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Pets allowed
Yes
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
2.80 mi (4.51 km)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Off Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park there is a parking lot at mile 46.7 where the hike to Hawksbill Summit begins. This hike can be completed as a 2.8-mile loop or a 1.9-mile there-and-back trek. Both ways begin with the well-maintained trail on the left, which is the trail used for the out-and-back version of the hike. It is steeper and more strenuous than the longer, more gentle, side of the loop.

Grind up the relentless hillside without the benefit of switchbacks, and you'll soon come to the summit. As you approach you'll see the Byrd's Nest #2 shelter on the slope. This three-sided shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps is for day use only. Walk along the summit, taking in the different views from the summit points. Finish at the observation platform, the highest point in Shenandoah National Park.

You can either retrace your steps back down the mountain, a challenge on the knees, or head down the talus slopes (watch for falcons and deer!), taking the longer loop back. This comes out to the Lower Hawksbill lot, roughly a mile from the main lot. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Fantastic views. Solitude in the off-season.

Cons

Big crowds in season. Steep trail.

Trailhead Elevation

3,249.00 ft (990.30 m)

Net Elevation Gain

800.00 ft (243.84 m)

Address

Skyline Dr
Syria, VA 22743
United States

Features

Historically significant
Bird watching
Wildlife
Big vistas
Shelters

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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