|4 hours with half hour for lunch.
Jefferson National Forest
Printable Topo Hike Map (PDF)
Hayters Gap VA Weather Forecast
Garmin (GDB), GPS eXchange (GPX) (What's
View of Route
By Trail Contributors: Christine and Adam Anderson
The Great Channels features a maze of slot canyons similar to what you may find in the southwestern United States. The hike is a hidden gem in southwest Virginia and you will find nothing else in Virginia quite like it. The Great Channels Natural Area Preserve is one of Virginia’s most geologically fascinating areas. This 6.6 mile out-and-back takes you down into a network of maze-like crevices formed in soft sandstone.
For a more detailed description go to Virginia Trail Guide's site.
- Mile 0.0 – From the right side of the parking area, head past the entrance gate and continue uphill on the white-blazed Brumley Mountain Trail.
- Mile 0.6 – Reach an opening created by power lines for an obstructed view.
- Mile .75 – Reach a junction where the fire road turns to the right uphill, but stay straight on the Brumley Mountain Trail which now becomes a dirt path.
- Mile 1.0 – On the right you will see some privately-owned cabins, but there is no trespassing on this private property.
- Mile 1.5 – You reach Shallow Gap, which provides some obstructed views to the right of the trail through the trees. The trail begins to become steeper.
- Mile 2.25 – Come to a small outcrop of sandstone, similar to what you will find at the Great Channels. Shortly after this, you will begin a couple of switchbacks, which take away some of the steepness of the terrain.