The overlook is on the far edge of the Rocks themselves and just above the overlook we found this sign - we would go no further!
It was an uneventful hike back to the vehicle but even with that we were not done exploring some of the area attractions. In the area we also had Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia.
Another sixty minutes in the vehicle would allow our shoes to dry further; it would also put us on top of Spruce Knob.
The temperature was much cooler up here and the wind was absolutely ripping. We put on another layer of clothing and made the short walk to the observation tower. From the observation tower you had a magnificent view of the extreme headwaters of the beloved wild rainbow stream.
With the wind cutting through us, we didn't stay on the tower long and we made a hasty retreat to the vehicle. On the way back we stopped to snap a shot on the highest landmass in West Virginia.
Already this year Ross has been to the highest point in Tennessee (Clingman's Dome - 6,643 feet) and now the highest point in West Virginia (Spruce Knob - 4,861 feet ).
On the way down from Spruce Knob, headed back for camp, Ross decided to take a nap. While he was napping, I stopped to take some shots of the columbine in bloom.
While not particularly unusual in West Virginia, what is amazing is that this flower was blooming in Tennessee nearly six weeks earlier during our trip to the Smokies.
With time to quickly hit one more stream on the way back to camp, I pulled off the side of the highway and jumped over the bank to one more new stream. Again, I picked up a fat little brookie in one of the first pools in this high gradient section of stream.
I picked up one more equally fat brookie in the five minutes I fished and "stung" a very solid fish.
Arriving back on the camp side of the divide with time to hit the main branch, we stopped in a USFS campground and geared up with one more task at hand. I typically only target brown trout during the Elkhorn clean-up but I would make an exception this time. Ross had seen a brook trout and a rainbow trout - why not a brown trout? This section of stream receives an annual stocking of brown trout fingerlings so I thought I would try to pick up one of the fingerling stockers.
I picked up a nice little silvery brown on top and another on the small pheasant tail dropper, unfortunately they were both camera shy. No big deal, they were just brown trout!
We returned to camp for another evening of campfire, nice meal, good company, and good fish tales. And again, it was early to bed for Ross and myself and late to rise for Ross.
We decided not to fish our last day, simply a long car ride home. It did not matter as we have two more weekend camping trips planned over the next three weeks.