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A number of you asked about Frying Pan Mountain, one of the mountains we hiked this past weekend and mentioned in yesterday’s video. So we did a little research and tried to find out where the name came from. The first piece of information was that the name came from the nearby Fryingpan Gap. Well, that was useful.
Where the gap name came from is even more speculation. You can find stories that a frying pan was tied to a tree in the area to mark a favorite campsite a couple of hundred years ago. Others refer to the shape of a nearby spring. We have heard that it gets its name because the heat can build up on the back side of the mountain in the summer sun, but this blog post proves why that theory is probably false. Those guys were lucky to get there at all since this section of the parkway is usually closed due to snow and ice November through April (and not exactly equipped to hike here in the winter months).
The cool part is that there is a 70 foot (21 meter) fire lookout tower on the 5,340 foot (1,628 meter) mountain. The view from up there is spectacular.
Most famous view from Frying Pan Mountain is Cold Mountain, made famous by a certain novel and movie. Unfortunately for all of the tourists who ask, there is no such town as Cold Mountain, the movie was filmed in Romania and not here, and there are no roads to it – just a very strenuous 10 mile hike to its 6,030 foot (1,838 meter) peak via unmarked trails. The usual answer from a local to the question, “How do I get to Cold Mountain?” is, “You don’t.” It can be done, but a good trail map, a compass, and good trail sense are required. There are numerous lost hiker searches in this area every year.
But, we sure like hiking Frying Pan:
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