Hike to Hightop Mountain, Shenandoah NP
Virginia › Hightop Mountain Parking Area
Added by Sarah Giek
This hike is conveniently located just south of the Swift Run Gap entrance to Shenandoah National Park. As the highest peak in the South District, Hightop Mountain offers expansive 180 degree views to the south and west.
The parking area for the Hightop Mountain hike is one mile south of the Swift Run Gap entrance on Skyline Drive. If you’re looking to add extra mileage to your hike, you can also park at the entrance and pick up the Appalachian Trail just south of the overpass (doing so will add 1.2 miles each way).
The easy-to-navigate hike follows the white-blazed Appalachian Trail for the entire route. The trail climbs slowly and steadily with several switchbacks along the way. The trail offers little in scenery or views until you reach the summit. The first overlook provides a limited view. Continue on a few hundred feet to the second overlook with open and unobstructed views to the south and west. After taking time to enjoy the view, retrace your steps back to the parking lot.
Keep in mind that although Shenandoah National Park is open year-round, Skyline Drive may close in the winter due to weather conditions. Check for road closures before you head out!
- Shenandoah National Park pass (or pay the entrance fee)
- Comfortable Shoes
- Lunch or a snack to enjoy at the summit
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
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Really nice quick hike
Quick up and back along the AT with plenty to see. Great view from the top as well as a hut and 2 springs along the way. We ran directly into a black bear on our descent - fortunately, we were making enough noise and the bear moved away - exciting stuff though!
More Adventures Nearby
Hike along the River Walk Trail in Roanoke's Explore Park
Virginia / Rutrough Parking Area
Starting at a great spot to picnic, fish, or put in a kayak, this casual hike meanders along the Roanoke River.
Hike the Scott's Run Nature Preserve Trail
Virginia / Scott's Run Nature Preserve Parking
This nature preserve can be hiked year-round and is a sanctuary for rare wildflowers, birds, and other wildlife including deer and fox.