Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Red Gate Fire Road, Stanley, VA

My interest in Red Gate Fire Road started as I was looking at the Rose River Falls hike that starts from Skyline Drive.  I noticed a scraggly line that appeared to lead down to the valley floor from the parking lot on Skyline.  From there, I looked at it every time we went hiking in the area.  I was intrigued, but never really ready to commit to the 2 hour drive to get out there, just to see if the road went anywhere.

Well, today, I finally mustered up the time and energy and had a great ride. Starting in Stanley, VA, I rode my mountain bike up through Mauck, VA to the intersection of Kite Hollow Road, Fox Hollow Road and Red Gate Fire Road...and started up the rough pavement.  These first two shots are 1/4 mile from the bottom.  A gentle 2-5% gradient and mixed chip seal.  Road-bikeable to here.

This is one of the more scenic switchbacks on the climb.  A really nice view of the road - down on your left, up on your right - and the cascading creek at the apex of the corner.

I could hear water running down this ravine (which is steeper than it looks) but I couldn't see any.

This is a panoramic shot of the downhill side.

A panorama of the uphill side.

Proof I made it to the top.  A little under 1 hour, with several stops for pictures along the way.  It was 47 at the base, but MUCH colder at the top.   The sun had gone behind a ridge and it was getting late.