Willis, Virginia

Hike Buffalo Mountain

2 Miles Total - 700 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Elyse Clark

Nestled away in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Floyd, VA is the Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve. The unique summit of Buffalo Mountain is naturally treeless and offers 360 degree views of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and also hosts many rare plants and animals.

A short 1.0 mile hike to the summit with 700’ elevation gain, the trail switchbacks steeply up to the exposed rocky summit. To the north you can see Sharp Top and Flat Top at the Peaks of Otter, and to the south you can see Pilot Mountain in North Carolina.

The summit has many places to spread out and is a great place for a picnic. Once done exploring simply retrace your steps back down the trail to your car. On your way out, continue onto the Blue Ridge Parkway for more beautiful views of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, or stop by Chateau Morrisette Winery for a delicious meal or wine tasting.

Getting there: From downtown Floyd take US-221 south for about 6 miles, then directions to the preserve are clearly marked from there. The last road to get to the preserve is a gravel road that is quite bumpy in some places and may require high-clearance vehicles. Access to the preserve is free.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


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Overall rating: 

Great view and easy climb

Great spot for a sunset! The trail back down is easy to navigate even in the dark. You’ll want a car with some clearance, but I drove up here in a Volvo 960 with no issues.

Gorgeous, but ...

This is an absolutely GORGEOUS hike with 360 views, but with that said the driveway in nearly gave me a panic attack and I will never go there again for that reason. It is barely wide enough for 2 vehicles, it's gravel and terribly bumpy, and it is on the side of a cliff so it would be possible to tip off of it ... It might not seem as terrible if you go at a time of day with low traffic, but we had to pull as far over as we could to let cars go by many times and it was clearly nerve-wracking to me.


over 1 year ago


I hiked this last year during the summer and it was great, a very short hike! Breathtaking views at the top - we went right before a storm hit and the clouds were so close and low! it was stunning! go try this hike, when you get the the top it’s like the air conditioner turns on!

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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