Some of the best vistas in the mid-Atlantic. The new Strickler Knob trail is a challenging rock hopping/scramble that has beautiful views of New Market Gap, the Luray Valley, and a 360 degree picture perfect panorama from the Strickler Knob summit. A nice hike with a great little rock scramble on the ridge.
The Strickler Knob hike is now one of our favorites. The rock scramble on the last 0.2 miles of the Strickler Knob trail is just as much fun as Old Rag and Duncan Knob, requiring several 12ft climbs over and between the cracks of the boulders. You can also shorten the hike by two miles and park at the Scothorn Gap trailhead on Crisman Hollow Rd/VA211.
Note: The Strickler Knob trail is not a maintained or official trail, and is considered a bushwack. This hike is not suitable for young children or dogs.
From the Massanutten trailhead on Crimson Hollow Rd/VA211 start east towards Waterfall Mountain on the orange blazed Massanutten trail, immediately passing a campsite on the left. In 0.2 miles there is a vista of the Luray Valley. Continue for 0.3 miles at which point the trail turns steeply downhill. Make several switchbacks, then the trail becomes less steep before reaching the intersection of the white blazed Massanutten Connector trail in 0.6 miles from the ridge.
Turn left on the orange blazed Massanutten trail as it begins to climb alongside Big Run, passing a campsite in 0.1 miles. Cross the run where the trail becomes steeper, then re-cross the run, make one large switchback, then level out and arrive at the intersection of the yellow blazed Scothorn Gap trail 2.0 miles from the last intersection.
Now the fun starts. Firstly, thank you to the trail builders! This used to be a formidable bushwhack. The Strickler Knob trail was marked with both pink and red blazes on the rocks, but they have been removed. The trail will also appear to end in a couple of places, but keep heading along the ridge, and you'll pick the trail back up. You'll know when you get to Strickler Knob :)
The main summit is accessed through a rock crack on the left. Continue for another 30ft to the southern summit overlook. Climbing to the main summit provides a 360 degree view of the Luray Valley and New Market Gap.
Photo courtesy of @Chucklong13
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Reviews For The Strickler Knob Hike (5 Most Recent)
Hardest hike we've ever been on. Best views. Carry 2 liters of water per person keep another 1 liter pp in car for afterwards. The trail is covered/shade almost the entire way. The laurels and azaleas were blooming. We had great weather. The little streams were lovely. We got rattled at by two very large rattle snakes (diameter of your forearm, 6 feet long) that were on the path, but after they rattled, they moved into the woods. Glad I carried a walking stick. The trailhead was hard to find on Chrisman Hollow Road. Take 211 West - cross the Shenandoah, pass the turn for 340 South, it's the next right turn after Dan's Steakhouse. Then, do NOT stop at Storybook trailhead, keep going another mile or so. The trail is flat at first with a nice viewpoint. Then, the trail goes right down into the valley - very hard to go straight down a hill, so plan to rest on the way down as you get warmed up. Stick to the orange blaze marks. Once on the valley floor you will cross the stream twice on fallen logs. The hike then makes an arc through the forest on a soft path and the trail becomes a challenging rocky dry streambed. After streambed, take a right at a sunny intersection (still orange blazes) into a low brush area - bear and snake area. After low brush area, you'll enter a big rocky sitting area switch to PINK blaze markers to get to the knob. The orange starts going down anyway so this will seem wrong. Take pink for about 45 minutes out to the knob. There are some false lookouts, keep going. To climb to top of knob, go around the back side. A rock slide between the peak towers makes a ramp to get up to the top. The hike back was fine, until we hit that first downhill segment. We had to stop 5 or 6 times to rest a few minutes to get up it. We're glad we can now say we did this hike, but probably won't be a perennial favorite due to the difficulty.
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 28, 2015
Set out from Massanutten Trailhead around 10am. Moderately difficult hike up to the bushwhacked Strickler trail, which is marked by a pink cairn up on a tree. Essentially, you just hang a right across the small rock/Boulder field once you hit the top of the ridge to head out to the knob. A few fun rock scrambles and great views of the New Market Gap and Luray Valley the entire way out the ridge, but the trees were still bare given that it was late March so visibility was high. Definitely one of the more fun hikes I've done in VA. We decided to head out through scothorn gap afterwards and walk back up Crisman Hollow Road to the parking lot afterwards, which was good for tired legs.
Date of Hike: Sunday, January 11, 2015
With snow and ice on the ground, this hike was a little slow going, but beautiful. I ran into several groups of people, so it doesn't rate high on the solitude scale. However, the views from the top are just gorgeous. I brought my dog, who is a great rock hopper! There were only two places I had to help him up - otherwise, he managed better than I did in most spots. Only one note that when you reach the ridge, the pink trail to Strickler Knob is on your right and there's a cairn there to mark it. If you start going downhill, you've gone too far. I lost the pink trail a few times, but it's fairly well worn and you'll see pink flashes on the rocks. Be very careful on the last part as there are several large loose rocks.
Date of Hike: Wednesday, January 07, 2015
Finally reached this incredible spot, with it being 10 degrees and a wind chill of 2, I used pure motivation to get there! Hiking from scothorn gap was probably the play though may I add. Taking the hike from forest development aka EAST LEE, it was a long but well worth it hike. May I add that still ontop where Strickler hails needs to be more clearly marked, the pick blaze is put in mysterious places where I would've never looked upon.
But basically, getting there on a day nobody was there and it was 10 degrees, mentally it was worth it, physically? yeah ill swing it that way, I look forward to hiking this again come spring time!
Date of Hike: Thursday, December 11, 2014
Hiked from Scothorn gap. . .had no trouble finding the trail out the knob - marked with a large rock cairn and a red marker on a nearby tree. Also seem to be (fairly) fresh pink blazes marking the trail all the way to the end. Other than the 30-MPH wind gusts and some ice on the rocks, a fantastic hike. Lives up the billing, particularly on the views (and not just from the summit). Note that I'd still not put this in the same category as Old Rag - you're not on the same large stretches of pure rock. . .this is more of the typical scramble over large slabs, etc. -- but lots of it, including several small but fun climbs. Two sites with fire rings, but only one where you could pitch a tent or two (or, at least where I could do so. . .your mileage may vary).