Craig County Highpoint Trip Report

White Rocks on Potts Mtn (3,940+ ft)

Date: September 19, 2006
Author: Michael Schwartz

I used Ron Tagliapietra' s directions to Mountain Lake and Fred Lobdell's report from there. Note that from US 460 north of Blacksburg, it is 6.6 miles on VA 700 to its end at Mountain Lake, not 8 miles as previously reported. As you reach the Mountain Lake complex, take the paved road along the left side of the lake. When VA 613 forks left 1.5 miles from the Mountain Lake main entrance, go another 3.7 miles to the Appalachian Trail crossing and parking area.

The Potts Mountain trail, which you pick up at Wind Rock, is pretty easy to follow, for the most part, all the way to the highpoint area. Without GPS, it might not be obvious that one has reached the highpoint. My device put the tri- county point/Craig County highpoint about fifty feet downhill to the south from the boulders that sit about 100 feet to the right (south) of the trail. I found no trace of any cairn on the rocks. Fred mentions several large rocks perched at the edge of a steep slope, with an eight-foot high rock in the middle requiring a scramble to ascend it. In addition, he found a cairn on top.

It bothered me not to find rocks of this description where GPS placed the summit, so I watched the rocks south of the trail as I started on the return hike. About 1/4 mile west of the summit, there are three very large boulders about 100 feet south of the trail. They are perched right on the edge of a steep drop-off and they require careful scrambling to ascend. On one of the boulders, I found several flat rocks scattered about that sure looked like cairn remnants. This would almost mark the spot where the Monroe/Giles County line makes a sharp bend to the northwest.

The hike took about 2:25 round-trip.