Camping in Dolly Sods



11.9 miles

Elevation Gain

1050 ft

Route Type


Added by Dottie Bond

An amazing weekend outing that's only a 3-hour drive from the greater Washington, D.C. metro area, the Dolly Sods North Loop is a must-do for anyone in the Mid-Atlantic. Whether you choose to hike this loop in a day or camp overnight, the 11.9 miles that gains 1,050 feet over gradual terrain serves as a wonderful introduction to hiking in the region. 

Arguably one of the most beautiful hiking areas on the United States' east coast, the Dolly Sods Wilderness inarguably has the most unique trailhead warning sign: Watch out for unexploded ordinance in the area. (The U.S. Army used the area for artillery and mortar training during WWII.) Don't fret, though. With over 47 miles of hiking trails crisscrossing and looping around an open plateau, you'll have little need to wander too far off trail to observe the beauty of these grassy meadows, stunted red spruce and sphagnum bogs.

Of all the trails, the Dolly Sods North Loop is my favorite. Pitch a tent halfway through the loop in a section of windswept meadow replete with rocky boulders and a stunning view of the Canaan Valley.

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Dog Friendly
Family Friendly



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🥇Top Contributor

9 months ago

If you see a weather window, go!

Dolly Sods gets a ton of rain, so whenever I see clear skies and sunshine in the forecast I take full advantage. The trails stay pretty muddy but the sweeping views and diverse flora are truly spectacular. The landscape is essentially what you might find in northern Canada (read the signs when you get there, they'll tell you why!).

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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