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 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.
Date of Hike: Saturday, December 21, 2013
I could have not asked for a better hike today. The weather was gorgeous with air temperatures around 70. We walked through the snow in some parts which was refreshing and at the top of the hike the views were wonderful with a very light warm breeze. Snowball fight at the top in 70 degree weather was very unusual. With the melting snow there were some very slick and muddy spots to climb and coming down was challenge on the two rock climbs due to muddiness and melting snow.
Date of Hike: Saturday, November 30, 2013
Fun hike today! My wife and my 10yo son were able to make it without any trouble. Took us about 3 hours including a short (chilly) snack break at the top. The scrambles were fine but there was a sheet of ice on some of the rocks - slippery! The view at the top is a great reward for an invigorating hike. We only saw one group of people so the solitude was wonderful. Stopped in Woodstock for a nice country dinner at the Spring House Tavern.
Date of Hike: Monday, October 28, 2013
Got off work early and headed up to Wolf Gap, had hiked Big Schloss the previous weekend and wanted to see what Tibbett Knob was like. OMG! What a blast! I had the trail all to myself and got up there at sunset and it was so amazingly quiet and beautiful I just stood there on the rock outcropping in awe! Ended up a little bit in the dark on the way back, but my hiking poles saved me from a few falls. Absolutely my favorite hike so far this fall. Thanks for your maps, guides, etc.