Winter Scenes from Grayson Highlands State Park

February 11, 2014  •  13 Comments

My oh my how beautiful Grayson Highlands State Park is.  It only takes a dusting of snow for the high winds and cold temps to cover the landscape in white.   

For most of my little day hike yesterday, the temperature and wind were very pleasant.  Sure, it was a little on the cold side, but when hiking around it isn't too bad.    The only times I got REALLY cold were when I was up photographing rocks on the ridges.  Boy oh Boy does the wind HOWL up there!  

One thing I really liked yesterday was the amount of visibility.  I have been up here on several occasions during snow or shortly thereafter and had beautiful snow scenes but no visibility!  Yesterday that was all different, from Wilburn Ridge I could see Big Pinnacle and further south into North Carolina.  It sure was amazing.  

Links to Galleries: HIGHLANDS PONIES GALLERY | HIGHLANDS 2014 GALLERY

At first the visibility was low, as you can see in the first photos, but then it cleared right up!

A wild pony feeds near the rhododendron trail in Grayson Highlands State Park with Big Pinnacle in the background.

A horse in snow on the Rhododendron trail

A horse on the Rhododendron trail

Wild pony in snow

 

A close up, wide angle view of a wild pony

Snow covered foliage and Big Pinnacle

 

Snow covered hemlock and Big Pinnacle as seen from the Appalachian Trail

To get the following photo of the Wilburn Ridge Spur trail, I had to walk around the first group of rocks and climb up from the back, as to not alter the scene with foot prints.  You can see a painted trail marker on the right.

Grayson Highlands State ParkGrayson Highlands State ParkGrayson Highlands State Park is located near Mouth of Wilson in Southwest Virginia. The area features waterfalls, hiking, meadows with great views, and access to the Appalachian Trail.

Grayson Highlands State ParkGrayson Highlands State ParkGrayson Highlands State Park is located near Mouth of Wilson in Southwest Virginia. The area features waterfalls, hiking, meadows with great views, and access to the Appalachian Trail.

Frozen Hemlocks on the Appalachian Trail

After coming down from Wilburn Ridge in in the Mount Rogers Recreation Area, I opted to go up on to a rocky outcropping to try and spot the sunset.  I am REALLY glad I decided to stick it out in those crazy winds!(I got there about 30 minutes before the sun dropped out of the clouds)

A sunset on a rock outcropping in Grayson Highlands State Park.

Turning around 180° from the shot above, I took the shot below. Both shots were handheld at f18 set to +2EV(metered to the sun)

Trees light up in the last of the sunlight.

The shot below is looking back towards Wilburn Ridge in the distance.

The last light hits frozen rocks in Grayson Highlands State Park

After that it was back to Massie Gap Parking Area...

A waxing gibbous moon over frozen pine trees in Massie Gap.

Thanks for looking:) 


Comments

Keira(non-registered)
Stunning photos! Thanks for sharing!
Dave Kingma(non-registered)
Michael, these are awesome! Your results are certainly worth the effort!
Toni Fowler(non-registered)
I can only wish to take photos like yours. They are gorgeous. You are the person willing to go to trouble and be cold and tromp around in the wind and cold so that others can enjoy your labors. Your photos are inspiring.
Thalia Jennings(non-registered)
Museum quality photography. Breathtaking, thank you for your art and talent.
Michelle Galyean(non-registered)
Thank you for sharing, amazing!! Proud to live in beautiful Southwest Virginia!!
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