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Rocky Mount Trail

Difficult
 2.8 (4)

This trail can be steep and rough at times, but the solitude and views are a reward for the effort.


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Map Key

5.3

Miles

8.6

KM

Point to Point

2,753' 839 m

High

1,284' 391 m

Low

839' 256 m

Up

2,309' 704 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

Description

This is a tough hike; near the summit, the trail is steep and rough and there is a lot of elevation change. But if you are looking for a trail that gives you some good exercise and rewards you with solitude and a great view, this is the trail for you!

The Rocky Mount Trail starts by descending rather steeply then more gradually. From a low point at about 0.6 mile from the start, the trail skirts the left side of a low knob. During the winter, there are views to your left, toward Two Mile Ridge. In the summer, the views tend to be obscured by foliage. (In spring, look for the pink flowers of fringed Polygala and in the summer for the purple flowers of the Go Rue beside the trail.)

Don't be fooled by this initial descent as the trail then starts to climb in earnest. The trail ascends, passing to the right of a knob and then descending for 0.9 mile to a gap, where the Gap Run Trail (named for a different gap, not this one) comes in on the right, about 2.2 miles from the trailhead.

From the gap, the trail climbs nearly a thousand feet in 1.2 miles, with switchbacks, up the south side of Rocky Mount. In winter, but not in summer, there are occasional good views across Two Mile Run to Two Mile Ridge. A few yards short of the summit is your destination. From there you can climb to a rock with a fine view of Two Mile Ridge to Rocky Mountain and, farther left, to the Blue Ridge and a part of Skyline Drive and enjoy your well-earned views.

From the summit, the trail continues on a steady descent along the ridge to its junction with the Gap Run Trail near Gap Run. This section is through the trees so don't expect the same quality of views as you enjoyed at the summit of Rocky Mount.

Thanks to Larry W. Brown, for sharing this trail description. If you’re interested in learning more details about great hikes, weather, camping / lodging, wildlife, and scenic drives, check out the comprehensive Guide to Shenandoah National Park.

Contacts

Shared By:

Larry W. Brown with improvements by Jeff Monroe

Trail Ratings

  2.8 from 4 votes

#34312

Overall
  2.8 from 4 votes
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Trail Rankings

#891

in Virginia

#34,312

Overall
21 Views Last Month
487 Since Apr 28, 2016
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Photos

Looking South from Rocky Mount in Shenandoah National Park
Jan 21, 2016 near Elkton, VA

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Check-Ins

Nov 21, 2019
Jesse Daniels
Oct 16, 2019
Jesse Daniels
Jul 4, 2019
Jesse Daniels
Nov 11, 2017
Thomas Moriarty
Great hike in. The long slog back out is the real killer. 5.3mi
Jul 9, 2017
James Wagoner
Feb 19, 2017
Kevin Troemmler
Jan 21, 2016
Oliver Allen
Pack a lunch for a rest at the top because the views are hard to leave.