Hawksbill Mountain
Some of the best vistas in the SNP
Great Virginia Hiking Books!

Turk Mountain - SNP, Virginia

Printable Topo Trail Map
   All Hikes Map
   Click for location shots
   Click for Parking/Start location
   Hike trail
   Other trail

Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
10.4 mls N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
5 hours plus a half hour for lunch
2,390 ft
Shenandoah National Park
Printable Topo Hike Map (PDF)

Waynesboro Weather Forecast
Garmin (GDB), GPS eXchange (GPX) (What's this?)
3D View of Route

Park at the Jarman Gap parking area. 38.097855, -78.781139

Turk Mountain is a tough hike with about 2400’ of elevation gain, bring plenty of water, especially if hiked in the summer. We hiked it a few days before Christmas and it was quite cold. It's hard to rate the solitude as the temperature was so cold all normal people were at home and not out hiking. The best views are at the top of Turk Mountain, so make sure you do the out/back Blue-blazed Turk Mountain trail.

All of the trails for this hike are well maintained. Hiking poles would be advisable for the multiple stream crossings, althought the level will be significantly less in the summer.  This hike is the last circuit hike in the southern section of the Shenandoah National Park.

We parked at the Jarman Gap parking area, near MP97. There are two yellow gated barriers, the trail starts on the barrier nearest Skyline Drive and goes downhill. Continue past the barrier hiking on the yellow blazed Moormans River Fire Road. In about 0.2 miles you will come to an intersection of the A.T., continue past this intersection, crossing Moormans River multiple times prior to reaching the intersection of the Turk Branch Trail in 2.0 miles. You will cross the river and immediately take a left after the SNP Stone Marker heading up the yellow blazed Turk Branch trail. Note: The Moormans River Fire Road continues straight at this intersection following the Moormans River, make sure you turn left onto the Turk Branch Trail.

Continue on the Turk Branch Trail, crossing Turk Branch a couple of times, with multiple switchbacks prior to reaching the Turk Gap parking area. This part of the hike is about 2.6 miles long and gains roughly 1200’ feet in elevation. One of the crossings had a nice small waterfall with a few others visible upstream.

From the Turk Gap parking area, cross Skyline Drive and head to the Stone marker, bearing left onto white blazed AT going South. DO NOT TAKE the yellow blazed continuation of the Turk Gap Trail. Stay on the AT South for 0.3 miles until you reach the intersection of the blue blazed Turk Mountain Trail, take a right. This is an out and back adding 2.0 miles to the hike, but you will see the best views of the day and have a great place to eat lunch. Be sure when you are at the top of Turk Mountain to continue along the rocks past the Stone marker, so that you can also see some great views of the Shenandoah Valley. Retrace your steps to the AT intersection.

Take a right at the AT intersection heading south for about 1.4 miles before crossing Skyline Drive. To the right is the Sawmill Run Overlook which if you have time, has some great views. Once across Skyline Drive there are some good up and downs on this part of the AT but not too bad. Continue on the AT for 1.7 miles reaching the Moormans River Fire Road intersection. Take a right and reach the Jarman Gap Parking area in 0.2 miles to complete the hike.

  • Flash_FP1
  • Flash_FP2
  • Flash_FP3
Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Turk Mountain hike:

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

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 29, 2018
Did this hike on Saturday. Have done it once before in the dead of winter so I was excited to get some warmth and sunshine at the summit this go-around. Because of all the rain a couple days before, the eastern portion (first 3-4 miles) were VERY wet. The trail was basically a stream until I got about halfway back up the other side, and I had to cross actual streams and the river over a dozen times. The river crossings were especially difficult, but I managed to find tress and/or rocks up/downstream and stayed mostly dry. If you don't want to be wet, DO NOT do this hike right now.

All that considered, the rest of the hike was warm and dry, and the views from the summit (both eastern and western vista) were fantastic. Lots of low clouds and fog that day and it was neat to be above the clouds at the top as they rolled over the mountains. Lots of wildlife in this area as the vast majority of the hike is not heavily traveled. Saw tons of people on the Turk Gap parking to summit portion (2 miles), though. The remainder of the hike down the AT is pretty steady, but the uphill around mile 9 or so is tough after everything you've done so far. Overall I loved this hike, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a long, challenging day hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 23, 2017
I am going to rate the hike as a four star. The leaves are starting to change in Shenandoah. The only thing keeping this from a 5 star hike is the big yellow jacket nest on the Turk Branch Trail. Be careful out there if you do this hike. I would recommend this hike later in the Fall/Winter when the colder weather ensures that the jacket nest is not an issue.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Overall, a very nice hike. I only scored it a 3 stars because, as someone else noted, there are nicer hikes just a few miles up the road. (e.g. Riprap, Trayfoot, Doyles River) In some ways that is unfair. In 90% of the country, this trail would be famous, but here, it is a second thought. That said, I hiked it as described and believe that is the better direction to hike it, plus after 6 miles and the climb up Turk, I was ready for a lunch break with a very nice view. Trails were in good shape and no problems. Lot of windblown coming up from the Moormans, but the trail was nicely cleared. If hiking in summer, be ready for the sun to beat down on you hiking the AT back to Jarmans Gap. They are right about bringing enough water, it was in the 70s and I drank 1 1/2 liters with no pit stops.

By: John Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Great hike. It's got a little bit of everything. Challenging uphill, pleasant flat ground, nice views. There are even some cool rock walls during the first few miles. There is one very nice view that is a bear to climb to, but it is very nice. I even met a little vole or some sort of vole-like critter. If you like hiking, challenges and a nice view, this is for you!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, June 29, 2016
My wife and I did this hike today and it was a great hike. The trails were clearly marked and very well kept. It is quite rocky at the summit of Turk Mountain as is the trail to it but nothing that these two old grandparents couldn't handle. The views are spectacular. The streams were overflowing as a lot of rain has fallen in the last several days but no problems getting through them. Overall, it was just a great day!

    View all 25 reviews for the Turk Mountain hike
Late December
about us | terms of use | © 2019