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Veach Gap - Front Royal, Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
7.0 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
4 hours plus a half hour for lunch
1,050 ft 
George Washington National Forest
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From VA678/Fort Valley Rd, turn onto VA774/Veach Gap Rd. where it crosses a small concrete bridge and becomes dirt for 0.8 miles, At the end of VA774 there will be a parking area. 38.87618, -78.37623

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.

Turn left on the orange/blue blazed trail as it gradually ascends Little Crease Mountain. In 0.5 miles look for a trail on your right, with a small tent symbol on a tree, that leads down to a nice camping spot.

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.

Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Veach Gap hike:

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

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Hiked Vetch Gap after two days of moderate (~1.5") rain. The stream crossing wasn't bad, but had to cross about 50' upstream for dryer footing. The 100 yard long section where the trail and stream merges was easily done no water shoes required (just careful foot placement). The Massanutten / Tuscarora trail section had sections of running water / mud which were passable.

In addition to the stream at the Vetch Gap / Massanutten junction, there was a smaller source of water at 38.885N -78.336.

Despite an attempt to locate the third overlook (and better campsite), it wasn't obvious. The trail started to descend past 38.889N -78.338 and thought (given approaching sunset) that it would be best to return to an earlier, obvious, campsite.

If you've stayed at the third overlook, I'd be interested in knowing the GPS coordinates.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 20, 2018
We had beautiful weather for a fall hike. The leaves were somewhat turned, but a little late this year. The hike is not strenuous, but it is more than a stroll. The reviews helped when we approached the stream after the first mile...you just have to start to look for not only the blazes, but the path to form on the opposite side of the stream once you reach the water. Luckily it had not been raining, so walking over the stream and then up the other side wasn't difficult, but I would understand how this hike might not be possible after heavy rain. The overlooks were great. Personally, I think the second overlook out of the three is the best. I saw some reviews about wildlife - specifically rattlesnakes and we almost walked right on top of one! So keep an eye out, there was a HUGE (perhaps it had just eaten) rattle snake halfway on the trail around the first 1 mile of the hike. It was kind enough to let us know we were a bit too close :)

By: Jack Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 4, 2018
I hiked this with my young sons and it was a nice first hiking/camping expedition.  I wish I had read the review that said the trail followed the stream 100 feet.  The trail is marked across the stream, but no other markers that I could see, and no trail either, so I guess we were supposed to follow the stream.   We went across the stream and couldn't find a trail, we spent some time scrambling over the rocky mountain hillside looking for the trail and never found it.  I didn't want to have my boys haul their packs into an area I wasn't certain about where we were going, so we ended up finding another campsite but we had wanted to get to the summit views.  Saw a pretty large bear track, and some turkey.   Enjoyed ourselves, but next time I'll pay more attention to the comments here!

By: Hobo Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 28, 2018
One of my favorites. I hiked it after a rain. You can see a video of the hike I posted here - https://youtu.be/wmHU6_L_aLI The trail was a little "creeky" in places from run off. If you hike it after a rain I would suggest waterproof boots or shoes. I ran into 4 hikers coming down the trail. Had the overlooks to myself. Amazing views. Lots of nats and flys on the hike. Maybe bring some good bug spray. On my way back I ran into about 7 backpackers going up to up to the overlook and a 10 person trail crew from SAWS (trailcrews.org) doing some training. After the hike I went up in Woodstock tower which is only about 4 miles down Fort Valley.

By: Katz Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, March 15, 2018
A pleasant 7.5 out and back. Starts out easy, alongside a rushing stream. The trail remains relatively flat and easy as you skirt the base of Little Crease Mtn. Then a sharp right and its about of mile of moderately steep ascent. Pleasant panorama back to Veach Gap, visible due to fire ravaged clearings. New growth coming up fast. At the top, stunning views of the Valley and the Shenandoah River. Nice fire pits and potential camp sites at the top--although rocky..

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