thereafter I turned L at a junction. Be sure to note this junction and turn R at it on your return trip; I didn't at first, and found myself descending below the mast until I realized my mistake. The road eventaully ends at an anchor for one of the guy wires that stay the mast. Pushing through a brief line of brush, I entered open forest on the upper N flank of Rich Mtn. After a few minutes I reached a road that was in good driveable condition; I'm not sure where this road originates, but it's probably one of the other approaches I investigated which is heavily posted. I turned R and followed this road uphill until it soon reached the summit, which harbors a small radio facility and a small deteriorating forest hut whose condition is somewhat less than habitable.
|Summary Total Data|
| Elevation Gain:||432 ft / 131 m|
| Distance:||1.2 mi / 1.9 km|
| Trailhead:||Fox Tower Rd 3350 ft / 1021 m|
| Route Conditions:||Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack|
| Time Up:||30 Minutes|
| Time Down:||20 Minutes|
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