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.
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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Reviews For The Big Schloss Hike (5 Most Recent)
Easter weekend hike was the busiest I had EVER seen the trail. Not a surprise that there was several inches of snow climbing up the first portion of the trail, which made for a muddy, slushy hike even in 55-degree weather.
It'd been a few years since I'd been on the trail - very happy to see they've built a brand new bridge at the top. Very sturdy. My little cocker spaniel did well on this trail, and usually you can get away without a leash, but not this time around. My family cabin is just down the WV mountainside so we've done this hike numerous times...one of my absolute favorites. Camping at the Wolf Gap Recreation is free, btw. Nice little area.
Date of Hike: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Left early in the AM, was hoping to see the sunrise but had a little trouble finding the parking area. I brought along my small dog. I think this was a great distance for her as she was one tired little pup at the end. I have to say this is probably one of my favorite hikes. The views were amazing and LOVED the bridge at the top. I didn't see any hikers on the trails but I did see a few tents at the campground. The weather was good a little cool but not to bad. Their was snow snow on the ground in the beginning. I did notice that a lot of the trees looked like they were burnt not sure if their was a fire their at some point.
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Beautiful clear day, little cold, but great views. In the words of some fellow hikers, it's a nice short hike w/ a pretty grand payoff. Finished this hike in about 3 hours (Including both a 20 minute stop at the top and a 5-10 minute exploratory hike (where the trail turns left onto the ridge of Mill Mountain). Steady climb up until you reach the ridge and then a fairly easy trek along the ridge until you catch the .25 mile offshoot to the overlook. Beautiful panoramic views and looks like a lot of great spots just off the trail to pitch a tent for an overnight.
Date of Hike: Saturday, February 02, 2013
A very cold day to hike, overcast and windy but no precip, and we were the only two hikers. The trail up starting up from the parking lot was treacherous with lot of icy runoff and snow. The rest of the trail had about a half-inch of snow and was slippery everywhere. Big Schloss summit was mostly snow covered and we were very careful about footing on the rocks. Lots of animal and large bird tracks in the snow - we guessed a fox and a grouse or a crow. Hiking out, we were met by several backpackers just heading up for the night... betting it was cold but really great, peaceful and quiet.
Date of Hike: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Been hiking Big Schloss since I was a teenager. Recover from the Easter Fire at the south end continues. FaceBook album of some post fire photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3241141709865.2129158.1306486692&type=1&l=10d8b17ac1