Plains Circuit

Laneville, West Virginia 26263

Plains Circuit

Plains Circuit Professional Review and Guide

"This hike climbs steeply up the side of Mt. Porte Crayon to Roaring Plains, with gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside and north into Dolly Sods Wilderness. The descent back to Red Creek is steeper than the climb up but a little shorter. Just south of Dolly Sods Wilderness is the equally scenic Flatrock and Roaring Plains. The area is very similar to the Dolly Sods Wilderness. Northern hardwood forests at lower elevations give way to heath barrens and mountain plains at higher elevations.

However, the Flatrock and Roaring Plains are more thickly vegetated than their counterparts in Dolly Sods. Most of the trail through the plains is so thickly bordered by rhododendron and laurel that bushwhacking is out of the question. The hike is noticeably quiet. Often the only audible sounds are your footsteps and the wind. The hike is also noticeably lonely. It seems that the droves of hikers that descend on Dolly Sods completely ignore Flatrock and Roaring Plains. Special attractions: Cascading streams, spruce forests, rhododendron and laurel jungles on wonderfully quiet plains."

Plains Circuit Reviews

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I think the term, "will make a fit hiker sweat in the dead of winter" sums up this hike the best. This hike is very difficult. You need to be in tip top shape to go up the 2000 feet, which occurs under a mile, and the rock hopping throughout the upper plains. Of course these plains are not like the midwestern plains with grass. These are plains filled with trees and spiky foliage and rocks; lots of rocks. However, the reward of the views almost outbalance the pain of the hike... almost.

Plains Circuit Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
2,500 feet
Trailhead Elevation
4,600 feet
Top Elevation
Flatrock and Roaring Plains Backcountry
Local Contacts
USGS Harman, Hopeville, Laneville, Onega
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018