I looove sunrises and sunsets. Something about them is just so peaceful and grounding; you really can just sit and think for an hour without realizing it! On this particular morning I went to Blackrock Summit to watch the sunrise. We arrived at the Blackrock Summit parking area, packed our cameras into our bags, clicked on our headlamps and hiked the short half-mile in the dark up to the summit. The sky wasn't looking too promising for a good sunrise but to our surprise it ended up being a perfect canvas full of color! Also I loveeee when fog hangs low in the valley so seeing that made the sunrise just that much better.
Directions to the Blackrock Summit: Starting at the Blackrock Summit parking area (mile marker 84.4 on Skyline Drive), follow the Appalachian Trail south from the far end of the parking lot, so take a left. In a little less than a mile, the trail will open up and you will see a rocky talus slope (rock piles) to your right and left. Enjoy the view momentarily but continue up the trail to the summit. To get to the top of the summit you will have to do a bit of rock climbing. The trail is short and easy so it's perfect for a sunrise or sunset hike! To hike back down you can either retrace your steps down the Appalachian Trail or continue on the trail around the summit and it will bring you back down to the parking area, both are about the same distance.
This hike can be fairly crowded on weekends so I suggest going on a week day. If you do go on a weekend just get there really early to secure a good spot up on the outlook before the small morning crowds show up. For more information on the hike and to see a map go here.
By Jess Fincher
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