• Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    4.2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1200 Feet

Dog Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

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.

Pack List

  • 4 Wheel Vehicle - the last four miles of road to get to the hike have been washed out. You'll cross two creeks, there are deeeeep potholes and you'll be driving precariously close to the edge of a cliff.
  • Water
  • Extra hat or jacket (the summit can be windy)
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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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!

3 months ago
3 months ago

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

5 months ago
5 months ago

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.

8 months ago
8 months ago

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

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Jess Fischer Explorer

A little adventurer with a big love for the great outdoors.

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