Scanning the Horizon from the Black Balsam High Country – A Photo Essay

When looking for some WNC high country scenery and perhaps refreshing cool air on a warm day, one of the first destinations I think of is the Black Balsam area at milepost 420 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are half a dozen mountains here that stand above 6,000 feet, with encompassing 360° views from their treeless summits. This land that lies between the Shining Rock and Middle Prong Wildernesses is pierced by the Art Loeb Trail, a favorite of anyone who visits the Pisgah Ranger District.

My hiking pal Ken and I have walked this region many, many times over the years and we still come back for more at least once per season. If you’re looking for details about the terrain, here is my trail report, but for this post I simply wanted to share some photos of this visit on May 31, 2017. As you will see, the weather couldn’t have been better. There were quite a number of other hikers out and about that day with the same idea… to enjoy the glorious Blue Ridge Mountains.



We stopped a lot… to take pictures, to marvel at the breathtaking viewshed and colorful wildflowers, to enjoy a picnic-like lunch and each other’s company… simply to soak it all in. Time seems to stand still on the trail, but before we knew it we had finished the five mile loop and had recorded another fantastic memory.

Following is a pictorial essay of our day spent on Black Balsam and Tennent Mountains. Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below the gallery. Thanks for visiting!



This post was created by Jeff Clark. Please feel free to use the sharing icons below, or add your thoughts to the comments. Pack it in, pack it out. Preserve the past. Respect other hikers. Let nature prevail. Leave no trace.


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1 Comment

  1. Just magnificent Jeff. Never been there before. Time to go. Reminds me a little of Roan Highlands (below) Vann

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