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.
Beautiful Sunday hike! Ran into only two other hikers, even though there were several groups of people hanging out at the parking and camping area near the trailhead. An easy, short trail, but nice workout, especially in the high humidity. The views from the top are amazing. I would love to come back and camp at the top to watch the sunrise. Only found one tick on my dog, but I've been using a geranium oil mixture as a tick repellant and it's worked so far! Maybe some trails just don't have as many ticks as others.
Date of Hike: Saturday, July 05, 2014
BRING BUG SPRAY!
The trail is clear but the tall grass is not maintained so you will be walking through weeds a great portion of the hike. We liberally applied bug spray and avoided any bites or ticks, but I doubt that'd be the case otherwise.
Besides the tall grass, it's a wonderful hike. That view undoubtedly deserves a 5, and there's plenty of room for many hikers to sit at the peak area. It was a Saturday and we ran into other groups but it definitely wasn't that crowded compared to how other more popular hikes would be.
I'd put the difficulty at a 3. It's about an hour each way but the uphill trek is a solid workout.
Date of Hike: Monday, March 24, 2014
A great extension to Big Schloss if you like hiking longer than 4 miles. The views are very nice and the trail isn't too difficult. It feels pretty long despite only being 3 miles. It was still very snowy on lots of the hills at points, so it made the hike much harder than it would be in the summer or late spring. The rock scramble in particular was pretty tough getting up because it was COVERED in very slick ice. But this all made it that much more unforgettable.
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 22, 2014
I hiked this with my daughter (11) for a one-night camping trip to test some new gear. We left from the Wolf Gap lot around 4 PM and it took us about an hour to reach the knob. We saw only five other people on the trail and had the campground to ourselves. I had been on the trail before as a day hike in the summer but the lack of leaves on the trees this time around made for a lot of views I didn't remember before. Looking east, we could see forever. The temperatures were in the 60s but some snow still remained on the north-facing portions of the trail. The two scrambles for the top make the hike interesting and would be good for young kids to have a little excitement.
The campground is nice - assuming you are the only ones there, you'll feel like you are on top of the world and isolated. We ate dinner watching the sunset and counted stars, despite the wind, with hot chocolate after dark. We had a lot of wind as a cold front dropped through (below 30s at night) but the vegetation blocked a lot of the wind from the north. The biggest drawback is the lack of water - since there is no source at all between the Wolf Gab campground and the knob, you have to carry in water to drink, cook, clean and put out the fire. A few reviewers noted that they found smoldering coals on day hikes so I was prepared to keep the fire low so it could be fully put out but I can see how unprepared campers would not have had enough water to properly douse the fire. Advice, carry plenty but stash some in your car so you can just dump it all in the fire pit when you leave.
Great hike to test some camping gear and for kids interesting in a backpacking experience as you can really feel like you are two days deep in the Adirondacks but only be 1.6 miles from the car.
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 15, 2014
This was an optional car camping/backpacking trip I organized through Central Virginia Trailblazers. Nine of us went up to Wolf Gap for the weekend. Four stayed in the Wolf Gap Campground for the night. Five of us stayed on top of Tibbet Knob Saturday night. The campsite up there is as perfect as it gets, aside from not having a water source. The sunset gave us some remarkable golden light for photos. We grilled bacon-wrapped scallops and toasted the day with wine. An awesome campfire and a full moon rounded out a perfect day. That night temps dropped to 28 degrees and a 20 mph wind made for a very chilly night. After breaking camp we hiked back down to Wolf Gap and dropped our backpacks for a nice dayhike up Big Schloss. The trails were easy to follow, well-maintained and fun to hike. The rock scramble on Tibbet was a bit challenging with full packs, but managable. I highly recommend this trip to anyone in the Richmond area. But don't expect to find the campsites empty when the weather gets better. Be prepared to backcountry camp instead. This hike, although on the VA/WV state line, is only 2.5 hours away from Richmond. That's not too bad for such a great trip. There are plenty of options for other hikes in the area, as well.