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Camping at Hanging Rock

posted Aug 1, 2011, 6:57 AM by Justin P
This weekend, we went camping at Hanging Rock.  We got to the park at about 9 in the morning on Saturday, and it was already getting hot.  We first hiked up the Hanging Rock trail to Hanging Rock and stopped for a while to enjoy the view.  It was a little too hazy to see all the way to Winston-Salem, but the views were great nonetheless.  After that, we hiked down and followed the Wolf Rock Trail and Cook's Wall Trail to the end, then headed back and took the Magnolia Springs Trail to Moore's Wall Loop Trail.  At this point it started to rain - and it was a downpour!  But the rain didn't last, and as we were hiking up to Moore's Wall, the sun came back out.  On top of Moore's Wall, we stopped again to dry off and enjoy the lovely breeze.  After a while, we hiked back down and set up camp.  Just before sunset, we hiked back to Moore's Wall and tried to watch the sunset.  It was too cloudy to see the sunset, but the views of the growing darkness over the land below was fantastic.  Then back to camp and time for bed.

Sunday morning we hiked to the waterfalls.  First, we hiked the Indian Creek Trail to Hidden Falls and Window Falls.  Then back to the visitor center to hike to Upper Cascade Falls.  After this, we drove out of the park to visit the Lower Cascade Falls and took a dip the basin to cool off.  Then back to the park to break down the campsite and head to Pilot Mountain for more hiking!  We parked at the visitor center and hiked up the Grindstone Trail to the parking lot at the summit.  We stopped at the Little Pinnacle Overlook to take pictures of Pilot Mountain, then hiked the Jameokee Trail around the Big Pinnacle and took the Ledge Springs Trail back to the Grindstone Trail and back to the visitor center.  It rained yet again on the way down, but it was a light rain so didn't get too wet.  Then we stopped for dinner outside the park and headed back to Raleigh.  I am exhausted, but will try to upload pictures and maps shortly.