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)
This was a great way to spend the first beautiful spring day of the season! The trail has a nice gradual incline and it was cool to see the remnants of the forest fire. Plenty of spots on the nearby creek to dip your feet on a hot day. Lovely view at the top. Took us 5 hours with leisurely breaks.
Parts of the trail are quite muddy, even though it hadn't rained recently. It seems like there's a spring nearby that seeps onto the trail. I think this would be a muddy slog if attempted right after a rain.
Date of Hike: Saturday, February 09, 2013
Made a modification to this hike and made it into a loop.
Following the trail notes to the ridge was fine, but got confused when the entire trail was underwater for a way. Eventually saw the blazes right next to the creek, I mean trail and figured it out.
Overall the Massanutten was pretty wet until it started climbing up. The forest fire must have been pretty good, as we got charred up getting to the overlooks. Followed the ridge
We followed the ridge around, and bushwhacked up to the summit of Little Crease Mountain, and followed the ridge down to a prominent cliff that we could see on the way up. Along the ridge is an old worn trail made by hunters/surveyors that eventually turns into a logging road that will take you back to the Massanutten. This way you get a slightly longer loop hike. In the winter it was fine, but could be a little thicker in the summer. There was a fair amount of loose boulders/rocks too - so watch your step.
All in all - this was a good hike, with good views, and going down the ridge was pretty fun too.
Here is a link to the trip
Fort Valley Man
Date of Hike: Saturday, January 19, 2013
I live very near to the trailhead of Veach Gap so I am very familiar with it. The highlights are good views at the tops, a nice stream on the way up, and a lot of interesting geology (including one massive, tilted bed of rock, several acres wide, that is basically a fossilized sea floor from 400 million years ago - incredible to explore). There is an interesting devil's garden that is fun to climb on the right side of the trail as you ascend. There is a lot of history, too - during the Civil War, there was a grist mill where the bodies of soldiers were said to have been ground up. Evidence of frequent Indian occupation in near the modern-day wooden shelter area (near the springhead).
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 27, 2012
A good hike for beginners or those getting back to the sport. The trail is well marked and intersects other trails so watching for and interpreting blazes can be practiced. We saw some trout in Mill Run and some anticline rock formations. We were able to collect and purify water as the trail goes very near the Mill Run source. We camped at the high camp and passed through much burned forest along the way. The work to put out fires was evident all along the trail and loose stones along the trail presented hiking challenges. Weather was in the 50's and 60's and we had pretty strong winds over night. We found where someone had made a small cairn with a cross in it's center. Don' t know if it is marking a tragic event or what. It is located just below the overlook at camp. About 100 feet up the trail from our camp is another fire pit and we used that location to prepare our meals and we hung our food in a tree near that location. We hiked up the trail another couple of miles after setting up camp. The trail goes over a narrow ledge and then descends into a valley without the help of switchbacks, so it is a steep climb. We did find the camps fire pit filled in and covered in stones. We cleaned it out and used shovels to dig it out to make it usable. Generally a good trail and interesting due to altitude changes along the way. I would recommend this hike to anyone for a weekend getaway.
Date of Hike: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Did this as a day hike to check out the forest fire damage. The campsite at the top is sooty and the ground is scored with damage from fire and water. Unless you don't mind smelling like soot, I wouldn't recommend camping at the top. Use the campsite lower on the mountain and then scamper to the top. Most of the dangerous trees damaged by the fire have already been cut down by the fire crews, however I saw quite a few trees that are borderline...they may not make it through the winter. The hike up was rockier than before...I think they trucked in rocks to shore up the fire road during the fire fighting efforts. Made for a tough hike. Saw a toad, two box turtles and some turkey vultures. A local was hunting with his dogs...not sure what he was hunting...but I tied my blaze orange bandana to my day pack just in case. Be careful out there during hunting season.