This is a secluded out and back hike in the Veach Gap area of the George Washington National Forest near Front Royal, VA. Most of the hike is a gradual ascent through Veach Gap, with a beautiful overlook and campsite at the high point.
Start by passing the closed gate and heading up the yellow blazed Veach Gap Trail. Cross from the right bank over the run in 1.0 miles. After crossing the run meet the intersection of the orange/blue blazed Massanutten/Tuscarora Trail in another 0.1 miles.
Continue up the orange/blue blazed trail for another 1.4 miles, where the trail will turn right for
0.1 miles before turning back to the left. From this point there is a nice view of the Massanutten Valley to the southwest.
Continue up the trail passing a small rockslide, and in 0.2 miles as you reach the ridge line, arrive at the first of three overlooks. The second overlook is in another 0.2 miles. The third, and most spectacular overlook, is in another 240 feet at the high point of the hike, along with a great campsite. The sunrise is fantastic as it comes over the Shenandoah National Park to the east on a clear morning.
To return just retrace the route
back to Veach Gap Trail, turn right, and continue down to the parking area.
Interactive Hike Map BelowPrintable
Topo Hike Map (PDF)
Hike route in Drag the map with your mouse using the icon Zoom with the controls on the left
Click the icons in the map below for location shots
Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Veach Gap hike:
Reviews For The Veach Gap Hike (5 Most Recent)
I really enjoyed this hike. I wasn't paying close enough attention, though, and kept hiking for an additional 2 miles after the campsite - the trail continues along a ridge, gets narrower and rockier but is incredible and mostly level. A great extension.
I'm a novice hiker, and I will say that the "gradual ascent" after the Little Crease shelter area was definitely challenging. I needed to stop often to catch my breath - but it's not difficult.
Lots of little lizards and oodles of butterflies on the trip, as well as a herd of white tail and a wild turkey. Great views at the top/along the ridge. Don't forget the sunscreen (like I did). The first mile or so is very relaxing, along the stream.
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 26, 2016
We set out for this hike on a Saturday afternoon, planning to spend the night at the campsite at the end and hike back in the morning. The hike was very pretty for the first mile. It was a gentle upward gradient going along a nice stream. As some of the other reviewers have remarked, random spots on the trail take on some water, so you have to walk around or hop across rocks. It hadn't rained or snowed in a while, so it wasn't a big deal. After taking a left on the orange and blue blazed trail, the hike became kind of boring. The trees out there hadn't yet started to bud. The views from the top make that boring section worth it, though. There was a campsite about a mile after you turned onto the orange-blue, another at the best overlook at the end, and another if you walk about a tenth of a mile further. All of them had fire rings built from stacked stones. When we were there, we saw about 8 groups of people walking off of the hike, and once we'd settled down to camp at the pretty overlook, a couple came from further up the trail to camp at the second camping spot on the ridge. There is no water up there, so bring plenty if you plan to stay the night. It's a pretty easy hike and nothing particularly special until you reach the top. It makes a great place to camp with friends.
Date of Hike: Thursday, January 14, 2016
Got out on a warm day in January and had more ice and mud on the trail than I expected, but not too much. Streams were running quite high -- I was glad to have my hiking pole to help me across. A nice view at the top. Saw some wild turkeys along the way. There was one other car in the parking lot but I saw no one else on the trail. A nice thing about this trail is the more gradual incline to the top than I experience on other trails. Didn't have to stop once to catch my breath.
Date of Hike: Thursday, January 14, 2016
Quite a few spots on the trail were wet, but these were a small percentage of the total trail. I wore my usual New Balance trail shoes but waterproof boots would have been better. Next time, I'll bring an extra pair of socks. A trekking pole was a great aid in crossing streams and testing leaf piles to see if I would plunge in or not. Because nighttime temperatures were below freezing, several trail spots (not many) were icy so use caution in cold conditions.
The only other trails in the area I've hiked are the Signal Knob/Meneka Peak trails, and this is less rocky and less steep the lower difficulty rating is appropriate. Unlike those harder trails, this is one I'd bring the family back on. I'm not in the best shape and was surprised to not get winded at all with a steady pace to the top. A nice view of the Shenandoah River at the top. A few campsites along the way. At about 1/3 along the trail, a short spur takes you to the Little Crease Shelter. This was my first time on the trail -- I'd like to try it again in summer.
One other hiker arrived at the parking area when I did at 10 a.m. He hit the trail before me and I didn't see him again (there are several paths he could have taken). I didn't see anyone else on the trail. My hike took 4 hours including a break at the top and a side trip to see the Little Crease Shelter.
Date of Hike: Sunday, December 27, 2015
Don't hike this alone or after lots of rain. Definitely wear hiking boots (or mini-galoshes) and/or have a second pair of shoes in the car.
I found the crossing over the run nearly impossible due to higher stream levels. (At least crossing it in a way where I would not get my shoes wet). I thought I could work around it by scrambling onto rocks on the right hand side of trail and crossing higher upstream. The scramble over moss-laden rocks plus the dead leave undercover and sticker bushes proved more difficult (but more dry than stepping into the stream).
After crossing (and determine some of the hike was in the stream bed) I decided to turn around to ensure safe passage across the stream. (Better to cross on fresh legs than after many miles of hiking).
Made my way back to the car (after a short 2 mile out and back hike). Afterwards, I got my hiking "fix" in by doing another short out and back on Signal Knob (which was harder due to the vertical climb but much more enjoyable as it did not involve a treacherous stream crossing or rock scramble). I climbed Signal Knob until I ran out of water. (Even though it was late December it was still warm, felt like mid 60's with very high humidity.)
Maybe this is a better hike when the stream is not as full, but I will save that for another day. Also, I want to complete Signal Knob prior to trying this again.