Ascent of Panther Top on 2019-10-17
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
|Date:||Thursday, October 17, 2019|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Location:||USA-North Carolina|
| Elevation:||2293 ft / 698 m|
Ascent Trip ReportAn easy road walk eastbound ... 1.4 miles, 413' gain, 55 minutes RT
From the city of Murphy I went west to the JCT Hwy #64/74 and Hwy #294, where I turned right on 294 and at 0.8 miles north turned right onto Panther Top Road. I followed the paved Panther Top (northbound) for
2 miles to a 4-Way JCT with a bunch of signs. I turned right (still on Panther Top Road but the road becomes gravel, also signs "Panther Top Tower" point the way) as the road heads northeast, then bends to the southeast and comes to its crest at 1.2 miles. The road continues straight (southeast) as FS85A, on the left is FS85 with a locked gate which climbs east 0.7 miles to the summit. This road crest was my TH (35.06320,-84.10796), parking is available for a few cars.
I quickly walked the gradual road 0.7 miles to the top with a beautiful Fire Tower and be pleasantly surprised. The whole summit area has been cleared of surrounding trees and is now a manicured lawn, providing an outstanding 360 degree panorama. The cabin was locked, found the BM "PANTHER 1977".
So far I have not seen a North Carolina Fire Tower summit like this one. The most interesting observation for this day was the 8-10 fire fighters with 3 trucks, all working on clearing the remaining tall trees in the area. They told me that the powers-to-be want a full 360 panorama.
"WE DON'T LET OUR HAIR GROW LONG AND SHAGGY LIKE THE HIPPIES OUT IN SAN FRANCISCO DO.
I'M PROUD TO BE AN OKIE FROM MUSKOGEE, A PLACE WHERE EVEN SQUARES CAN HAVE A BALL. ............... merle haggard's lyrics from "okie from muskogee"
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||413 ft / 125 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||1.4 mi / 2.2 km|
| Route:||road walk eb|
| Trailhead:||crest of Panther Top Road 1880 ft / 573 m|
| Route Conditions:||Road Hike|
| Time:||17 Minutes|
| Time:||13 Minutes|
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