Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,400.00 ft (426.72 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.50 mi (7.24 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Dragon's Tooth is one of southwest Virginia's most popular hikes and also one of the formations that constitutes Virginia's Triple Crown. The hike, about 4.5 miles out and back, provides quite the workout. The Dragon's Tooth formation itself is made of quartzite, and the tallest tooth rises about 35 feet above the mountain top. There are opportunities to climb the tooth itself, though it is steep. This hiking trail can be enjoyed during any season, but given the steep rock climbs, it is not recommended to take the hike during heavy rains or icy conditions. Hiking this during the winter (when it's not icy) and a little cold might provide a respite from the usual crowds, however.  

From the parking lot, follow the blue blazes onto the Dragon's Tooth Trail. The first portion of the trail is typical of the Appalachian Trail and is a steady climb. Because it is part of the Appalachian Trail, the trail is well marked. After almost 2 miles, the Dragon's Tooth trail links up with the Appalachian Trail. From there you can follow the white blazes and reach the steeper and more interesting portion of the trail. A sign precedes the portion warning of the steep incline, and it is accurate...the grade of the route becomes quite steep. After reaching the top of the rock scramble the signs will point you to the left, and you once again follow blue blazes to the Dragon's Tooth. The views are spectuacular. There is a lot of room to have a picnic and enjoy the views.

To  return, instead of going back on the same trail from the top, go to the upper left of the Dragon's Tooth and follow the blue blazes up to some bonus views. From there, signs will direct you down a separate trail along the front of the mountain to meet back up with the Appalachain Trail.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Beautiful views. Rock scramble.

Cons

Can get crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

1,726.00 ft (526.08 m)

Highest point

3,126.00 ft (952.80 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,400.00 ft (426.72 m)

Features

Historically significant
Wildlife
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Vault toilet

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Comments

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