Hike to Blackrock Summit, Shenandoah NP
Virginia › Blackrock Summit Trailhead
Added by Sarah Giek
This short, easy hike in the South District of Shenandoah National Park will provide you with expansive views to the north and south. It is ideal for watching the sunset or sunrise, but it’s a remarkable experience no matter what time of day you visit.
There are two route options, both are under 2 miles and are suitable for hikers of all experience levels. The shortest option, a 1-mile circuit, follows the Appalachian Trail from the Blackrock Summit parking area, which is just north of mile marker 85 on Skyline Drive. With only 175-feet of elevation gain, the trail is an easy walk to the summit. Once the trees open up, you will be treated to views of the mountains to the north. Continue around the mass of boulders to find equally awe-inspiring views to the south. After taking time to enjoy the view, continue around the boulders to follow the Appalachian Trail. Upon reaching the junction with the Blackrock Hut Road-Trayfoot Mountain Trail, turn left to leave the Appalachian Trail and follow the yellow-blazes back to the parking lot.
A slightly longer, 1.6 mile circuit, offers 445-feet of elevation gain and a walk through a boulder field. Upon reaching the summit via the Appalachian Trail, as described above, rather than continuing around the boulders at the summit, turn right at the trail post to continue on the Blackrock Spur Trail. Continue through the boulder field until you reach the junction with Trayfoot Mountain Trail, then turn left and follow the yellow-blazes back to the parking lot.
Although Shenandoah National Park is open year-round, Skyline Drive may be closed in the winter due to weather conditions. Always check for closures before you head out! If you're thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail or are camping in the park, Loft Mountain Campground and Loft Mountain Wayside are just 5 miles north of the Blackrock Summit parking area. You can find groceries and supplies there.
- Shenandoah National Park pass (or pay the $20 entrance fee)
- Comfortable Shoes
- An extra layer of clothes for when you reach the windy summit!
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Best View in the Southern District
Blackrock Summit has by far the best view in the southern district of Shenandoah National Park. This 270 degree view is a great spot in the park to watch both sunrises and sunsets. Because of the great views and the short hike this is a VERY popular hike, and it is great for families. I have taken my two boys (1 and 4) on this hike with no problem.
Great For The Family
Perfect hike for the family! Great views at the summit with minimal elevation gain, and plenty of exploring and rock scrambling to keep the older kids interested. Ideal for sunset, but great for anytime really.
I hiked this an early morning during the heart of the summer for some sunrise photography. The views were endless and the mist in the valley below was lovely. The rock climb was a lot of fun as well but be careful in the dark! Take your time and be sure to bring a headlamp.
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