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.
We "took advantage" of the 30-40mph winds and snow squalls yesterday to go see both Tibbet Knob and Big Schloss. We had been promising ourselves to revisit Big Schloss ever since our last visit when there were close to 50 people up top forcing us to leave before we were ready. The vicious wind kept people away letting us have both peaks to ourselves, something that probably pretty much never happens on a weekend at one of the most visited locations in GWNF.
For us, Tibbet Knob is a really short hike, but one we like a lot. Bang for the buck is huge. A short walk to amazing vistas. Our initial views off the east side of the ridge before starting the climb up the knob had us looking down on clouds snowing on the valley below, a pretty awesome sight. [I might add that we have never been up to Big Schloss from Wolf Gap, always coming in from the north, but the bang for the buck is great too. Despite a pretty steep initial half mile climbing to the ridge line, it's a mere two miles to the stunning views at the Schloss.]
Trail is well marked with yellow blazes every few feet, EXCEPT one place. As you start to climb the knob, you will go up and around the northern flank headed due west. Then suddenly, there is 180-degree switchback taking you back due east before you get into the steeper part of the climb. Unfortunately, there seems to be a pretty wide game trail headed west out of the back of the switchback and we ended up on that, going 75 yards without seeing a blaze and finding that the mountain laurels were starting to encroach on the trail. We weren't only ones fooled here: a very large guy with huge boots left his tracks in the snow both coming and going on this part of the trail. I did my best to pile up some brush at the end of the switchback blocking this trail (not high enough to stop the deer, but it should give humans pause). Long story short, the yellow blazes are really close together and if you go more than 50 yards without seeing a blaze, backtrack until you find a blaze.
If you are looking for a place to camp, the site up top may be the finest camp site in all of GWNF. There's no water source though.
Date of Hike: Sunday, September 25, 2016
My 9 year old and I hiked Tibbet Knob and loved it. We hit the trail around 12:40, only saw 5 people coming down, there were 5 people at the top, but we eventually had the summit to ourselves and saw no one on the way back down. Great hike, my 9 year old keep saying the steep sections were not "family friendly", because of someones review here. :)
Date of Hike: Sunday, August 14, 2016
sometimes it is tough to find a good hike when its 100+ degrees but this was perfect. We saw no one on the trail nor at the top, ofcourse possibly because of the heat. The top had amazing views and a cool breeze believe it or not. The distance was perfect for a hot day. Loved it as much as i love Big Schloss. If the weather was cooler i would consider combining the two hikes in one day for a more enjoyable day
Date of Hike: Sunday, June 19, 2016
Nice.....great hike for a half day, took dog , when there are 25+ folks headed to Big Schloss , there might be 5 headed to the knob.
Great weather, good stuff
Richard W et al.
Date of Hike: Wednesday, March 30, 2016
We hiked this right after Big Schloss earlier on the same day.
We crossed the street from Wolf Gap campsite parking lot and headed up the trail as it passed some picnic tables. The trail is initially very wide and leaf covered but the blazes are more than enough to keep us on the right track. The trail travels up the ridge and then slightly down before going back up again on a fairly rocky path for about 3/4 of a mile. As it head to the knob, the trail hits 2 rock scramblings that are about 30 yards apart. After the second rock part, the trail goes on a bit before hitting a campsite with a great view of the valley on the west side. If you travel further down the trail past the campsite it will continue on as part of Mill Mountain trail but you will have passed Tibbet Knob.
The views are pretty good. Compared to Old Rag, Strickler Knob, or Big Schloss, Tibbet Knob's view is more limited in angle (180 at best) but still great nonetheless. We'd recommend this trail to anyone who liked Big Schloss but wants something slightly more difficult and rocky and more secluded (We saw at least 8 groups of people while on Big Schloss but no one on Tibbet Knob). Overall a great hike and the ratings on here is fairly accurate.