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Hiker Comments for the Sugarloaf Mountain Hike - 1 to 27 of 27   
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By: Stacy Mizrahi Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, May 31, 2019
The nice thing about this hike is that you can park at the top of the mountain a majority of your hike will be small elevation changes with some small areas of steep ascents. The the of the hike is mostly mild ridge-line style of hiking. From the west parking lot,took the green trail to the summit and then took the red to the blue train on the north side of the mountain - at that point you just follow the blue around. or the new hikers, a free trail map is available at the green trail head.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, May 24, 2019
First time hiking: first of all Iím out of shape and this probably was not the best hike to start back up. But I want to provide my pros and cons.

-Pros: good overall hike. I will definitely come back and bring friends. The views are beautiful. Although I saw people I never felt like it was over populated. But that could also be timing. For the most part the trails were well maintained clean and and the blazes were easily spotted. I never really hunted except for one time when they stopped showing blues blaze in the white/blue section for a few blazes. -Cons or considerations: a lot of rock gardens on the trail. I rolled my ankle good about halfway in and was hurting pretty bad by time I finished. If you have weak ankles, roll easy, or just got out of a cast I would make sure you wrap and secure good or donít go. My boots are mid-high. I would recommend high boots. Using the map and blazes got a little confusing. It almost did not look to match. I was able to follow directions here online but a had a few people ask me directions. The views are the same. When I posted the pics I realized I canít distinguish which is which. I wish there were more creeks for my dog. That canít be controlled but realize if you want place of water for your dog to chill in (which my dog loves) it was not until last half of the trail and very minimal. Overall it was a nice trail. I want to bring a group there but I donít think they will be ready for it yet. Need to start lighter.

By: LarryP Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 4, 2017
This was our first hike of the fall, so we took it slowly. We started on the white trail in the East View parking lot until it merged with the Blue trail. We then stayed on the blue trail as described in the trail listing. It was a great day to hike, weather-wise. We started about 1130 in bright sunshine and finished just as the rain started. The trail map lists the Blue trail as 5 miles, but with starting at East View parking on the White trail made the loop 6.2 miles (according to my GPS).

By: Eric G Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 30, 2017
Beautiful day for a hike, especially for late July in this area. Did the Blue trail all the way around, ascended the peak on the Red trail and came down the Orange trail. One especially rare thing to occur is there was a timber rattlesnake hanging around the White Rocks overlook. These are extremely rare to find in Montgomery County. He wasn't bothering anyone, but of all places for him to be, the overlook (where a lot of people go to get great views of Frederick County) was not the best place for him to be. Be aware of venomous snakes when hiking!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 11, 2017
Solid hike. Got started on the trail at about 9:45, and it was mostly quiet (probably because its winter). The absolute hardest part of the entire hike is the first 10 minutes, up from East view parking. After that, there is no scramble, nothing too steep. So if you make it up the yellow hill, you're fine - also worth mentioning, the way down on the West View isnt anything like the way up on East view.

Trail started to get more crowded later in the day, and the views are amazing, but the trail is well maintained and marked.

By: Giker (Girl Hiker) Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 2, 2016
So I am on a hiking spree- every weekend, I plan to do one tough and one easy hike. Sugarloaf was my easy one (although Signal Knob wasn't tough either), but through and through the hike was amazing. I parked in the east lot and started my hike at around 10 am. I have to say the initial ascent is really good- I absolutely enjoyed the steep and rocky climb! But it wasn't worth much (besides burning calories) as I went to the summit first- the morning was still drizzly/misty, so didn't get any views there. However I followed the blue blazed trail and the terrain was a good mix of ascents and descents but not tough at all.

I had trail almost to myself except for a few hikers here and there. When I reached the white rocks, the fog had lifted and I was blessed with really nice views of the valley, both on the north and the south ends. I spent about 15 minutes there, and luckily I had good cell signals so was able to facetime with my parents, and eat my banana :)

Coming back was also pretty easy and I was at the west parking lot at around 1:40 pm. I kept going down as instructed, to get to the east lot, but unfortunately missed a turn and kept going down and reached the exit of the mountain, only to realize my car was parked 1.5 miles uphill! Omg!!! So of course I had to climb back up and finished my hiking excursion, at about 2:15-ish. On the bright side, I burnt a few extra calories, and can indulge myself with a small sundae :D

By: Sean Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, April 27, 2016
I've been to Sugarloaf Mountain many times and had hiked most of this route. This time I did the official Hiking Upward version from start to finish. For some reason I have usually started from the west parking lot on the mountain, except for one time from the base parking near the offices. This was my first time approaching the summit from the east parking lot. Unlike the west side, this route to the top was part rock scramble. The orange blazes are faint but can be seen on the rock.

The blue route was pleasant as usual. Most of the trail is not too rocky for me. Just saw two other hikers with dogs, unleashed in violation of park regulations. A surprising amount of litter at the start -- I cleaned up a bit. It had been rainy but the trail was in good shape, with just one muddy spot I had to work to get around.

I was the only one in the east parking lot upon arriving at 8:30 am. There were seven cars when I returned. Looks like they're adding some parking -- I see land grading and tree cutting near the parking areas.

By: Golden enjoyed it Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 6, 2015
Was looking for a moderate hike and read up on this one. Was a really nice hike. The initial part, orange route, is the only difficult part. Couldn't have been longer than .1 miles. Please note someone prior said they would not take their dog because it would be way too difficult, however I disagree. We took our golden and he was fine. Granted he has hiked way harder hikes, but I think most dogs can find a route. I will note though he was very tired by the end as this is probably one of the longer hikes he has done. It also is easy to skip the orange and bypass it with the white or green routes. Overall really liked the hike, relaxing and some nice views. Took us about 3 hours and a nice mix of terrain. I did have to keep my phone out to look at this review to make sure I was taking the right routes, but all the trails are marked well. You just want to make sure you get back to the right parking area.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 11, 2015
With heavy rain in the forecast for the morning, I decided to can my plans to go to Shenandoah for the day.† However, things cleared up by mid morning so I decided to hit Sugarloaf as it was close by.† I ended up doing a modified route (took purple trail to White Rocks, then backtracked up to the northern summit just for the heck of it then used White trail to cross back over to the other side of Blue trail and back down Orange to the East View parking area - in my haste, I had missed the first summit in the morning), and was pleasantly surprised.† The trail was more difficult than I thought because of all the rocks, even though the elevation gain was slight.† Solitude was about a 1 or 2, the parking areas were packed but once you moved out towards White Rocks the crowds thinned out.† Overall, definitely worth a hike again because of the closeness to DC area.† Views are pretty cool.

By: TriniLan Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 3, 2015
Loved this hike! Didn't see any stinkbugs... yay! Considering that it rained just the day before, the trails weren't soggy at all, except for a few patches where you could easily sidestep the mud. Beautiful foliage and views. A bit crowded as expected on the Fourth of July holiday, but more solitude was found on the longer (Blue & White) trails. Wear a good pair of hiking shoes as the trails can get quite rocky and the probability of stubbing your toe is high.

Modified Route: Parked at the first parking lot by the entrance on Comus Road for a longer hike. Took the eastern White Trail to the Orange Trail, then the Red Trail to the Blue. Followed on to the Blue & White, and western White Trails back down the mountain to the car.

Time: 4.5 hours including breaks for food and tonnes of photos (total break time = approx. 1.25 hours).

Difficulty: This isn't an easy hike due to the length of the modified route and the changes in elevation. As a moderately fit person, I was definitely tired by the time I got back to the car, but I wasn't overly sore the next day. If you're not new to hiking, and you live in the DC metro area and want a scenic and invigorating hike, don't miss this one!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 28, 2015
A great hike for those looking to expand their skills!† This path took us up rocky trails with scant markers (orange) and forced navigation skills to identify which direction to turn at crossings.† The blue trail was a challenging up/down trail with nice breaks as you hiked along ridges.† The views were fabulous!

I highly recommend hiking poles for those who are not in good hiking shape.†

It rained all day before our hike - so the rocks were slippery and some of the trails were streams!† But that is what GoreTex boots are for - Right?

By: Karl Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, June 17, 2015
4 stars for a great hike. Easy, no. Look at that profile again and the big dip and climb at the end. Whoa! The trail laid out here is a variation of the blue trail, or the Northern Peaks trail. I didn't do the variation, just the normal Blue Trail, a shorter 5 miles. I hadn't been hiking in a while and that was enough work for me. I liked the trail because there is a good percentage of "not-very-rocky" trail, about half, and the trail that is rocky isn't so bad. Some interesting views and plants. I see some complaints in the reviews of crowds. The shorter trails and highest peaks can be crowded on weekends, which is when most of the reviews are from. I went during the week and saw about 10 other hikers -- more than I expected for the relative remoteness of most of the Blue Trail. Shady during most of the hike. I'll do it again.

By: KCL Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 13, 2015
This is was my first solo hike, and I definitely enjoyed my morning. I started around 8:30am and a lot of other folks were heading out as well. Trail was well marked, except the orange blaze was a little confusing in the beginning. A few people were on the blue trail, and everyone I encountered seemed familiar with the trails. Would do it again although next time will add more mileage.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 7, 2015
This is my second time hiking at Sugarloaf and the trail was essentially the same compared to the same time last year. The orange assent trail leading to the summit may be slightly more washed out though. It was pretty crowded and there were several dogs on the trail, but everyone was picking up after themselves.

Took the blue blazed trail around again and added on the purple segment this time. I'd continue on the blue and leave the purple off if you want more of a work out.

By: naley819 Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 8, 2015
We hiked the Blue loop (5miles) to White Rocks for fantastic valley views. The beginning and end of the trail was still snow covered and icy but the trail edges provided enough traction for allow passing. As a beginner, I found this hike moderate to difficult at times and was able to complete in 3 hours. Great Rhododendron and quartz outcroppings! I will come back in the spring when things are in bloom.

By: 8 Feet & 4 Paws Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 30, 2014
We parked at the bottom of the mountain and took the white trail up the hill. Found the orange path by some parking lot. The orange path is a fun ascent that is steeper than expected, but we all enjoyed it. The dog thought it was difficult and he needed a lot of rest at the overlook to prepare for the rest of our hike. We were happy to have the 2-year-old in the backpack for this orange trail. We took the green trail back down, which was less then enjoyable with the steps - prefer natural terrain. Green trail took us to a picnic area/parking area and had to search a bit for the white/blue trail. Took the White traiil back to the parking lot we parked at the bottom. This was a nice hike, but way too many people. We all prefer more solitude on hikes and the trails were very busy. Didn't get to enjoy the overviews with the number of people at the summit.

By: Aaron Knowlson Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 3, 2014
We took the white trail out of the parking lot, then the orange to the summit. Then we made our way to the blue trail and looped around the park via the yellow trail. Overall, a very nice hike with some nice views at the summit and some of the parking lot overlooks. The summit also has great rocks for sitting and eating snacks just wish the landscape was a little more visible!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 2, 2014
Headed out to Sugarloaf to check it out and see what it's all about. Followed the prescribed hike and had a great time. We took our time and enjoyed the White Rocks overlooks. Finished in 3 hours. There are definitely some challenging sections. The orange section at the very beginning is very steep and i think a lot of the trail has been eroded from foot traffic and rain. Overall a very enjoyable hike that offers a little bit of everything. I'd like to go back and do this in the fall.

By: AA Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 9, 2014
First time. Loved it. Got there right after 8 on a moderately chilly day to beat the crowds. Was the first one up to the parking area. Took the Orange Trail up to the summit. It is moderately steep and would be a challenge for elderly people and for those who are really out of shape. Then†I took the Green Trail (which I didn't like because it has stairs where it descends) to the Blue Trial. Then I took the Blue Trial north and then west all the way to White Rocks. Although it's not that big of a challenge for people in shape, it's pretty good exercise. I am a 6'2," 205-lb.†athletically built 36-year-old man and I got a serious Charley horse later that day when I was napping. The view from White Rocks is pretty. It overlooks farmland to the west. Then I went south on the Blue Trial to the White Trial, which takes you east and then south back to the east parking lot. Including the Orange Trial, it's probably the best and most taxing route on this little mountain. It's about 7 miles in total. I completed it in 4.25 hours, which is not that fast but it was my first time and I was taking everything in and going off the trail some (including to urinate). The parking lot was full when I got back and I started seeing a lot of people when I got on the White and White/Blue Trails heading south toward the parking lot, so be sure to get there early. Great time and plan to do it again one day.

By: Amy Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Not open when it snows.

By: Marc Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 23, 2013
This is a very nice and quiet hike around a couple of peaks near Sugarloaf. I did the blue blaze, which is the peaks hike. It's not terribly challenging, though there are a fair number of uphill sections but they are relatively short and not too strenuous. Takes about 2 hours at a leisurely pace.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 12, 2013
I took my dogs on this hike and followed the instructions exactly. They are very accurate, but I would add one thing. The part of the hike that ends up at White Rocks, well the trail actually passes by a big pile of white rocks. The instructions said there are two overlooks there, and there weren't, so I assumed I hadn't gotten there yet. But it was confusing for a moment. There is a very steep incline early on to get your heart pumping, but after that it's not particularly strenuous, especially for a hike of almost seven miles. Anyway the day I went was pleasantly warm for January but very foggy all day, so there were no views at all. I would like to return with clearer skies. I arrived at the east parking lot at 8:50 on a Saturday, I think it opened at 8. I was the second car in the parking lot and saw about six people in the first five miles of the hike. Then as I got close to the end of the loop there were many, many people on the trail, and when I got to the parking lot areas I was surprised to see maybe a hundred cars or more. It's an odd thing, so many 'outdoorsy' people who you can completely avoid by just getting an early start. If I had gotten there when the gate opened, as I will next time, I would have avoided a lot of trail traffic. Better yet, a weekday might be the way to go here. One other note, leashes are required for dogs and I only encountered one dog owner who did not have their dog on a leash. Everyone else was courteous and compliant with the leash rule, something I don't always see on the trails. If you bring your dog, pack plenty of water, there's only one stream on the trail and it's toward the end of the loop as this site describes it.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, October 12, 2012
My sister and I went out to Sugarloaf for a short and quick hike. We started at the East View parking area and took the Orange Trail up to the summit. The Orange Trail is definitely one of the most direct paths to the summit, so it was a little steep and somewhat of a rock scramble, but it was fun. The views from the summit were nice and the day was gorgeous! We did a loop back to the parking lot via the Red, Blue, and White Trails, which provided an enjoyable descent. I look forward to going back to try out some of the other trails and see the views from White Rocks. Overall, it was a great hike!

By: ArlHiker Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 30, 2011
A great stroll through the woods on a temperate winter day. We started in the West view parking lot, and with stiff legs went to the summit, and then went counter clockwise. The first half of the hike has places with some loose rock, but the second half is easy hiking. The lookout at White Rocks is nice as well. All told from where we parked, it was a 5.7 mile loop. One thing to keep in mind is that they don't open the gate until 8 am, so no need to get there too early.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 21, 2011
I do a lot of biking and running but this was my first actual hike in a long long time.† I had a blast.† I wouldn't call it easy, but it's not extremely difficult.† Three seems to be about the right rating.† Great views and it took me about 2 hours and fifteen minutes to finish (including stopping to take photos).† I didn't stop for a snack but did carry plenty of water.† Next time I think I'd bring at least a power bar.† The actual distance was more like 6.66 miles according to my GPS.† I didn't run into a ton of people either, although I started at about 9:30am.† Recommended for people who are in moderately good shape, but you don't have to be in tip top shape to finish this one.† I do think people under estimate this hike thinking it's a piece of cake when it reality it's right in the middle.

By: Wappledoo Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 10, 2011
Sugarloaf is my standby hike, I do it at least a few times a year.† I usually park in the West View lot, hike to the summit on the green trail, and then follow the same route recommended above, with the exception that I don't have to hike along the road to the East View at the end to get back to my car.

The crowds can be a bit much along the shorter loops on a nice weekend day, but if you can get out there on a weekday or are willing to hike on a cooler early spring or late fall day, you'll be rewarded with a lot better than the "1" given above for solitude.† Even on a busy day, however, most of the people are just on the shorter loops, so you don't run into more than a dozen or so people once you're out on the blue loop.

By: Mark Faulkner Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 4, 2011
My wife and I have hiked this one a few times, and it is one of our favorites. It's a great option for anyone living in the DC metropolitan area and offers enough variety in views and terrain to maintain interest. We enjoy heading to the summit first then going counter-clockwise on the blue trail. The yellow can also be added on for a longer hike. Overall, it is an enjoyable hike within easy driving distance of DC. We will definitely go there again.

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