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.
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Reviews For The Veach Gap Hike (5 Most Recent)
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.
Date of Hike: Saturday, November 14, 2015
Great hike - terrific views at the overlook, especially the one opposite the 'point' where the river below makes a 180degree turn. Nice gentle slope on the way up.
Date of Hike: Sunday, November 08, 2015
Second time on this hike! A great, short, easy hike with a gradual incline and gorgeous views. Nice campsite along the way and two at the top as well. You can continue on the trail if you have time. Such a great network of trails around this area.
Tom & Suzy
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 17, 2015
Very nice mid-fall hike. 1st mile follows a beautiful creek then a gentle climb with some rocky sections to the top of the ridge with a wonderful view of the Shenandoah Valley and the south fork of the Shenandoah River. Area still healing from the 2012 fire. Campsite at top is exposed. Took us 4 hours to hike and 45 minutes for lunch. Saw 10 people total on a Saturday including one couple planning to camp overnight.