Lexington, Virginia

Hike House Mountain

8.75 Miles Total - 2850 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Sarah Giek

This hidden gem in central Virginia offers some of the best views in the state.

House Mountain provides two amazing views via two out-and-back hikes, for a combined hike of 8.75 miles. If you’re short on energy and/or time, the 6 miles round trip to Big House Mountain is (in my opinion) the better of the two overlooks. Either way, keep in mind that this hike covers a great deal of elevation gain across primitive trails. Allow plenty of time to complete one or both!

The parking area is on the side of Saddle Ridge Road (VA643). Look for signs near the trail guide on where parking is allowed. An arrow on a nearby tree will point you towards the trail. After reaching the closed gate in 0.25 miles, the trail continues on an old fire road for an additional two miles. Trail arrows will be placed sporadically throughout the first mile, assuring you are headed on the right path and not venturing on to private property. There are two unmarked forks along the road; stay right at both.

At the saddle, the fire road intersects with the Little House Mountain Trail and the Big House Mountain Trail. An information post provides a map and additional information about the history of the area. The Little House Mountain Trail (2.75 miles round trip) is to the right of the information post. This blue-blazed trail is easy to lose if you’re not paying attention. Keep an eye out for the blue-blazes, which are posted frequently along the way. As the trail continues up the side of the mountain, it narrows and becomes rocky. Be careful with your footing. Upon reaching the top of the trail, you will continue through trees and vegetation as the trail flattens out. Continue on until reaching the end of the trail at the overlook. Take some time to enjoy the view and refuel before retracing your steps back to the saddle.

The Big House Mountain Trail (1.5 miles round trip) starts to the left of the information post. It follows a rocky fire road and provides a steady uphill climb for a half mile. Once you reach the large boulders at the end of the fire road, continue on the trail to the left. There is a blue-blaze on a rock guiding you the right way. Follow the blue-blazes up the rocky and narrow trail until you reach the ridgeline in 0.25 miles. Turn left! The blue-blazes to the right will take you to Tabletop Rock, but the views here do not compare to the Big House Mountain overlook on the left. Soak in the views, then retrace your steps back to the saddle, then back down the fire road to the parking area.

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Overall rating: 

This hike is definitely not easy. Be prepared for very steep ascents to both Little and Big House Mountains-the good thing is that the ascents are relatively short. All the locations where the trail splits off from another road are well marked. The Little House Mountain trail was overgrown in early July, so either wear pants to not get scratched, or just complete the hike to Big House Mountain.

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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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