Grassy Ridge is the oft-overlooked third peak over 6000 feet in the Roan Highlands area.
Climbing up from Carver’s Gap one first has to summit Round Bald and Jane Bald. The day before this hike it had been 65 degrees in Asheville, but it was spitting snow by the time we finished the hike. The snow on the west side of the conifers atop the balds was proof that it had been snowing recently as well. That is Grassy Ridge in the background of the first picture.
The views along this entire hike are spectacular. The Black Mountains including Mt. Mitchell are clearly visible on the NC side. The city of Roan Mountain, TN and surrounding area including Strawberry Mountain are visible to the west. From Grassy Ridge the ski areas around Boone and Grandfather Mountain are visible (including the horrendous bit of construction atop Sugar Mountain). Here are Melanie and Trout resting atop Jane Bald. We had intended to have a bit of a picnic atop Grassy Ridge originally, but once we got there the wind was so intense that we had to hide in the lee of rocks near the summit just to have a conversation. Three layers of clothing were apparently not enough.
One thing about hiking in the highlands north of Roan is that it isn’t hard to follow the trail. Here it can be seen stretching a mile or more towards Jane Bald (foreground), Round Bald (middle ground), and Roan High Knob (background, and an entirely different hike). We’d recommend this hike on a slightly warmer day.