Ewing Trail

Today my friend and I hiked to the sand cave and white rocks along the Ewing Trail. This was a moderately difficult 8.6 mile hike with 2,239 feet of climbing. The white rock bluffs stand imposingly over the trailhead. The hike is about 3 miles up to the ridge, then a 2 mile loop around the ridge and back to the trailhead. Even though a lot of the rock in the area is sandstone, the sand cave is unique. There is so much sand pouring out of the cave it feels like a beach. The interesting, small pillars in the sand were formed from small drops falling from the ceiling of the cave. The small pebbles in the sand protect the column of sand below from being eroded. They are similar to hoodoos like those in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah and Đavolja Varoš (Devil's Town), Serbia and conceptually similar, but different in detail, to penitente, a snow formation that is the result of the sun sublimating snow at different rates. Elsewhere in the cave there are exposed stones large enough to sit on. The white rock bluffs overlook the town of Ewing and surrounding mountains in another good example of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians. I didn’t see any bolts or chalk marks on the cliffs.