One weekend, three mountains


You easily can make a weekend of "peak bagging" by adding the highpoints in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Before you groan, remember that both mountains have driveable roads to the top. And back at work on Monday, you get bragging rights at the coffee pot.

Start the weekend with 3,213-foot Mount Davis, just outside Salisbury, Pa. From Interstate 68, take Route 219 north. In Salisbury, pick up Route 669 east. Go just over 7 miles and turn right onto Christner Road (it's gravel). It's just 2.3 miles to the parking area at the base of the observation tower.

The U.S. Geological Survey summit marker is on a boulder just west of the tower.

Drive back to I-68 and go west until you reach Route 219 south. Take the road to the foot of Backbone Mountain, a 61-mile, 90-minute trip.

After climbing Backbone, eating lunch at the summit and descending, head for 4,863-foot Spruce Knob, about 65 miles away.

You can either bag Spruce Knob first and bed down in Elkins, W. Va., at night, or establish base camp in town and make climbing the mountain and driving back home the itinerary for Day Two (we chose the latter).

To get to Elkins, take Route 219 south. The town has a Days Inn, an Econo Lodge and a Super 8 Motel. After your night's rest, get in the car and pick up Route 33, and follow the directions below. Spruce Knob is 25 miles southeast of Elkins.

If you decide to peak bag first, take Route 219 to Route 32 south and then Route 33. Turn left onto Route 4. At the junction with Route 6 keep left. The road becomes Forest Route 112. Turn right on Forest Route 104 and take the road to the Spruce Knob parking area. A paved path takes you to the summit marker.

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