Franklin County Highpoint Trip Report

Cahas Mtn (3,571 ft)

Date: July 30, 2004
Author: Fred Lobdell

I previously visited this HP in July 2001. However, I called my ascent "good enough" when it was obvious, after reading Bob Packard's report, that it wasn't good enough, hence my re-visit.

From the intersection of US 220 with the Blue Ridge Parkway on the south side of Roanoke, go south on 220 for 8 or 9 miles to the village of Boones Mills. Turn right (west) on county 739 and go 3.8 miles to county 742, also signed as Cahas Mountain Road. Turn right (northwest) on 742 and take it about 1.5 miles to a height of land and a large open area on the right. Here there is a gravel road on the right (north) that is the access road for the towers on top of Cahas Mountain. The gravel road goes a short distance northeast, then makes a left turn and passes between a farm house and its associated outbuildings and continues up to a gate. With care, a passenger car may be driven as far as the gate, which I would estimate to be at about 2,200 feet elevation. Park here.

Above the gate, the road has been much improved since my last visit but it remains quite steep. Hike up the road, which rises to a saddle and turns left, continuing to the fenced-in towers. Here you'll see your only posting of the whole trip but it is completely unnecessary to go inside the fence, as the high ground lies outside it to your right as you face the gate. The fenced-in area has been expanded since my last visit. I found the easiest way begin the short, steep, brushy bushwhack to the summit was to hang onto the fence and work my way around the corner post, after which I could bushwhack directly to the summit. This was marked by a rock and a few feet west, on a larger rock that was perhaps one or two feet lower, I found reference marker "Cahas No. 2" with a date of 1934. I could not locate the bench mark, however. There is also a badly overgrown ATV trail or old woods road that traverses the summit area in a roughly northeast-southwest direction. I followed this for several hundred feet in both directions, but concluded that the highest ground was where I had originally thought it was.

The round-trip hike is around 1.5 to 2 miles. Somebody who is in decent shape could probably do it in-between 1:15 and 1:30. I won't say how long this steep hike took me on this hot day.