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Veach Gap/South Fork Overlook - Front Royal, Virginia


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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
7.0 mls
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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/South Fork Overlook hike:

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

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 27, 2019
This is a great hike with a camping spot at the top. One I'll do again. This is a great trail if you like seclusion and to be out there without many other folks.

I set my hammock and rain fly up just behind the 2nd overlook since it was later and I assumed no one else would be coming by. No one did. There was a couple who beat me to the prime camping spot at the 3rd overlook. I was able to look down 1000 feet into the valley below while resting in my hammock. The set up worked really well. The spots at the top would have been very exposed in a severe storm, so it isn't a place to go if there is a chance of precip. I cooked my supper and watched the Shenandoah Valley fade into darkness as the sun set behind me. I woke up before dawn and watched the sun turn the sky into brilliant shades of red over the Shenandoah NP. This was an excellent spot to drink my coffee and cook my oatmeal watching it all unfold. I then packed my stuff and quietly hiked down the mountain where I came across a few deer and a bear who didn't hear me until I was closer than I would like to be. It ran away as soon as we saw each other.


By: Ash Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 30, 2019
I enjoyed this hike mainly because it was easy for a great view. The stream that you hike along for the first mile provides a nice soundtrack and it a good source of water for dogs. There were a lot of wild blackberry bushes full of fruit which should be ripe around mid-July. I really enjoyed the views at the top. A bonus was a large amount of wild blueberry bushes with some of the blueberries ready to eat. If you’re a fan of wild fruit I would do this hike in mid-July.

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!

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