Hike The Priest

Tyro, Virginia

4.6/5
based on 9 reviews

Details

Distance

4.2 miles

Elevation Gain

1200 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Jess Fischer

This is a great hike with a steady, easy elevation gain over the course of 2 miles to the summit. In addition this hike is rarely crowded so you'll get the trail to yourself.

Starting at the Upper Crabtree Falls Parking area, continue up the "road" for half a mile until you come to the intersection of the Appalachian Trail. That will be the steepest part of the hike. Look for two rocks on either side of the trail with white blazes on them. Take a left up the trail and you'll see a kiosk. Keep hiking for about a mile until you see a huge rock boulder (it's seriously huge) and a sign directing you to The Priest Shelter. Take a left at this sign (don't keep going straight). Keep a keen eye out for the outlook, there is no definitive trail leading you to the outlook, rather you'll see a clearing past the trees with a bunch of rocks, about 0.3 miles from the last intersection. Sometimes people build rock cairns to signal that you've reached the outlook.

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Features

Hiking
Dog Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

I did the extended version of this hike along the AT which had the full 3100ft of elevation gain so if you wanted a good workout with a payoff at the end, this is it. The hike is about the same steepness all the way up so maybe about a half mile in I became used to it, found a rhythm and made my way up. At about 2000 feet in elev gain, you get an awesome view out to the east. It is a good resting spot to regain your legs for the last push up to the summit! Since it is on the AT, the trail is well maintained and isn't too rocky which was nice.

A long an bumpy road to get to the trail head. Once you park at the trail head you’ll walk all the way up the dirt road. Then you will come to two big rocks one on the left and one on the right each has a little white dash representing the AT. Make a left at the rock on the left and you will see a trail map at this is the trail that will take you to the priest overlook. You’ll come to an intersection make a left and be on the lookout for a rock overlook on the left!

To the review below- The road to the trailhead is a worn-out, back road and you really need coordinates to find it. However if you do decide to follow google maps to upper crabtree falls be warned that you will be hiking thrice as long (as stated below, it'll be 11-12 miles instead of 4). The exact coordinates to the parking area are: 37.824215, -79.082182 Happy trails!

make sure you don't use the directions on the outbound! just type "upper crabtree falls" in your maps. no hate to creator of this but went on a wild goose chase trying to find the place

Thoroughly enjoyed this hike. Plenty of views along the way, which isn't always the case in the Blue Ridge. Good choice for a less-popular hike.

Easily one of the best views of the entire blue ridge. Gotta go do this!

When you get to the trail head, make sure you go left unless you want to hike the 11-12 mile loop. When going to the left, this is not a super long hike. It's about 4 miles out-and-back. The view at the overlook is absolutely gorgeous. The trail is well maintained and clean.

Steady climb to the top, steep decent to the road/creek. Nice camping spot near the creek at the bottom. MAKE SURE to stop in at the shelter along the trail. It is the Priest shelter and the log book has become known as the "confessional" every AT hiker starts their entry with "forgive me for I have sinned" and they write all of their "sins" they done while thru hiking... Absolutely hilarious.

Long!! Much longer than listed anywhere official or otherwise. We clocked our mileage. Still, nice because it's not popular so you mostly have the trail to yourself! A perfect stream about 2 miles in that you can chill your water bottle in and splash on your forehead. A gorgeous rocky overlook about half way to the peak. Bring lots of water, continually steep, not many flat breaks.

Leave No Trace

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

Nearby

Hike to Spy Rock via Cash Hollow

Camp near Crabtree Meadows in GWNF

Hike Crabtree Falls

Photograph 20 Minute Cliff Overlook

Hike to Wigwam Falls

Hike to White Rock Falls