sw virginia hikes: Cold Mountain, August 22 2015

VA_ColdM_2information

  • Cold Mountain (most data from Hiking Upwards, a good guide to local hikes)
  • type: loop
  • distance: 5.8 miles
  • elevation change: 1490 ft
  • time: 2.5 hours (for us, listed 3.5 on hiking upwards)
  • location: George Washington National Forrest near Buena Vista, VA
  • Can be connected with sister hike, Mount Pleasant for a 11 mile loop

report

We were joined by Chris, Tori, and Kevin and their dogs on a mild and sunny Saturday. We were looking for a moderate hike and I’d say we found one. However, we did this hike in reverse of the directions given on Hiking Upwards, so we reached the Cold Mountain Saddle first. The saddle was by far the best view on the entire loop with views of the valley on both sides. Furthermore, the layerings of mountains in the distance made the scene. The rest of the trail was pretty typical Virginia summer hikes, including a lot green that shielded the route. My recommendation would to hike this loop the standard way on the Hotel trail to Cowcamp Gap shelter and then back north on the AT. Lastly, there are a couple of apple trees on this route. They should be good in a couple more weeks.

ratings (1-5)

  • views: 2 (mostly just for the Cold Mountain Saddle)
  • difficulty: 2 (the trail contains almost no flat sections, so a good amount of up and down)
  • technical: 1

pictures

The field at Cold Mountain Saddle.
The field at Cold Mountain Saddle.
Apple tree at the top of Cold Mountain.
Apple tree at the top of Cold Mountain.
Top of Cold Mountain.
Top of Cold Mountain.
View north off the AT.
View north off the AT.
Open field where there is a nice camping spot.
Open field where there is a nice camping spot.

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