This 2.1-mile out-and-back hike begins at the Upper Hawksbill parking area at mile marker 46.7. I imagine this is because it’s just .8 mile to the reach the top on the summit hike, but 1.95 miles to the top on the loop hike. 1. North Entrance Station. Sandy Bottom Overlook - 2700 ft. 2. Shenandoah Overlook. It’s a very short drive from both parking areas. While the Hawksbill Summit Hike has a steady incline to the summit, the Hawksbill Loop Hike takes a different approach. This trail is very rocky in places, and the descent from the summit is steep. This hike can be completed as a 2.8-mile loop or a 1.9-mile there-and-back trek. Again, you will encounter a mild incline, then a flat section, repeat. Upper Hawksbill to Hawksbill … This 1.6-mile out-and-back hike originates at the Hawksbill Gap parking area at mile marker 45.5. They were short, but you will need to catch your breath, no matter how fit you are. Here you’ll want to veer right on a mostly gravel trail. You’ll also see a lot of yellow and purple wildflowers (in-season). By the third or fourth one you actually need to scramble across them to reach the dirt trail on the other side. Much like the loop hike, this dirt and gravel trail to the top has mild inclines, then flat sections. Just stick with the blue trail. Cross Skyline Drive at Hawksbill Gap and pick up the trail to Hawksbill Summit. You can reach the summit in less than a mile, although you will be … You’ll also see a brown trail sign indicating that the summit (and an actual viewing platform) is 50 yards away. Continue to the right to stay on the path to the summit. parking area at mile 45.5, take the Lower Hawksbill Trail to Byrds Nest 2 Shelter and then follow the trail to the viewing platform. 5. This loop takes you to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain which is the largest peak in the park. There are parking lots on both sides of the road, but many visitors make their own parking spot in the grass. Watch your footing as some rocks can be loose. There’s no question that there are certain sections of the two out-and-back hikes that are unmercifully steep. The trail emerges from the woods at the summit, and the Byrds Nest Shelter (day use) will be on your right. Of course, the loop hike was longer both in distance and time hiked (it took me 1 hr, 20 mins to hike – the other two hikes each took me 50 minutes), but I liked that the elevation gains were more moderate and the scenery was more varied. Hawksbill Gap serves as the trailhead for a number of popular hikes (including the fantastic Whiteoak Canyon-Cedar Run loop), so arrive early to get a parking spot. Hawksbill Mountain: the hike. Re-trace your steps to the parking lot but watch your footing since the trail is quite steep and it can be easy to slide on small gravel rocks on the way down. Skyland Upper Loop (North Entrance) – 41.7 Whiteoak Canyon Parking – 42.4 Skyland Lower Loop (South Entrance) – 42.5 Limberlost Parking – 43 Timber Hollow Overlook – 43.2 Hawksbill Gap Trailhead – 45.5 Old Rag Overlook – 46.4 Upper Hawksbill Trailhead – 46.5 Spitler Knoll Overlook – … It is steeper and more strenuous than the From here, you re-enter the shady forest and begin to go downhill for a short time. We pulled over at the Hawksbill Gap lot at mile 45.5, where the Lower Hawksbill Trail starts. Hawksbill is very popular spot, at the trailhead it's hard to find regular parking spot, just park at road side; plan to spend 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours on the trail and reserve 10-20 minutes at the peak to enjoy the view at the highest point of Shenandoah mountain-4051 feet. If you're short on time and still want to bag the 4,050ft Hawksbill summit, start the hike from the Hawksbill Gap parking area on Skyline Drive following the Lower Hawksbill Trail for a out and back 1.6 miles. Hawksbill Gap Parking Area - Skyline Drive in Shenandoah. Parking can be a challenge, so it is advisable to get there early. At the .45-mile mark, you’ll notice a steep and massive boulder field on the left-hand side of the trail. The trail on the right is for the Hawksbill Loop Hike. Turn left here to pick up the southbound route. Rose River Loop Trail - 4 mile circuit from Fishers Gap, moderate, shady trail with streams, cascades, and a waterfall. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. At the 1.75-mile mark, the trail opens up on the left-hand side to a small, rocky viewpoint that is quite beautiful. Hawksbill Gap parking area on Skyline Drive: A Shenandoah National Park entry fee of $30 per vehicle, $25 per motorcycle, or $15 per person is valid for seven consecutive days. Both ways begin with the well-maintained trail on the left, which is the trail used for the out-and-back version of the hike. I started my hike just before sunrise and I had the trail to myself. At the top, there’s plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the views. To return to the parking lot, re-trace your steps to the first trail marker and turn left to descend the steep and rocky Lower Hawksbill Trail. From the Hawksbill Gap parking lot, one could simply hike uphill one fairly strenuous mile to reach the Byrd's Nest and reach the same climax as the full circuit however, doing the hike this way would cut out the views along the Franklin Cliffs part of the trail. Shenandoah National Park is known for spectacular panoramic views along Skyline Drive, a 105-mile scenic byway that traverses the entire length of the park. I noticed quite a few buzzing flies at the summit too, so be sure to bring along insect repellent. It’s 1.95 miles to the summit. Leave the parking lot on the White Oak Trail. In fact, the 1.6-mile out-and-back Hawksbill Summit Hike is quite a steep trek up to the Hawksbill Viewing Platform. However, if I had to choose one, I would opt for the Hawksbill Loop Hike. Shortly, a trail marker appears as the trail intersection with the Appalachian Trail. These are the perfect place to stop and catch your breath on the way to the summit. In another few steps (.05-mile), there’s another opening to a viewing area on the left-hand side of the trail. Hawksbill Gap Loop. I recently had the chance to hike all three back to back to back. Mile 0.0 - From the parking area at Timber Hollow Overlook enjoy one of the best views of the hike. If you are coming from the North, you'll see that the trail starts on the right side of the road. Here are three ways to get to the top: #1: Hawksbill Summit Hike. (Oct 28) I started out at Hawksbill Gap Loop parking area at MM 45.5 which is a more challenging hike up as opposed to starting at the Hawkbill Upper Parking area at MM 46.5 which is much easier. This is a short and steep hike with outstanding views at the top. In some sections, you can definitely feel the burn. Savor the views from several different areas of Hawksbill Summit, including the Hawksbill Viewing Platform. The boulder field is very cool and it’s nice to be able to see the mountains through the forest on the loop hike. This 2.8-mile loop hike shares a parking area with the Hawksbill Summit Hike. On the loop hike, I never felt out of breath on the way to the summit. This 2.7-mile loop takes you directly to the peak on the Hawksbill Summit Trail and then takes the less aggressive Salamander Trail back down to the AT for a return to the parking lot on the Hawksbill Gap Trail. This trail goes by Hawksbill and Hawksbill Spring. In another .2-mile, you’ll see a couple of large, flat rocks on either side of the trail. At the 1.1-mile mark, the trail splits. From the Thornton Gap entrance, take Skyline Drive south for 15.2 miles to reach the parking area, on your right. Re-trace your steps to the return to the parking lot, turning right at the first trail marker, then veering left at the second trail marker to descend the relatively steep hill. This is a long and fairly rewarding hike to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain, the highest peak in the park, though I would recommend most visitors to do Hawksbill as a 2.5-mile loop hike starting at Hawksbill Gap. Our first challenge was finding parking for this popular hike. Beagle Gap Overlook - 2490 ft. 4. Retrace your steps to return to starting point. This basically skirts around the edge of the mountain to the other side. #3: Upper Hawksbill to Hawksbill Summit Hike. Certainly, there are pros and cons to each route to the Hawksbill Summit. So unique, so many rocks. From the Hawksbill Gap parking area, select the trail that leads off to the right for the 2.8-mile loop hike. This blue-blazed hike is more rocky to start and begins with a mild descent. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55. The trail out of the center of the parking lot is a VERY steep and the most direct trail to the summit called the "Lower Hawksbill Trail". If you've got hiking poles in the car, you may want to grab them. parking area at mile 45.6 - 2.9 mile circuit, moderate hike with beautiful views much of the way, and a spectacular view at the top. For a shorter, but steeper, rockier route, from the Hawksbill Gap . The hike. Here’s what you need to know. Sawmill Run Overlook - 2195 ft. 6. You can also reach the summit from the 1.7 mile Lower Hawksbill Trail or the 2.1 mile Upper Hawksbill Trail. From here, this shady trail narrows and begins to ascend. I measured an elevation gain of 669 feet, but it felt like more given the relatively short distance to the top. At the .7-mile mark, you’ll see a trail marker, but stay to the right to continue on to the summit. Hawksbill Gap Parking is at the trailhead between mileposts... Read more. Rose River Falls: A Waterfall Hike + Bonus Swimming Hole, 5 Trails to Hike When Shenandoah National Park is Closed, Hiking to Lewis Falls at Shenandoah National Park, Raven Rocks: Hike the Appalachian Trail to Scenic Views in Bluemont. Instead, you’ll notice a mild ascent, then a flat section, then a mild ascent (repeat, repeat). Nearby Attractions: Luray-Hawksbill Greenway; Big Meadows Lodge; New Market Battlefield State Historical Park; Endless Caverns —STONY MAN LOOP— Length: 3.7-mile loop. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $15 per person. From the Hawksbill Gap parking area, which can accommodate 10 vehicles, begin your ascent on the trail on the left-hand side. From there, it’s a gradual 7 mile descent back to your car. The viewing platform is at the 1.05-mile mark. The Hawksbill Mountain is the largest peak in the park and the 360° views at the top are some of the best to be found in the park. The Hawksbill Mountain is the largest peak in the park and the 360° views at the top are some of the best to be found in the park. Two starts at Hawksbill Gap parking area at mm 45.5. The 2.6-mile Hawksbill Gap Loop begins with a 1.1-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail from the Hawksbill Gap Parking Area at Mile 45.6. This is a moderate loop trail in Shenandoah National Park. It is 1.7 mi and 690' in gain. Both are good warm-ups for the main attraction. Park at the Hawksbill Gap parking area (this is not the same as the Upper Hawksbill lot, which is just south). If you are coming from the North (which is often the case for Northern Virginia travelers) you must reach the small parking area around milepost 45.6, referred to as the Hawksbill Gap Parking area. Hawksbill Mountain: Hike to Hawksbill - See 142 traveller reviews, 136 candid photos, and great deals for Shenandoah National Park, VA, at Tripadvisor. Off Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park there is a parking lot at mile 46.7 where the hike to Hawksbill Summit begins. At the one-mile mark, you’ll see one more trail marker. Hawksbill can be easily hiked along Skyline Drive. This is where the trail connects with the Lower Hawksbill Trail for the final ascent to the summit. This route takes you along the Upper Hawksbill Trail to the Hawksbill Summit. However, there is still an elevation gain of 489 feet to reach the top on this hike. Hawksbill Summit Loop – Shenandoah National Park Jarod Goenner August 30, 2015 Hiking , Outdoor , Shenandoah National Park We parked at Hawksbill Gap parking and headed up Lower Hawksbill … By the .95-mark, you’ll see another trail marker. Two repeats of this loop are an excellent prep for big western 100s. For post-hike refreshments and restrooms, Big Meadows Wayside is at mile marker 51. The Lower Hawksbill Trail climbs straight up the mountain, and you ascend 800 feet in 0.85 miles. Hawksbill Gap Parking Area - Skyline Drive in Shenandoah. Hawksbill Mountain: Several options to reach the top... - See 142 traveller reviews, 136 candid photos, and great deals for Shenandoah National Park, VA, at Tripadvisor. Hawksbill Gap Parking is at the trailhead between mileposts 45 and 46. One of the best mountain drives in America. Once at the top, the views were incredible. As a bonus, I had four bars with AT&T at the summit (I had no service on the hike to the top). Directions. Hawksbill Mountain: Nice, moderate, relatively short hike - See 142 traveler reviews, 136 candid photos, and great deals for Shenandoah National Park, VA, at Tripadvisor. This blue-blazed hike is more rocky to start and begins with a mild descent. Immediately, Byrds Nest Shelter #2 comes into view. In summer, it’s quite green, with lots of low-growth plants and ferns along either side of the trail. However, it’s worth noting that there are three routes to the top, and the shortest is not necessarily the least challenging. The most popular hike (in my opinion, based on the number of hikers I saw on this trail) is the Hawksbill Summit Hike. It’s just right for scrambling to a higher view. The hike to Hawksbill Summit at Shenandoah National Park is among the most popular in the park thanks to the relatively short distance to reach the park’s highest point (elevation 4,051 feet). This section is quite steep, so be ready for a slog up the hill. Hawksbill mountain is the highest mountain in Shenandoah National Park, 4051' higher than the only other 4,000' mountain in the park, Stony Man 4,011'. There are two trails that set off from this parking area on the west side of Skyline Drive. While there, look for the sundial built into the stone wall. Turn left here to pick up the southbound route. Shortly, a trail marker appears as the trail intersection with the Appalachian Trail. The trail starts off as a wide, shaded path of mostly dirt and gravel, but after about .1-mile the trail gets rockier and steeper. Hawksbill Loop Hike. This is a day-use shelter with a picnic table inside. Rte 1 is clockwise and called the Lower Hawksbill Trail or the Hawksbill Summit Hike. We chose to do a 2.9 mile loop, recommended by the park website. This 2.7-mile loop takes you directly to the peak on the Hawksbill Summit Trail and then takes the less aggressive Salamander Trail back down to the AT for a return to the parking lot on the Hawksbill Gap Trail. In a few more steps, you are at a flat northwest-facing viewpoint. 2.9 miles – Loop… You can also do a lolly pop option from Fishers Gap to include the Franklin Cliffs and then take the 2.6 mile loop before returning to Fishers Gap. #2: Hawksbill Loop Hike. By the .45-mile mark you’ll reach what I can only call a staircase of stones. In 0.2 miles, take a left on the Cedar Run Trail and climb for 3 miles. My guess is that it’s because it’s the fastest way to the top. The trailhead is located at mile marker 45.5 on Skyline Drive. From the Hawksbill Gap parking area, select the trail that leads off to the right for the 2.8-mile loop hike. To your right is a large rock outcropping. In late-fall, I imagine you can see the mountains much more clearly with less foliage. From there, the loop ascends the summit of the mountain and returns along the same route as the Hawksbill Summit Trail. From the Upper Hawksbill parking area (a much larger parking area than the Hawksbill Gap parking area, by the way), ascend along the shaded 2.1-mile out-and-back trail. The shortest route is just .8 miles to the top for magnificent wide-reaching views. Then, it gets a bit darker as you’re under a dense forest canopy. 11/15/2017 Robin G. Robin G. This review is for Upper Hawksbill trail - the start of the trail is at mile marker 46.7 on Skyline Drive and it has its' own parking lot! I loved hiking this trail. Hiking | Shenandoah National Park: Hawksbill Summit Loop (WP414 - 453) | This *2.8-mile loop swings past talus fields, wildflowers, and a falcon nesting area, capping them off with a gob-smacking view from Shenandoah's highest peak. In a few more steps you’ll reach a second open boulder field, then a third section of mid-size rocks. At the .65-mile mark, you’ll see a trail marker. Turn left, then in a few more steps, turn left again at the trail marker and the Byrds Nest Shelter #2 comes into view. I measured an elevation gain of 771 feet, but the trail felt less challenging than the Hawksbill Summit Hike, which had a gain of 669 feet. Rte 2 is the Hawksbill Loop Hike which heads counter-clockwise out of the parking lot, combines with the Salamander Trail and down the Lower Hawksbill and is 2.9 mi and 860' gain. Take the trail on the left-hand side, the Salamander Trail, which leads you to the summit. Make sure you don't confuse it with Upper Hawksbill on the way back. parking area at mile 46.7 - 2.1 miles round trip, easy to moderate hike to a gorgeous view. Should you be interested in only hiking Hawksbill Mountain, there is a short 2.6 mile loop also from Hawksbill Gap or you can just to the in and out to the summit . 3. Difficulty: Easy Look to the right and you can see the mountains through the trees. Lewis Mountain. ÖTp)¡ö²Ï9ù[÷ÑÂİõö×p³(úø"Ä=å®_«§ßpñø§Í§PÂÓğ¼ì|J{yÃËğ™Å¿/§Q(ò”�B+¶ÏQs¸z¿iêıÆxÖpH{oX±—. We took the Appalachian connector to the Salamander to the Lower loop. In a few more steps, the trail connects with the Lower Hawksbill Trail (the out-and-back trail for the Hawksbill Summit Hike). The rocky parts are fun and tempt scramblers but don't be reckless. This hike begins from a higher elevation point, nearly 300 feet higher than the start of the previous two hikes to the summit. Take a few minutes here to re-fuel and re-hydrate before the final ascent. 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