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)
We had great weather last Saturday for a reattempt of this hike - we'd last tried it in January 2011 on a day with temperatures in the teens. What's not to like on this one - the rock scramble is challenging, and the views are incredible! As the trail description says, once you get to the intersection that leads off to the south for the summit, scrutinize the surroundings carefully to find your blazes - but if you lose them, stay on the ridge and you'll get there! I hope to do this one again sometime.
Here's a write-up I did on my blog: http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/2013/11/strickler-knob-moderate-gwnf-day-hike.html
Tom and Chris
Date of Hike: Monday, November 04, 2013
Very peaceful hike not seeing another hiker the entire time. If starting on Massanutten trail, parking lot on right and trail entrance is abt half mile down road on right. Downhill at start accurately described as BRUTAL and doubly so on way back. Also watch for stacked rocks on right for entrance to Strickler trail - easy to miss.
Robin & Jeff
Date of Hike: Sunday, November 03, 2013
The hike was great. The starter drop was brutal and (though we exited to the street and walked the couple of miles to the car that way) our hiking friends said the climb back up at the end was BRUTAL. You really have to pay attention because we strayed a few times from the pink trail. The scramble wasn't as much fun as Old Rag but the view was spectacular.
Date of Hike: Sunday, October 27, 2013
This hike was great. Realizing halfway through that we had started at the wrong location, not so great.
We used the coordinates provided by HU and our phone's GPS took us to the Scothorn Gap location instead of the Massanutten trailhead. It was our fault for not paying closer attention. We then proceeded to our chosen campsite (the one near the Big Run) which was the opposite direction from our starting point than the summit. Had we come in the correct way, we would have dropped off our camping supplies and continued to the knob. Instead, we ended up backtracking most of the way and then heading toward the top. Due to the unexpected addition of another five miles to this hike, we were unable to make it to the summit for fear we would be returning to camp in the dark. We had headlamps and flashlights with us, but wanted to avoid the added risk. Someday I will return and conquer that last bit.
I left our debacle out while rating this hike, though. The hike itself was challenging and scenic. This is a great time of year to go, as the weather is perfect and the leaves are kindly falling and expanding beautiful vistas. The bit of rock scrambling that we did toward the end was fun. Watch your step, as some of the rocks that seem the sturdiest will tilt when stepped upon.
The camping portion of our trip went smoothly. The Run provided enough water for our needs and, aside from a bit of noise from an owl sometime in the night, no animals bothered us.
We exited the way we had originally intended, up the steep incline to the Massanutten trailhead. That was a good workout. Bring water. When we made it to the road, we just walked the three miles to our truck. It was peaceful, and a bit of a needed rest after that climb.
My advice would be to double check where you are starting and don't let yourself get so excited for the hike that you forget to consult your map. Do not rely on phone/stand-alone GPS devices to get you to the right trailhead. Memorize or print out the pictures that are on this site so that you can recognize what the trailhead looks like.
This is a great website and I can't wait to find our next trip on here!
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 26, 2013
The view is spectacular. The day was nice.
My problem was on the way back I somehow ended up on the scotch gap yellow trail and had to hike on the road back to my car.
However that was perhaps the most peaceful part.
Maybe because it was a late October Saturday but this was not relaxing one bit. There were way too many people, all of them from DC, exactly what you go to get away from, for me. Also, the foilage was a bit weak.