Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower

Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
236
Location
NC, USA
Real Name
Aaron
A few images from Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower, located along the Blue Ridge Parkway in western NC. While not an officially approved destination, it is a popular place to visit... as long as you are not afraid of heights! It is particularly spectacular at sunrise and sunset. When I visited, the upper-most observation deck was not accessible, though from time to time people cut the lock and climb to the top...

Out of more than 230 towers built in NC from 1920's–1950's, only about 60 remain standing, and just a handful are able to be climbed. Fryingpan Mountain tower is one of the easiest to access, but by no means the most picturesque.

Images are from 2019 (been digging through the archive). Taken with Z6, 24-70mm 2.8S (stitched pano), and Sigma 12-24mm Art.

DSC_8676-2.jpg
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DSC_8692.jpg
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DSC_8734-Pano.jpg
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F64

Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
101
Location
Southwestern Ontario
Real Name
Greg
Great shots of the journey up to the top - gives us some perspective. Your pano is terrific - love the density and saturation - wonderfully sharp - great location.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
236
Location
NC, USA
Real Name
Aaron
How tall is it? is it safe? that last shot is beautiful, the other two made me realize I could never go up something like that.
Everything I can find about the tower says it is 70’ tall, and it sits on a peak at 5340’ above sea level. It sure seems like more than 70’ tall when you climb it! The tower’s condition is fair to poor, lots of rust visible, and the stairs shake and move when climbing it. The flooring at the final landing before the steps to the top deck flexes with every step, which is highly unnerving.

Nearly all of the remaining lookout towers have long been abandoned and gone without any maintenance for decades. A few are maintained, some can even be rented for overnight stays, but most are in serious decline and would be dangerous to try to climb.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
236
Location
NC, USA
Real Name
Aaron
One more panorama, this one from the 24-70mm 2.8 at 70mm.

DSC_8747-Pano.jpg
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F64

Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
101
Location
Southwestern Ontario
Real Name
Greg
Gorgeous! The layers remind me of the torn paper art I used to do with my elementary school students.
 

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