Big Schloss is another treasure in the George Washington National
Forest. Relatively easy at only 4.4 miles and 1,000 vertical feet,
it's the sister hike to Tibbet Knob which heads to the south from the same parking location. Tibbet Knob has two short rock scrabbles, but a 10th of the hikers, and just as good views.
Big Schloss peak, named by German immigrants
provides a wonderful view of the surrounding valleys. Make
sure to bring a packed lunch because you will want to linger
at the Big Schloss rock outcropping and soak in the view.
If you want to make a weekend out of it, the Wolf Gap recreation
area has 9 well maintained
campsites with bathroom facilities. If you have some
extra hiking time consider hiking the Tibbet Knob route as well. The views are every bit as good.
Mile 0.0 - Leave the Wolf Gap Campground (near campsite #9) and start
up the orange blazed Mill Mountain Trail to begin the steepest
portion of the hike. The first mile has several switch
backs before arriving at the ridge
line of Mill Mountain.
Once getting to the ridge line, turn left and continue following
the now narrower trail as it follows the ridge before arriving at the junction
of the Big Schloss Trail in 1.9 miles.
Turn right onto the white blazed Big Schloss Trail for another
0.3 miles before crossing a wooden
bridge that will take you to the overlook just 50 yards
further along. Enjoy the view it's one of the best! To return, just retrace your route back to the Wolf gap Campground.
Interactive Hike Map BelowPrintable
Topo Hike Map (PDF)
Hike route in Drag the map with your mouse using the icon Zoom with the controls on the left Mouse-over the icons in the map below for location shots
Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Big Schloss hike:
Reviews For The Big Schloss Hike (5 Most Recent)
Very nice hike. I hiked this early Saturday because I was going to be down in Harrisonburg anyway. Only 2 other cars in the Campground/parking lot when I got there about 9:30 - 9:45. When I returned (12:15 - 12:30), the parking lot was full, with cars (from boyscout troop?) parking on the side of the road in. The campground appeared to be about half full, which was surprising because it was in the mid 20's at night but I was thinking of camping myself, but would have got there to late to enjoy on Friday. Two permanente "out-houses" in the campground.
The hike was as many described, a steady uphill for the first part, but not too long, with the rest either flat or very gradual ups/downs. Once up on the ridge, there's a lot of nice year-round views looking east. I hiked this one because I wanted to scout out more hikes to take my kids (6, 9 & 11) on which are not too long, with rocks and rewarding views. This is definitly a must do with my kids. To compare it to other hikes, (my kids have done), it's most similar to Annapolis Rocks. Easier than Maryland Heights, and a bit harder than Sugarloaf Mtn (Maryland). The top is a nice rocky point, but a ton to crawl around and explore. The summit is definitly somewhere to linger and soak in the views.
Date of Hike: Sunday, November 16, 2014
great hike with great views at the summit, today was quite cold though, very windy at the summit,
crowds were not an issue today, saw only three other groups
however, this hike does NOT take four hours, rather a little over a hour to get up there and a little less than a hour to get back
Date of Hike: Sunday, October 05, 2014
Great hike and perfect weather. Fantastic views and a fun hike along the ridgeline. Perfect way to spend an early fall day. Great family hike. Will definitely do this one again. I found using GPS longitude/latitude to be the easiest navigational tool. The road was a bit twisty and the directions were a skosh confusing. Enjoy the trail and bring a camera!!
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 04, 2014
the Wolf Gap trail head, is not too far from the exit on I-81 (~15min) The hike was a clear 50degree day with 10-15mph wind gusts. Took my 7yo and 5yo daugters and my 80lb Labradoodle, and they loved it... the first steep accent is short lived to a wonderful mid hike view to the east. great time for a pit-stop. the hike along the ridge to Big Schloss is littered with overlooks. Approaching the summit, to the left, there is a camp site in a "cave" of sorts with a rock formation sheltering 2 sides of it, appeared to be no water, but had a rock fire ring. to the right, just before the bridge is a smaller campsite (2p small tent) with a amazing view to the east (I will be back for this one). The summit is gorgeous, the girls loved it, and dispite some others concers about dogs able to make it to the summit, my dog had no trouble getting over the bridge and to many of the overlooks, the highest point (with the 360 view) req a bit of scrambling, and my furry friend needed a bit of help. We stayed the evening at the campsites (FYI there is a large field with day-use tables and grills, I almost set up camp there. The water source was still damaged(vandalized) so no water source at this time.) the actual sites are well spaced and flat pad was present, the privy appeared well maintained. Overall the hike is great, definitely recommended.
Date of Hike: Monday, September 01, 2014
I took my family and some friends on this hike today. It was a real enjoyable hike for all of us. We really enjoyed the view from Big Schloss.