Hike to Blackrock Summit, Shenandoah NP

Blackrock Summit Trailhead

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!
Show More
RT Distance 1 Miles
Elevation Gain 175 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Perfect family hike!

Took the whole family on this hike including the dog. Absolutely stunning views from the summit with plenty of rocks to climb and play on. There's a decent campsite up there as well right off the AT that some other hikers were setting up for the night. Highly recommended for a family friendly, easy stroll with a huge payoff at the top.

Great With Children

Choose this hike today to try out with our children. 3 & 16 months old and they loved it. Our three year old is asking when we can go back! This was an experiment for us to see how the children would react to hiking and we can wait to try another. This hike is roughly an hour long with great views.

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.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike to Jones Run Waterfall

205 Saves

Hike to Doyles Falls

389 Saves

Hike Frazier Discovery Trail

195 Saves