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Mount Rogers via Appalachian Trail

Mouth of Wilson, Virginia

based on 15 reviews



9.1 miles

Elevation Gain

1549 ft

Route Type



Added by Christin Healey

This trail is also the highest point in Virginia, and because of wildfires, it is all big skies and pine trees, making it feel like somewhere out west rather than Southern Virginia.

First of all, who doesn't love wild ponies!  There are tons of ponies here, and although they are wild, they are not afraid of people and you can get pretty close (just don't feed them!).  

Once you enter Grayson Highlands State Park, you will see a parking lot for Massie Gap a few miles in, park here. There is an obvious trail, the Rhododendron Trail, that you will follow for about .5 mile until you reach the AT. Turn left, follow the AT to Wilburn Ridge, go past the Thomas Knob Shelter until you reach the short spur that leads to the Mount Rogers summit. There are no real views at the summit, but plenty along the hike to get there. Round trip the hike is 10 miles.

In the springtime there are tons of rhododendron, blueberries in late summer, and fiery colors in the fall.  To top it all off, there are plenty of great campsites and shelters as well as nearby water sources.  Dogs are also welcome and from personal experience, love this hike :)  This can also be done as a day hike if you don't want to camp.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

Mount Rogers via Appalachian Trail Reviews

Long as an out and back day hike but worth it. Not as strenuous as I was expecting. It is rocky but I felt that the incline was broken up by flatter sections. Will definitely try to go back and camp overnight. Unmatched vistas and really cool to see the horses.

A must visit, absolutely stunning views

The sweeping views, wild ponies, and ample space to hike and camp make this area one of my favorites in the entire state. I've hiked or camped at Mount Rogers a few times, each very different from the last! Highly recommend stopping in Abingdon afterwards for a bite!

Horses are so friendly, it is wide open. Easy to follow directions!!! 10/10!

Such a beautiful hike with so many different terrains and landscapes! I felt like I was somewhere far far away from Virginia! There are tons of great backcountry campsites as the trail is located along the AT. It's super dog friendly and the ponies come right up to you!

We hiked in from Massie Gap to Mount Rogers in late June and we quickly decided this was our favorite hike we've ever done. This hike offers the most beautiful views I've ever seen in the United States, and hiking among the ponies is one you won't soon forget! Plenty of beautiful camping spots. We hope to come back one day.

Leave No Trace

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


Backpack the Grayson Highlands

Photograph Wild Horses at Grayson Highlands State Park

Rhododendron Trail to Rock Croppings

Hike and Fish Cabin Creek Trail

Wilburn Ridge and Massie Gap Loop

Twin Pinnacles via Big Pinnacles Trail