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.
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Topo Hike Map (PDF)
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Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Big Schloss hike:
Reviews For The Big Schloss Hike (5 Most Recent)
Although strenuous for the out-of-shape (like myself), Big Schloss is one of my favorite hikes! The view is as breathtaking as the hike itself. (Don't worry, there are plenty of rocks to sit and take a break on.) At the right time of year there are even blackberries and blueberries along the trail to munch on. I usually camp at the "base" of the trail in one of the well-maintained tent sites, and I've never had a problem there.
One small note: at least as of 7/18/14, the hand operated water pump was out of commission. I suggest bringing a few gallons of your own water if you plan to camp, or a purifier to use the spring water along the road in several locations.
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 18, 2014
My wife and I love Big Schloss, and we had a great day hiking this visit. I also brought along my quadcopter (drone) and took some aerial video of the vista! It was a blast, and I look forward to doing the same on future hikes. Enjoy the video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rTzGf0t0cs
Date of Hike: Saturday, May 03, 2014
this was a really fun hike... we hiked in the day before up the Tuscarora Pond Trail and camped near the Sugar Knob Cabin on top of Mill Mountain. Saturday we hiked back and down 4 miles on the Mill Mt Trail to the Schloss. This provides an amazing view of the Schloss from the North as you approach it. The hike off the trail up was an easy 1/4 mile and the views on top were impressive. Great spot to sit and eat lunch.
Date of Hike: Saturday, April 05, 2014
This was an amazing hike. We started at Wolf Gap and hiked slightly over two miles to the Big Schloss. We then decided to continue another 3 1/2 miles to the natural springs. If you have the chance I wouldn't miss it. Previous posters stated there was good camping down near Stoney Creek but the camping was amazing near the springs. Flat ground, no widow makers, out of the wind, and lots of privacy even with other backpackers near by. We ran into several scout troops on the trip.
All in all this is one of my all time favorite hikes. The beginning of the trail might be a little tough for a beginner but after the first half mile it really is a level 2 trail. I know the reviews say the views are really amazing but that is an understatement. Bring plenty water with you. You may have to travel 4-5 miles before you come across a water source.
Iím doing this one again in the late spring.
To see a video review of the hike you can visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-PciB3TmaM&list=PLgNP94vVrbP9Jc9MxKTqkHoWUDL4Ac-qQ&feature=share&index=3
Date of Hike: Saturday, November 16, 2013
This was a really great hike - the trail was well-marked and easy to follow, and the ridge-walk portion was especially beautiful. I was pleasantly surprised that the ridge walk included unobstructed views in both directions. The bulk of the effort comes at the beginning of the trail, but after you climb the switchbacks for about 20 minutes, it's a level 1 difficulty the rest of the way. You could easily do this with children or folks who aren't expert hikers.
As a bonus, you can bring your dog on this trail - we actually passed a whole group of dog owners.
The trail was well maintained and though we lucked out and had nice weather, I wouldn't be afraid to hike this trail even later into winter. The view from the rock outcropping was spectacular - I can second the trail guide's recommendation to plan to eat your lunch up there. I will say that the rock outcropping does require a little bit of climbing and there was a section where you had to be careful not to fall off the mountain.