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Strickler Knob - Luray, Virginia


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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
8.6 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
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5.0 hours with 1/2 hour for lunch
2,140 ft
George Washington National Forest
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Park at either the Massanutten Trailhead 38.66285, -78.59838, or at the Scothorn Gap Trailhead 38.69143, -78.58004 on Crisman Hollow Road/274.
Crisman Hollow Road/274 is closed February 1 to April 1.
 

Some of the best vistas in the mid-Atlantic. The Strickler Knob Trail is a challenging rock hopping/scramble with beautiful views of New Market Gap, the Luray Valley, and a 360 degree picture perfect panorama from the Strickler Knob summit. This is a challenging hike with a great little rock scramble on the ridge. Camp at any of the ridge campsites and enjoy great sunsets and sunrises over the Shenandoah Valley, however be sure to carry up water as there are no springs along the ridge.

  • The Strickler Knob Trail is not a maintained or an official trail, and is considered a bushwack. This hike is not suitable for young children or dogs.

  • You can shorten the hike to 5.2 miles and avoid the tough climb at the end by starting the hike from the Scothorn Gap trailhead on Crisman Hollow Rd/274.
  • Mile 0.0 - From the Massanutten trailhead on Crimson Hollow Rd/VA211 start east towards Waterfall Mountain on the orange blazed Massanutten trail, immediately passing a campsite on the left. In 0.3 miles there is a vista of the Luray Valley. Continue for 0.3 miles at which point the trail turns steeply downhill.

  • Mile 0.6 - Make several switchbacks, then the trail becomes less steep before reaching the intersection of the white blazed Massanutten Connector trail in 0.5 miles from the ridge.

  • Mile 1.1 - Turn left on the orange blazed Massanutten trail as it begins to climb alongside Big Run, passing a campsite in 0.1 miles. Cross the run where the trail becomes steeper, then re-cross the run, make one large switchback, then level out and arrive at the intersection of the yellow blazed Scothorn Gap trail 1.9 miles from the last intersection.

  • Mile 3.0 - Turn right uphill as the orange blazed Massanutten Trail continues to climb then arrives at the ridge and intersection of the pink blazed Strickler Knob trail in another 0.6 miles.

  • Mile 3.6 - Now the fun starts. Firstly, thank you to the trail builders! This used to be a formidable bushwhack. The Strickler Knob trail is marked with pink blazes on the rocks, but may not be there as they have previously been removed by the Forestry Service. The trail will also appear to end in several places, but keep heading along the ridge and you'll pick the trail back up. After 0.3 miles pass a rock outcrop and view to the west and north. From this vista, continue on the trail rock hopping for another 0.4 miles to another opening, and beautiful vista to the southwest. From this point the rock hopping and bouldering becomes more intense. The first obstacle is a 12ft climb over a small rock wall, then just before the the main summit pass through a group of three boulders. This is not the summit stack! Once through the crack continue to follow the blazes, pass a small overhang, and climb a 6ft ledge.

  • Mile 4.3 - The main summit is accessed through a rock crack on the left. Continue for another 30ft to the southern summit overlook. Climbing to the main summit provides a 360 degree view of the Luray Valley and New Market Gap.

Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Strickler Knob hike:

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Hiker Reviews For The Strickler Knob Hike (5 Most Recent)
Review the Strickler Knob hike here!   Average Rating:   Share Hike: 

By: Meredith - 28 yr old runner Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 24, 2019
The weather was perfect and view from Strickler Knob was even better than McAfees! I was surprised at how few others were on top on a 75deg Saturday but I didnít mind!

Do not start the hike from the suggested parking area... unless you absolutely hate yourself! And if youíre stubborn like myself, at least bring trekking poles or find TWO good hiking sticks on your way to help with the one mile 45 deg incline. We had a total of 9.5 miles when we finished. Take the five mile route from Scothorn Gap, or hike in this route then return to Scothorn Gap trailhead and walk the road back.


By: Fabrice Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 11, 2019
Decided to start the hike from the Massanutten Connector Trail parking because the route suggested by Hiking Upward is too steep on the return... I thought the total hike would end up being 9 miles but it turns out to be 11 miles total. Anyway it was a great day. In the 80s but dry so the heat didn't bother me much. the rock scramble at the top reminded of Old Rag a bit. But the crowds weren't there which was very nice. I saw four other people that day.

I like the fact that you can access Strickler Knob from different starting points. you can make it the length you want.


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 15, 2019
Itís quite a long difficult hike. Most of the hike is through a very narrow path in the forest. Itís very peaceful and quiet with very few hikers around. Thereís not much of a view until you actually get to the end point. We hiked in mid June and it seems that the overgrown trees obscured most of the view at the knob.

The turn on the last stretch to the knob is very easy to miss. We had GPS and the all trails app with us and we still missed the right turn where the rock with the pink marker is located.

Definitely more for advanced hikers. Iíd recommend taking the shorter route since the long route through the Manhutten trail doesnít have any views unless you just want to do the long hike for a better workout.


By: Charles G. Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, April 16, 2019
We shortened the hike by starting at the Scothorn Gap Trail parking area. The Forest Service has posted notices about possible closures to the area for controlled burns through May 2019. The notices recommend calling the GWNF Lee Ranger District (540-984-4101) about upcoming closures. We came across a work crew near the spur to Strickler Knob, who said they were planning to conduct a burn in the coming days, so weíre glad we hiked before they closed the trail.

In preparation for the controlled burn, the Massanutten Trail between Scothorn Gap to the Strickler Knob Trail has become more of a road than a trail, with rocks moved away and trees and brush cut to allow for utility vehicles to pass.

The hike and rock scrambles were a hit. There were a few challenging sections, but nothing too difficult with a good pair of boots. However, the soles of my 22 year old Vasques starting detaching during the descent, which made for a slow walk back! On a beautiful spring day, we saw just a few groups of hikers and one group of backpackers. We didnít have the knob to ourselves, but thereís plenty of space up there for everyone. Overall, a great hike.


By: Chris Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, February 15, 2019
So this is mostly my fault, but I felt like the directions weren't as clear as they could have been. If you park at the massanutten storybook trail head sign off of crimson road, DO NOT WALK towards the Massanutten Storybook Trail sign. Instead, turn around, and walk down the road for about a half mile or so and you'll see the sign for the actual massanutten trail. At this point, the directions started making sense and were easy to follow. Unfortunately for me, I wasted too much time trying to find the actual hike that I only got about 2-3 miles in before I had to turn around and beat the sun setting.

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Early August
Vista from Strickler Knob
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