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.

For a hiking map of the area, visit here (or ask for one at the park entrance). For a trail map, visit here.

Pack List

  • Shenandoah National Park pass (or pay the $20 entrance fee)
  • Camera
  • Comfortable Shoes
  • An extra layer of clothes for when you reach the windy summit!
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Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

1 Miles

Elev. Gain:

175 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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How to Get There

4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

6 months ago

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.

6 months ago

8 months ago

Amazing views

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.

8 months ago

about 1 year ago

Gorgeous views & fun scrambles

This hike is perfect for sunset as it's easy to get to, short, and both family and dog friendly. Highly recommend for anyone closer to the southern entrance of Shenandoah!

about 1 year ago

about 1 year ago

Great spot with beautiful views accessed via minimal effort. As others have said-perfect for sunset photography!

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

This is a beautiful place for sunset photography. I was a little surprised by the amount of pollution in the air but it does make for better colors in the sky.

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

Love this place

super convenient spot!! For me the drive is like an hour and half to two hours but its super worth it. Great views

over 1 year ago

Added by Sarah Giek

Teacher by day. Explorer by weekend.

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