Hike Angels Rest and the Wilburn Valley Overlook

Appalachian Trail

4.6 mile hike with 1600' elevation gain. Two overlooks of the New River and surrounding valleys. Day hike on the Appalachian Trail.

For a tough hike with rewarding views, check out Angels Rest and the Wilburn Valley Overlook. Easily accessible from US-460 near Pearisburg, this hike along the Appalachian Trail gains a total of 1600’ elevation is a 4.6 mile round trip hike. Angels Rest is a large boulder that overlooks the New River at the crest of Pearis Mountain, and the Wilburn Valley Overlook has a wide viewpoint of the surrounding valley.

To get to this hike, from US-460 near Pearisburg, take the exit for VA-100S, turn right onto Johnston Avenue, and immediately right again onto Morris Avenue (SR 793). Drive one mile and there will be a small gravel parking area big enough for 2-3 cars where the Appalachian Trail crosses the road. Take the Appalachian Trail south (uphill direction).

The trail is moderate for about 0.7 miles, then begins to climb very quickly via switchbacks. After 1.7 miles you’ll emerge on the ridge of Pearis Mountain and see a sign that directs you to the Angel’s Rest viewpoint. Take the blue-blazed trail and climb the boulder for a nice view of the New River.

To get to the Wilburn Valley Overlook, return to the Appalachian Trail and follow it along the ridgeline for 0.6 miles. Along the way there will be some camping areas for backpackers. The Wilburn Valley Overlook has a much wider view than Angels Rest and has more room to spread out and enjoy the view of the valley.

Simply head north on the Appalachian Trail and retrace your steps down Pearis Mountain to return to your car.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Hiking shoes
  • Snacks
  • Camera
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Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Features
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Challenge accepted

This hike was steep with many switchbacks, there are steps in some areas and they can be extra challenging for little ones. The overlook at the top was beautiful and the trail has several places worthy of a photo. We brought toddlers with us today that made the journey a little more difficult but they loved every minute!

Pretty View

Very steep and narrow, not a beginner hike by any means despite the short distance though the lovely view and chestnut forest at the top make it worth the effort

A hidden gem

This is a great hike that manages to fly a little under the radar. As soon as you hit the trail, you begin to ascend consistently and it gets pretty steep in places, so though it may be a bit shorter than some other hikes the vertical can slow you down a bit. Once you get to top and hop on angels rock keep going .6 miles south on the AT, this part is almost completely flat. You will reach the Wilburn Valley Overlook, a totally different view looking east. Definitely a great hike, especially if you like a quiet trail.


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