Crowder's Mountain state park is a North Carolina park that is just across the border from the pewster's cave in York County South Carolina. Rising 800 feet above the surrounding countryside, resisting the forces of erosion over vast periods of time, are Crowders Mountain and Kings Pinnacle, remnants of an ancient mountain range. Once the core of mighty mountains that towered thousands of feet above sea level, these surviving peaks are part of the Appalachian chain that formed in the region 450 to 500 million years ago. Geologically classified as kyanite-quartzite monadnocks, only the strength of quartzite has allowed these pinnacles to withstand the wind, water and other forces that eroded less resistant peaks.Knowing that the temperature was supposed to climb to 91 degrees, and that three days of rain had been forecast to begin the next day (following a four week drought which would have made for muddy and slick conditions next weekend), I rose with the sun, laced up my boots, rescued my favorite walking stick (which was being used ignominously to prop up the clothes line), loaded up my water bottle, and headed out in order to be at the trail head as the park opened.
Crowders Mountain, at an elevation of 1,625 feet, is a registered natural heritage area that features sheer vertical cliffs ranging from 100 to 150 feet in height. Kings Pinnacle, by contrast, has a round, gentle profile and reaches an elevation of 1,705 feet. These mountains and the saddle that connects them are oriented in a northeast to southwest direction, their slopes facing east and west. Spectacular views await those who ascend these mighty pinnacles.
My usual drive to this park takes me on "Grandview Road." There is one grand view on this road, and here it is. (Warning, don't try to duplicate this shot without having your walking stick to defend yourself from the neighborhood dogs)