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Hawksbill Trail/Byrds Nest #2 Road



0.9 mile 1.5 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 458' 140 m
Descent: -2' -1 m
High: 4,037' 1,230 m
Low: 3,579' 1,091 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 16% (9°)


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Trail shared by Larry W. Brown

This is the fire road for the Byrds Nest Shelter No. 2, located at the summit on Hawksbill Mountain.

Larry W. Brown

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly A bit longer, though more mellow than some ascents to the Hawksbill Summit, this is a great way to observe a changing ecosystem as elevation is gained.


Access the start of this fire road at mile 47.1 along the Skyline Drive. You'll have a steady, easy climb through a young oak forest.

The fire road also intersects with the Upper Hawksbill Trail, which will be on the right. Keep going straight on the fire road.

After another quarter of a mile, the blue-blazed Salamander Trail on the left goes about 0.8 mile to the Appalachian Trail; to the right, the Lower Hawksbill Trail goes to Hawksbill Gap, at mile 45.6 along the Skyline Drive. Continue ahead on the fire road to the Byrds Nest shelter, then go another 75 yards to the observation platform on the summit.

The summit on Hawksbill is at elevation 4,050 feet, the highest point in Shenandoah National Park. There's a broad view here. At the far left is the town of Stanley; just to the right of it, and much closer, is the rounded crest of Nakedtop, with cliffs on its right-hand slope. To the right of Nakedtop is Buracker Hollow, with the town of Ida at its mouth. From Ida a ridge rises toward the right to the angle at Millers Head, then to the rounded summit of Bushytop. The high point, with rocky cliffs on its left face, is Stony Man. Further right and closer, down below you, is Crescent Rock. Still farther right, in the distance, is the rocky summit of Old Rag.

Please note that camping is not permitted on or near Hawksbill summit.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna


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Apr 9, 2019
Cameron Smith
Jun 30, 2018
Sile Y
Apr 16, 2016
Brian Roling
Jul 4, 2013
Eugene Liu

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in Virginia


27 Views Last Month
954 Since Dec 1, 2015



Panoramic from the top of Hawksbill Mtn.
Mar 13, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Views from the summit of Mt. Hawksbill.
Dec 10, 2015 near Stanley, VA
Let out a well-deserved celebration on Hawksbill Summit (4,050ft).
Mar 9, 2017 near Stanley, VA
The observation platform on Hawksbill Mountain, the highest point in Shenandoah National Park, elevation 4,050 feet.
Apr 2, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Looking East from Hawksbill Summit.
Sep 23, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Trail Intersection: Upper & Lower Hawksbill Trails
Sep 23, 2016 near Stanley, VA


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