Ascent of Rough Ridge-Ship Rock on 2013-07-27

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Saturday, July 27, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rough Ridge-Ship Rock
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:4680 ft / 1426 m

Ascent Trip Report

This is one of my favorite short Parkway hikes, featuring an arch bridge over a waterfall, a curious stone pillar, a boardwalk along a protected ridge, sheer cliffs where you're likely to encounter rock climbers, and a neck-craning perspective of Grandfather Mtn towering a thousand feet above you.

It's just over a mile roundtrip from the Rough Ridge overlook, mostly following the Mountain-to-Sea Trail (this stretch is also known as the Tanawha Trail). Ship Rock (which looks like a southbound schooner in the evening sun from the Parkway) is a jagged cliff on the west side but easy to walk up from the trail. Cables help create a safety barrier near the top. The trail is easy to follow but is very rocky and tends to collect water.

You can continue west on the MST another two miles to the Linn Cove visitors center, passing under the viaduct on the way. Just beyond the visitors center is another spectacular section called Stack Rock.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:440 ft / 134 m
    Total Elevation Loss:440 ft / 134 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Calm, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:440 ft / 134 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 0.9 km
    Route:Rough Ridge/MST westbound
    Start Trailhead:Rough Ridge overlook BRP  4240 ft / 1292 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:440 ft / 134 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 0.9 km
    End Trailhead:Rough Ridge overlook BRP  4240 ft / 1292 m

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