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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)
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By: Jack Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 04, 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..

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 31, 2017
Went up with the pup for a quick New Year's Eve morning walk. 16 at the trailhead, 8 and windy up top. 6.8 miles round trip according to the Garmin, sped through it in about 2:25 including 15 minutes at the top for pictures and a snack. Probably my favorite hike in the area because of the varying vegetation, stream, seclusion, and rewarding views at the top. I had to laugh at the earlier posting about the big white dog, as he came out to greet me this time as well. Don't remember that from years back. Anyway, this was my first time doing it in the snow and it was like a whole new hike.

By: Hobo Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 05, 2017
Great hike, amazing view. Three great overlooks on a ridge trail. Gradual ascent makes for a great kids and beginner hike. Some fire damage at the overlook. Looks like a camp fire at the overlook got away from somebody. The last part of the orange trail is black with ash from the fire but new growth as started. On the bright side the fire cleared the brush and leaves and the view is great. I started about 8:30 am. Only one car in the park lot. Gravel road in has a sign by a house"SLOW 5 MPH Pets at play." A large white dog ran after my car on the gravel road when I left. Plenty of water in the creek as it had just rained the day before. Trail is easy to follow. Two pointers. When you get to the creek crossing you need go up the creek for about 50 feet then the trail is more visible on the other side of the creek. When you get to "the outhouses\sheds" fork take your FIRST LEFT on the orange trail. In the morning the valley was fogged out until about noon. Just one big white out. About noon I could start to see the river through the fog and then a 1pm the fog cleared out. The fog completely cleared out in 30 minutes. I had the mountain to myself until noon when I was heading back I ran into two other hikers with their dogs going up the trail.

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