The trail out of the center of the parking lot is a VERY steep and the most direct trail to the summit called the "Lower Hawksbill Trail". The hike to Hawksbill Summit at Shenandoah National Park is among the most popular in the park thanks to the relatively short distance to reach the park’s highest point (elevation 4,051 feet). If you are coming from the North, you'll see that the trail starts on the right side of the road. In fact, the 1.6-mile out-and-back Hawksbill Summit Hike is quite a steep trek up to the Hawksbill Viewing Platform. parking area at mile 45.5, take the Lower Hawksbill Trail to Byrds Nest 2 Shelter and then follow the trail to the viewing platform. This is where the trail connects with the Lower Hawksbill Trail for the final ascent to the summit. This is a short and steep hike with outstanding views at the top. Much like the loop hike, this dirt and gravel trail to the top has mild inclines, then flat sections. However, it’s worth noting that there are three routes to the top, and the shortest is not necessarily the least challenging. Off Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park there is a parking lot at mile 46.7 where the hike to Hawksbill Summit begins. Turn left here to pick up the southbound route. At the 1.75-mile mark, the trail opens up on the left-hand side to a small, rocky viewpoint that is quite beautiful. At the .45-mile mark, you’ll notice a steep and massive boulder field on the left-hand side of the trail. This 2.7-mile loop takes you directly to the peak on the Hawksbill Summit Trail and then takes the less aggressive Salamander Trail back down to the AT for a return to the parking lot on the Hawksbill Gap Trail. If you are coming from the North (which is often the case for Northern Virginia travelers) you must reach the small parking area around milepost 45.6, referred to as the Hawksbill Gap Parking area. Hawksbill Mountain: Hike to Hawksbill - See 142 traveller reviews, 136 candid photos, and great deals for Shenandoah National Park, VA, at Tripadvisor. parking area at mile 45.6 - 2.9 mile circuit, moderate hike with beautiful views much of the way, and a spectacular view at the top. The hike. From the Upper Hawksbill parking area (a much larger parking area than the Hawksbill Gap parking area, by the way), ascend along the shaded 2.1-mile out-and-back trail. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $15 per person. 1. This 2.8-mile loop hike shares a parking area with the Hawksbill Summit Hike. The most popular hike (in my opinion, based on the number of hikers I saw on this trail) is the Hawksbill Summit Hike. Hiking | Shenandoah National Park: Hawksbill Summit Loop (WP414 - 453) | This *2.8-mile loop swings past talus fields, wildflowers, and a falcon nesting area, capping them off with a gob-smacking view from Shenandoah's highest peak. This is a moderate loop trail in Shenandoah National Park. In a few more steps you’ll reach a second open boulder field, then a third section of mid-size rocks. Hawksbill can be easily hiked along Skyline Drive. These are the perfect place to stop and catch your breath on the way to the summit. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55. Parking can be a challenge, so it is advisable to get there early. This is a long and fairly rewarding hike to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain, the highest peak in the park, though I would recommend most visitors to do Hawksbill as a 2.5-mile loop hike starting at Hawksbill Gap. The 2.6-mile Hawksbill Gap Loop begins with a 1.1-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail from the Hawksbill Gap Parking Area at Mile 45.6. This trail is very rocky in places, and the descent from the summit is steep. Mile 0.0 - From the parking area at Timber Hollow Overlook enjoy one of the best views of the hike. There’s no question that there are certain sections of the two out-and-back hikes that are unmercifully steep. Here are three ways to get to the top: #1: Hawksbill Summit Hike. I recently had the chance to hike all three back to back to back. Watch your footing as some rocks can be loose. Shenandoah National Park is known for spectacular panoramic views along Skyline Drive, a 105-mile scenic byway that traverses the entire length of the park. This is a day-use shelter with a picnic table inside. In 0.2 miles, take a left on the Cedar Run Trail and climb for 3 miles. I measured an elevation gain of 669 feet, but it felt like more given the relatively short distance to the top. Here you’ll want to veer right on a mostly gravel trail. Turn left, then in a few more steps, turn left again at the trail marker and the Byrds Nest Shelter #2 comes into view. As a bonus, I had four bars with AT&T at the summit (I had no service on the hike to the top). From there, the loop ascends the summit of the mountain and returns along the same route as the Hawksbill Summit Trail. However, if I had to choose one, I would opt for the Hawksbill Loop Hike. You can also reach the summit from the 1.7 mile Lower Hawksbill Trail or the 2.1 mile Upper Hawksbill Trail. From here, this shady trail narrows and begins to ascend. Hawksbill Gap Parking is at the trailhead between mileposts 45 and 46. Re-trace your steps to the parking lot but watch your footing since the trail is quite steep and it can be easy to slide on small gravel rocks on the way down. From the Thornton Gap entrance, take Skyline Drive south for 15.2 miles to reach the parking area, on your right. We took the Appalachian connector to the Salamander to the Lower loop. ÖTp)¡ö²Ï9ù[÷ÑÂİõö×p³(úø"Ä=å®_«§ßpñø§Í§PÂÓğ¼ì|J{yÃËğ™Å¿/§Q(ò”�B+¶ÏQs¸z¿iêıÆxÖpH{oX±—. You can reach the summit in less than a mile, although you will be … At the .7-mile mark, you’ll see a trail marker, but stay to the right to continue on to the summit. This hike can be completed as a 2.8-mile loop or a 1.9-mile there-and-back trek. In a few more steps, the trail connects with the Lower Hawksbill Trail (the out-and-back trail for the Hawksbill Summit Hike). This hike begins from a higher elevation point, nearly 300 feet higher than the start of the previous two hikes to the summit. They were short, but you will need to catch your breath, no matter how fit you are. #2: Hawksbill Loop Hike. 2.9 miles – Loop… Hawksbill Loop Hike. If you've got hiking poles in the car, you may want to grab them. We chose to do a 2.9 mile loop, recommended by the park website. Sandy Bottom Overlook - 2700 ft. 2. While there, look for the sundial built into the stone wall. Turn left here to pick up the southbound route. Two starts at Hawksbill Gap parking area at mm 45.5. If you're short on time and still want to bag the 4,050ft Hawksbill summit, start the hike from the Hawksbill Gap parking area on Skyline Drive following the Lower Hawksbill Trail for a out and back 1.6 miles. Hawksbill Mountain: Nice, moderate, relatively short hike - See 142 traveler reviews, 136 candid photos, and great deals for Shenandoah National Park, VA, at Tripadvisor. Of course, the loop hike was longer both in distance and time hiked (it took me 1 hr, 20 mins to hike – the other two hikes each took me 50 minutes), but I liked that the elevation gains were more moderate and the scenery was more varied. Look to the right and you can see the mountains through the trees. Beagle Gap Overlook - 2490 ft. 4. Hawksbill Gap Loop. The hike begins at a trailhead off the gravel NC Forest Service 210 (view maps and driving directions), hiking southwest into a young hardwood forest with scattered pine.The trail meanders through a tight switchback at .2 mile, veering north. It’s 1.95 miles to the summit. In summer, it’s quite green, with lots of low-growth plants and ferns along either side of the trail. Our first challenge was finding parking for this popular hike. The rocky parts are fun and tempt scramblers but don't be reckless. Lewis Mountain. There are parking lots on both sides of the road, but many visitors make their own parking spot in the grass. Hawksbill Gap serves as the trailhead for a number of popular hikes (including the fantastic Whiteoak Canyon-Cedar Run loop), so arrive early to get a parking spot. Skyland Upper Loop (North Entrance) – 41.7 Whiteoak Canyon Parking – 42.4 Skyland Lower Loop (South Entrance) – 42.5 Limberlost Parking – 43 Timber Hollow Overlook – 43.2 Hawksbill Gap Trailhead – 45.5 Old Rag Overlook – 46.4 Upper Hawksbill Trailhead – 46.5 Spitler Knoll Overlook – … The trail emerges from the woods at the summit, and the Byrds Nest Shelter (day use) will be on your right. It is 1.7 mi and 690' in gain. 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