Elliot Knob is the highest point in Augusta County, and one of the highest peaks in Virginia. Just west of Staunton and secluded in Buffalo Gap, this hike features two waterfalls, several great views to the west and east, and a grass covered summit. If you're lucky, this hidden treasure can be all yours for a day.
At 0.4 miles pass a small logging road on your right, the first of four. In 0.6 miles from the parking area the trail makes a turn to the left before entering the first of three small clearings at 0.8 miles.
After turning left on the yellow blazed trail continue 0.8 miles, crossing two small spurs, and passing through a utility clear cut before arriving at an access road. Turn right uphill on the yellow blazed dirt access road for the steepest part of the hike before arriving at a spring and small pond in 1.0 miles.
Continue along the road as it passes a small stand of spruce, winds back to the right, then to the left, passes the yellow blazed North Mountain Trail and transmission station, then enters another stand of spruce and flatter area.
At this point the dirt road you have been following turns to the right towards the transmission station. Turn left onto the trail that climbs on the west side of the mountain and up to the grass covered summit in another 0.1 miles. The lookout tower was built in 1958 and hasn't been used since the early sixties. If you are doing this hike as a backpack there are two sheltered campsites under a stand of spruce at the summit.
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Reviews For The Elliot Knob Hike (5 Most Recent)
We really liked this hike. It was very easy up the logging road, as well as the creek section with the falls. Even the upper section of the Falls Hollow Trail was simple. We had a little snow & it was very windy & cold...so the hardest part was the mile up the STEEP access road. I know that it's been noted that it is the hardest part. We have hiked most trails in SW VA, even though we are not AT hikers (we try :)) & this was quite a trek. The top & fire tower were amazing! It's in great shape compared to the others we've found. Probably bc not many vandals will make that hike (thankfully). Overall, the trails were well-marked, well-maintained & the views were gorgeous, antennas aside. Very glad we did it in the winter, even if it was 12 degrees. lol. Definitely one of our favorites now!
Date of Hike: Sunday, November 03, 2013
Had a little trouble finding this hike because my directions said it would be on the left. Is off 42 S/Little Calf Pasture Highway, on the RIGHT, directly after a yellow-green school bus crossing sign. The parking area is more like a pull off wide enough for a couple of cars. There is a small brown marker #291 under a stop sign to the left side of the parking area for further identification. Hope that helps any future hikers.
Really enjoyed this hike! Not the most scenic on the way up, but beautiful views at the top. Also a great workout.
Date of Hike: Monday, October 14, 2013
When I started up the trail there was quite a bit of fog and some rain, but at the summit I was treated to brilliant sunlight and a view of a sea of clouds in all directions. In short, it was amazing.
I doubt that specific scenario can play out for everyone, but even without that this was quite an enjoyable hike. Due to the recent rain pretty much every inch of the trail was slippery with wet leaves and all the streams were running very full.
The last mile or so on the access road is pretty grueling, you definitely aren't expecting that after the gradual ascent up to that point. The fire tower is a good way to get a higher vantage point so long as it remains structurally sound... seems that way for now.
For solitude, this was great. I only met one couple on their way up when I was on my way down, no crowds here!
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 20, 2012
After reading several of the reviews we were not sure what to expect. However we were pleasantly surprised. The first half of the hike its amazing, great views, several waterfalls and stunning during the fall. The Second half started off as a disappointment as it is a gravel road. Much to our surprise was how steep the road was. As you walk up you start to look around and realize that the views are 2nd to non in Virginia. Besides no matter how much you don't like the road, the end of this hike makes it all worth while with one of the most amazing views I have seen. This is not a hike for some one out of shape but worth doing it if you are looking for a great day hike.
Date of Hike: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
If you are looking to be alone and clime a mountain like me, this hike will do, but that's about it. The first 1.7 miles is all you would think a hike to be in Western Virginia: quiet, serene, lots of trees, and a large stream that parallels the trail. The elevation gain is minimal= 480ft/mi. You then take a sharp left and cross 2 spurs for the next 0.8mi with little to no elevation gain. That's when you hit the gravel access road. It's a mile, and its strait up=1200ft/mi elevation gain. Enough said! When you get to the radio towers you've all but made it to the top. If you are lucky the towers will even boost your cell phone coverage. Take a left and 5 minutes later you will have made it to the top. You can clime the fire tower and even go on inside, since all the locks have been cut. View from the top isn't all that great, and the wind is fairly strong if you are planning to stay the night. Something I did not like at all is that there is NO parking for this hike. The only place to leave your car is by the gate, which is about 20 feet from the highway, leading passerbyers to assume you have abandoned it!