|Montreat from the Lookout|
|Photo of the trail map|
|On the Lookout|
We set out early on an overcast morning. The temperatures were in the 40's and the wind was moderate. We found our way up through the community of Montreat to the trailhead where we parked the car. With our hiking sticks, water, swag bag and GPSr we were off. The first leg of the climb paralleled Puncheon Branch which was completely enshrouded in Rhododendron. After about ten minutes the trail, embellished with yellow diamonds to mark the way, veered off to the south perpendicular to Puncheon. We slowly wound our way around the to the southwest, climbing higher as we went. The trail proved to be a moderate difficulty. We made good time. We reached the Lookout at 3629 feet elevation above mean sea level. This was a rock plateau of sorts sitting on a knoll which through another saddle connected to the rest of Lookout Mountain. It had taken us about 50 minutes to get here and we had gaining approximately 1000 feet in elevation. From there we had a gorgeous view of the Montreat Cove.
|Unusual cache container near Lookout Summit|
|Lookout Summit and ridge line to Boggs Bunion in background|
|sumajhuarmi, Montreat behind her|
Our hike down the mountain was easy. We stopped for several breath-taking views of the valley. I know that we could have run up our cache count by sticking to the micros down along Interstate 40 or in Asheville today. In the 2.5 hours we invested in this hunt we only found three caches. Yet the experience of hiking the mountain and finding the harder caches make a LPC (lamp post cache) or a guardrail cache seem like a waste of time.
I hope you'll get the chance to visit the North Carolina mountains. The trials are great and the caching is too!