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Strickler Knob - Luray, Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
9.1 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
5.0 hours with 1/2 hour for lunch
2,240 ft
George Washington National Forest
Apple Blossom Inn
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e.g.. 12000 Government Center Parkway 22035 or Fairfax VA
Park at either the Massanutten Trailhead, or at the Scothorn Gap Trailhead on Crisman Hollow Road/VA211. 38.66285, -78.59838
Crisman Hollow Road/VA211 intermittently closes in the winter to traffic due to road deterioration. Check with the GWNF for gate status at 540-984-4101.

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.

Turn right uphill as the orange blazed Massanutten trail continues to climb, then arrives at the ridge and intersection of the pink blazed Strickler Knob trail in another 0.6 miles.

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 :)

After 0.3 miles pass a rock outcrop and view to the west and north. From this vista, continue on the trail rock hopping for another 0.4 miles to another opening, and beautiful vista to the southwest. From this point the rock hopping and bouldering becomes more intense. The first obstacle is a 12ft climb over a small rock wall, then just before the the main summit pass through a group of three boulders. This is not the summit stack! Once through the crack continue to follow the blazes, pass a small overhang, and climb a 6ft ledge.

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.


Beautiful sunset from
Strickler Knob
Photo courtesy of @Chucklong13
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Hiker Reviews For The Strickler Knob Hike (5 Most Recent)
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By: aldikuma Rating: 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.

By: Alec Rating: 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!

By: Rating: 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).

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 07, 2014
A great hike with great views. Started at the 211 parking lot for an additional 2 miles, give or take. A secluded gem.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, October 23, 2014
It was a very long hike, took me about 7.5 hours to complete it, but still hadn't of found the infamous spot of strickler knob. I had the map and directions printed out in addition.

I followed the Massenutten trail all the way to the 4 way intersection where you are a quarter-mile from Jawbone Overlook and took that left. Went on for a while till i hit an open established trail that led to the road.

The whole time I was looking for the pink blazed tree/rocks and could not find them. I was very saddened to take that long of a hike and not reap the rewards, the pink blaze should be repainted so that way people can clearly see! I understand its a bushwhack, but for the just the beginning of the trail it would be nice.

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Early August
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