Hike Hawksbill Mountain

4.8
1.7 miles 800 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Elyse Clark

Tallest point in Shenandoah National Park. 270 degree views. Great for sunset photography.

A hike to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain will not only put you at the highest point in Shenandoah National Park (4050'), but you'll have a 270 degree view perfect for a sunset.

This moderate hike is located at MP 45.6 on the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, so you'll have to pay a $20 entrance fee (valid for 7 days) per car to enter the park if you don't have an annual pass. There is a helpful trail map at the parking lot to assist you in choosing your ascent route.

This link will also help: nps.gov

The trail on the right of the parking lot is a moderate, but very scenic hike along the Appalachian Trail to the summit (via the Salamander Trail). 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 Lower Hawksbill Trail climbs straight up the mountain, and you ascend 800 feet in 0.85 miles. The trail emerges from the woods at the summit, and the Byrds Nest Shelter (day use) will be on your right. Continue past the shelter to the stone platform on the summit of the mountain.

Views to the west are of Massanutten Mountain, to the north is Stony Man Mountain and northern Shenandoah, and the rocky peak to the east is Old Rag Mountain. Find a perch on the rocky outcrop and have a picnic or watch the sunset. Once done admiring the view, simply retrace your steps back down to the car to complete the 1.7 mile round trip hike.

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Hiking
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Reviews

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🥈 Contributor

almost 5 years ago

One of the best hikes in the park

Always enjoy this one (except for the steep part right before the end) - the views are hard to beat! It's also nice to connect this with the Upper Hawksbill loop for a longer hike :)

🥈 Contributor

almost 5 years ago

Hike To The Peak Of SNP!

Very rewarding hike! Watch for bears if you're doing a sunrise/sunset hike. We ran into a momma and a couple Cubs on our hike back following the sunset.

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