15th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Grandfather Mountain in a Shroud of Ghostly Fog

With an elevation of nearly 6,000 feet, Grandfather Mountain is the highest peak on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains and represents the region’s most ecologically diverse nature preserve with an astounding 16 distinct ecological communities. It is best known for the 360-degree views from its Mile-High Swinging Bridge. With some of the highest surface wind speeds recorded (in excess of 200 mph), the flora endures and adapts as best it can, like the wind-dwarfed spruce tree pictured here. At this overlook, clouds and fog mute the vibrant colors of fall and settle across the rocky outcroppings like a soft blanket.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 10.2017
Date Uploaded: 11.2017
Photo Location: Linville, North Carolina, United States of America
Camera: COOLPIX L340
Copyright: © Kimberly Armstrong