Need to beat the summer heat? We did. It had been a particularly brutal July so we decided it was time to head to the Blue Ridge Mountains to escape the heatwave—our getaway destination: Julian Price Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone and Blowing Rock NC.
Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 277 to 304
We entered the Parkway at Deep Gap, NC near milepost 277. Within minutes the temperature dropped from 87 degrees in Wilkesboro to 69 degrees at the Stoney Fork Overlook (MP 277.3). Whew! What a relief.
As we meandered on the Parkway we enjoyed multiple scenic overlooks on the 20-mile ride south to Julian Price Campground.
We enjoyed the views on both sides of the Parkway at Osborne Mountain View Overlook (MP 277.9).
At Grandview Overlook (MP 281.4) the sun was behind us which created beautiful shadows.
Thunder Hill Overlook (MP 290.4) was my favorite. The mountain layers were incredible at this overlook.
We could see Grandfather Mountain in the distance at the Price Lake Overlook (MP 296.7).
Julian Price Campground Milepost 297
When we arrived at the campground, we decided to try our luck at first-come first-serve sites because of the mixed reviews about the quality of the sites. Many sites are unlevel and hard to approach. The strategy was a bit of a mixed bag. Yes, it is good to see the sites first because some of the sites are very tight and hard to get into even for our 23-footer. However, the downside is the poor cell service if you choose an empty “reservable only” site instead of a first-come first-serve. If the check-in is closed, you have to drive back out to find a signal in order to reserve it. We arrived around sunset and found a nice empty reservable site. It was late so we missed the check-in: don’t be us. A little inconvenient to drive back out, but worth it to get a good site. We chose site #38 and loved it. AT&T’s cell signal was just enough to text but not much else.
Linn Cove Viaduct Milepost 304
Early the next morning we headed south to the Linn Cove Viaduct. At the Linn Cove Visitor Center (MP 304.4), we found plenty of parking at 6:30 am. We headed to the trail to get the iconic views of the Viaduct.
The trail was about a mile out and back and lots of fun. We experienced boulders, caves, bridges, and many steps before getting to the best scenic views.
Our early morning exploration paid off. We had a beautiful sunrise behind us and hardly a car on the parkway.
We soaked in the views as long as possible before returning to the parking area.
We worked up quite an appetite so we headed back to camp for breakfast quesadillas! Yum.
It was a perfect morning on the Blue Ridge Parkway.