|Roaring Fork Falls.|
|Set Rock Falls.|
|The water below the falls is really clear.|
|Mt. Craig from Mt. Mitchell parking area.|
|Clouds burning off of Mt. Mitchell.|
|View from the restaurant.|
|The clouds moving in to drown out sunset at Mt. Mitchell.|
It was growing increasingly cold and the clouds were moving in heavier by the minute, she decided to find another location to attempt some views of sunset. We left the mountain and rejoined the parkway heading toward Asheville. I had never traveled this area and was impressed with the killer views and we stopped at several overlooks. One overlook was across a gorge to a huge waterfall in the distance. Glassmine Falls is over 200ft high but begs to be explored more closely. We all agreed we had to find a route to it's base, if for nothing more than to say we had been there! From there we passed the Asheville watershed and one of the most beautiful views I think exists on the parkway. The evening sun lit the surrounding mountains perfectly and the large lake below looked like a mirror, I was truly in heaven. The sun was sinking quickly and I was unsure were we were heading as we pulled into the parking lot for Craggy Gardens. She pointed out a trail that led us through thick Rhododendron before opening up on a rocky peak with stunning views in every direction. There were a few people on the rock with us but they headed out as we arrived and we had the entire mountain to ourselves for sunset. The cold was fierce now but we all had blankets and staked our claims to separate rocks to watch the sun fall from the sky.
|Sunset from Craggy.|
The sunset was a perfect end to the day, purple and pinks dominated the horizon and as the last light faded we hiked out satisfied with one of our more adventurous days. Looking back on it now, it still stands as one of my favorite days in a year that's featured nearly 500 miles of hiking. Stay tuned as I have several big hikes planned to close the year, and hopefully some to get 2015 off to a great start. Until next time, happy trails!