SOUTH BEYOND 6000 in the CRAGGY MOUNTAINS
One peak over 6000 feet is located in the Craggy Mountains. This is Craggy Dome (6080 feet). Craggy Dome is located alongside and south of the Blue Ridge Parkway, between two and three miles north of the Craggy Garden Visitor Center. Hikers may access Craggy Dome from the Greybeard Overlook at mile 363.4, where the Mountains-to-Sea Trail crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the south side of the Parkway, just before the Overlook, a faint trail cuts back to the Southwest leading up the ridge to the summit. Since the ascent takes only about 20 minutes, hikers must use one of the approved routes, which are at least 5 miles in length, to qualify for the South Beyond 6000 program.
Most Commonly Used /Accepted Routes:
- Douglas Falls-Locust Ridge Circuit; This hike begins at the Douglas Falls Parking Area, which is located at the end of 9 mile unpaved Forest Road 70 beyond Dillingham, N.C. The route descends a half-mile to Douglas (Carter Creek) Falls, then ascends 3 miles to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Turning northeast follow the Mountains-to-Sea Trail 1.5 miles to where it crosses the Parkway. From there ascend Craggy Dome. Return by continuing northeast on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail about 2 miles to Locust Knob. From there, descend to the Parkway, cross it, and follow a man way down Locust Ridge to a woods road, which leads to the left and joins Forest Road 70 about 1.5 miles from the original trailhead. This circuit is about 11 or 12.5 miles, depending on whether one leaves an automobile at Forest Road 70 or at the original trailhead. Craggy Dome from Craggy Gardens Picnic Area; Craggy Gardens Picnic Area is located a short distance from mile 365.3 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From there follow the Mountains-to-Sea Trail northeast about 3.5 miles to where it crosses the Parkway. Climb Craggy Dome and return. About 8 miles in and out.
- Craggy Dome from Balsam Gap; Balsam Gap is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile 359.8. From Balsam Gap follow the Mountains-to-Sea Trail nearly 4 miles to the Greybeard Overlook. From there climb Craggy Dome and return. About 9 miles in and out.
- Balsam Gap to Craggy Gardens Picnic Area via Craggy Dome; This hike can be done in either direction, since it is one way. Follow the Mountains-to-Sea Trail from either trailhead to Greybeard Overlook. From there climb Craggy Dome and continue on to the terminus. About 8.5 miles.
Craggy Dome, 6080
Hike Descriptions: Craggy Dome