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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: Dayhiker Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 26, 2015
Great Hike! Nice change in scenery along the trail. Like the write up states- there is a fairly long steep downhill just after the start (which of course is a fairly long steep uphill at the end of a long hike). Think about wearing long pants for trail which is narrow in many parts. Fun rock hopping near the top and stunning 360 degree views from the very top. Note-The high peak appears to also be a nest for a family of messy vultures. Overall a fun hike. Enjoy.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 24, 2015
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.

By: Trouble0667 Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 24, 2015
Arrived Sunday after noon . hiked to the camp at the creek . set up first nights camp here . In the morning hiked uphill and set camp by pond I never did find , but was on maps . then hiked up to summit . saw a fat rattle snake , and people on horses . That night swear a bear and a cub went by on camp site , pretty sure that deer don't snort like that . Awesome trip would recommend as a great overnight spot .

By: Phil Rating: 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.

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.

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Early August
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