Tibbet Knob is the sister hike to Big Schloss. Starting from the same parking location at the Wolf Gap Campground the hike heads in the opposite direction along the Tibbet Knob Trail. Although shorter, this hike is not as family friendly because of two short, steep scrambles to the main Tibbet Knob summit.
Big Schloss is one of the most well known, and most panoramic hikes in the region, with an almost 270° vista from the main overlook. Tibbet Knob is nearly identical in distance to the Big Schloss hike, and is every bit as spectacular. Boasting a wider and more spectacular panorama to the north and west, a wonderful vista just below the high point to the east, and probably the most perfectly placed campsite in the whole Great North Mountain area!
Where the Big Schloss hike can draw many people on nicer days, the Tibbet Knob hike generally has a fraction the number of hikers. For vista after vista, without the crowds, this hike is hard to beat.
After crossing the small summit the trail descends, then veers right between the ridges, before turning back to the left steeply uphill. In 0.4 miles from starting up the main ridge, climb the first of two steep sections that may require hand over hand climbing. Both are only 20-30 yards in length.
At the top of the first steep section the trail passes through a flat area before you reach the second steep area. After reaching the top of this scramble follow the trail for the remaining 200 yards to the top of Tibbet Knob, and pass through a thicket to one of the most spectacular overlooks in the whole region. Twenty feet past the overlook there is a great campsite that could accommodate two small tents.
To return just follow the trail back to the Wolf Gap Campground.
I did this after doing Big Schloss in the morning which may have played a role but, as others have written, the difficulty scale on this hike probably is too low. The majority of the hike going out is uphill. The rock scramble is not too bad going up but you have to be careful coming down so as not to twist an ankle. The view from Tibbet Knob is gorgeous. Folks have clearly take the idea that there is the perfect campsite immediately past the knob to heart as there is a significant fire ring and someone has even piled stones to make a very nice stone bench. It may have been that my legs were tired from doing Big Schloss first but the hike took me 3.5 hours with just under 30 minutes at the knob. Great hike if you want to work a little harder for your reward.
Date of Hike: Saturday, May 09, 2015
Second training hike of the day for the Wandering Fools. We are preparing for a 21 mile hike in one day in Dolly Sods. We planned on doing this hike because it was relatively short and was a great sister hike to Big Schloss which we did earlier in the day. The difficulty ranking of 2 was definitely deceiving and would not recommend this hike for those looking for a leisurely stroll in the woods.
The first part of the hike was gradual uphill climb. After about a 1/2 mile, we took a break and enjoyed the only views you will see before you make it to the overlook. From here, the trail gradually descends before the start of a strenuous uphill climb. Maybe it wouldn't have been so difficult for us if this was the only hike we did this day, but we had just done the 4+ mile to Big Schloss so our legs were tired! Every time we felt like we were close to the top, we realized that we were no where close. Near the end, it is steep, hand over hand climbing which was definitely a challenge given how exhausted we were. When we finally made it to the top, we were pleasantly surprised to find that we were alone at the top and able to enjoy the entire overlook to ourselves.
They aren't lying when they say there is the perfect campsite available. The thought of hand over hand climbing with a 25lb backpack on our backs makes it a little less appealing! After about 20 minutes at the top, we began the less than fun trip back down. The path going down hill was just as hard as the trip up. Lots of loose rocks and a killer on the legs! Did I mention that this trail was full of bugs? Even with bug spray, we were covered with gnats and in a few parts of the trail, mosquitoes. We were thrilled when we finally made it back to our car. Took us 2 hours including the break at the top of the overlook.
Overall, we gave this hike a 3 out of 5. Given the choice of the two, we would choose Big Schloss. It is a much prettier hike, a little easier on the legs and overall a perfect distance for an easy hike.
Date of Hike: Sunday, March 15, 2015
This is a nice hike, the views to the east from the ridge are all-encompassing, you can see the whole Shenandoah valley. You can tell this trail gets less use than the Schloss trail, in places I had to stop and locate the route plenty of yellow blazes made that task easy. I just did a day hike, and as I climbed the two rock scrambles I was wondering how it would be with a full pack, but everywhere I needed a hand or foot hold there was something. And the view to the north and west from the summit was amazing to the north I saw the entire Trout Run valley and all of the landmarks were easy to make out (today was windy but quite clear). I had lunch at the camp site, it is nicely sheltered from the wind by a grove of mountain laurel and there was plenty of fire wood around. The out-and-back time was 2 hours, a nice day hike but there is some significant uphill and so I would only recommend this to people who are fit and used to sustained uphill.
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 08, 2015
It was a great day for hiking, as it reached the upper 50/60's in the GWNF. Arrival was around 11, parking lot was packed but i found a spot. But we reached the summit at 1145, as being 2 college athletes, it took us no time, but with all the melted snow/ice made this hike extremely difficult in certain areas. But overall a great hike, a slow ascension which is enjoyable, but the views were fantastic and was pretty neat to see Big Schloss from range!
Date of Hike: Sunday, November 02, 2014
Perfect day for a hike. Crisp and cold, light snow falling when I started this morning. Beautiful. Trail is very well maintained, with a variety of terrain to view as you make your way up to the summit. Rock scrambles were fun and afforded good views of your progress. Chilly and gusty winds limited my time at the top, but so glad I went. Passed a few campers coming down the mountain , but otherwise pretty solitary. Went on to do Big Schloss after finishing. Big Schloss is nice, but this hike just seemed more enjoyable today. A perfect autumnal/wintery day. Highly recommend this one. Would be good for older kids.