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Rocky Mount - SNP, Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
9.5 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
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5.5 hours plus a half hour for lunch
2,840 ft
Shenandoah National Park
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Parking for about 3 cars is on the shoulder of the road at the trail head 150 yards past mile marker 76. If there is no room, park in another 200 yards at Twomile Run Overlook.
38.29877, -78.64666
 

Rocky Mount is one of a few 9+ mile circuit hikes in the southern section of the Shenandoah National Park. With three different ascents, the last being at the end of the hike, this 2,840 foot loop can feel longer and higher than it actually is. The reward is the great panoramic view from the Rocky Mount summit.

 

From the concrete post marking the Rocky Mount Trail head on Skyline Drive, 200 yards before Twomile Run Overlook, start down the blue blazed Rocky Mount Trail as it descends along the ridge. Views of Massanutten Peak to the west are visible along this section of the trail. Massanutten Peak marks the southern tip of the 45 mile long Massanutten Range.

The Rocky Mount Trail will level out, then follow the ridge on its west side, pass through a small gap, then climb on its north side before descending steeply to the intersection of the Gap Run Trail 2.2 miles from Skyline Drive. At this point the Rocky Mount Trail you had been following heads back uphill.

Turn right downhill onto the Gap Run Trail. The trail initially descends steeply before crossing Gap Run in 1.9 miles. In another 0.4 miles arrive at a concrete post trail marker. Turn left remaining on the Gap Run Trail. The overgrown road to the right is private property. In 0.4 miles from the concrete post there is a large camping area on the bank of Gap Run. Continue along the trail for another 0.2 miles and arrive at the Rocky Mount Trail junction.

Turn left onto the blue blazed Rocky Mount Trail, cross Gap Run, and in 0.5 miles the trail makes a switchback to the right. At this point the trail begins the steep climb the 1.6 miles up to the Rocky Mount summit.

One hundred yards past the summit is a rock outcrop and the best views on the hike. Continue following the trail as is now descends Rocky Mount. Twomile Run Overlook, and the hike start point, is visible to the south halfway down the mountain.

In 1.3 miles from the summit arrive back at the junction of the Gap Run Trail you descended earlier. Continue straight on the Rocky Mount Gap Trail, as it now heads uphill, retracing your route the 2.2 miles back to Skyline Drive and hike start point.

Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Rocky Mount hike:

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Hiker Reviews For The Rocky Mount Hike (5 Most Recent)
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By: Anna Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 15, 2019
Attempted this hike this past Saturday. I would barely call this a trail, the bushes and thorned trees were so overgrown. It was very hard to walk through. We tried going for a little bit ~0.5 mile but ended so cut up on our legs we turned back and left.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 1, 2019
You can tell that this trail doesn't receive much foot traffic and isn't tended to much. The path was overgrown with enough thorny vines and brush to warrant turning back after about 100 yards. I have a feeling it's probably a good hike, but I won't try this one out until winter when the vines and brush thin out.

By: Mike Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 7, 2018
As of 7 Oct, PATC volunteer trail crews have managed to clear the trail out to the Gap Run Trail intersection and part of the way over Rocky Mount and down the Gap Run Trail. The far side of Rocky Mount (approximately between Miles 5 and 6 on this hike) is still uncleared from the blow downs and regrowth following the 2015 fire. The burned out areas are recovering with new saplings coming up from the bases of 'killed' trees, as well as large sections of blackberry brambles. Additionally, 'standing dead' trees that were damaged or killed during the fire continue to create new blow downs across the trail which take time to remove.

Recommend treating this as an out-and-back hike until the far sections are cleared, either up to the overlook on Rocky Mount or down to the bottom of Gap Run.


By: Amanda Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 4, 2018
This trail was seriously overgrown and full of brush with thorns. We made it about a half mile in and had to turn back because we were cut up so badly and the trail condition was getting worse and worse. It took us about an hour to do the half mile in and back out. If you are going to do this trail make sure to wear pants and long sleeves.

By: Paul M. Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 13, 2017
Good for a challenge but seriously overgrown in several places. Note that the GPS coordinates shown for the trailhead are wrong. The trailhead is just south of mile marker 76 on Skyline Drive the coordinates are 10+ miles further south.

From HikingUpward: Thanks for the note. The parking cordinates have been corrected.


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Post May 2016 Fire
Mid April

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