Thursday, November 12, 2015
Hawksbill Summit - November 2015 edition
Besides hitting a deer midway through my vacation in the Valley, I had the opportunity to get out for a little day hike, choosing Hawksbill Mountain in Shenandoah National Park as my destination (link here).
As I drove to the park and then along Skyline Drive, I calculated in my mind that this was the first time this year I had been in the park – so I resolved to savor the trip and see if I could get a few good photographs.
Included in the post are some panoramic views of the Valley, taken from the drive as I passed milestones on the way to the trailhead – including Stonyman (wikipedia link), and the approach to Hawksbill (wikipedia link). I’m including the shot I always love to get of Old Rag (wikipedia link)from the summit, as well as one of the evergreens that can be seen along the trail.
We’ve had a stretch of unseasonably warm days, Indian summer style. The change left the air clear of haze, and gave unusually clear views of the valley below.
The Hawksbill Summit trail I most often take starts at the upper parking area and is a 2.1 mile out-and-back route with 520 feet of elevation change (there are a couple of up-and-downs, so the net gain is less, around 400 feet). I consider it an easy day hike – it’s a leg stretcher I enjoy whenever I have the time for a short hike in the park, with some incredible views from the summit.
I was really glad to check the box on a trip to the park this fall. I hope that I’ll have another chance later this month or early December, weather permitting!