Hike and Camp Tibbett Knob

3.2 miles 900 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Melissa Seely

Hike a very short but steep hike to a beautiful vista, set up camp in one of the greatest backcountry campsites in the Great Northern Mountains, and photograph stars over the valley and surrounding mountains.

This hike is short, but steep and very rocky. 

Park your car at the Wolf Gap Recreation Area (no fee). For a longer hike, head around the campground loop and find the trailhead for the Mill Mountain road, and hike up to Big Schloss (this will add 4 miles total to your day). 

**Note: There is no water at Big Schloss or Tibbett Knob, and water is occasionally off indefinitely at Wolf Gap Campground. Bring PLENTY of water will you, and stash a few gallons extra in the car**

To find the trailhead for Tibbett Knob, cross the road and begin heading up the Tibbett Knob trail. The first few tenths of a mile are flat, but the trail will quickly become more steep. Your first ascent will take you up to an initial vista point. After hitting this vista, you will begin a series of ups and downs, before hitting your second ascent. The trail will be rocky and can be difficult to follow. Look for the yellow blazes on the trees. At the end of the second ascent, you will encounter two separate, class 2 scrambles. These are fairly easy scrambles, even for a beginner (a full pack will make it more difficult). After the second scramble, you will quickly hit the Tibbett Knob Vista. Continue 10 yards past the vista, and you will find an incredible back country campsite, stocked with a large fire pit and rock tables. There are a few hidden side trails in the campsite that lead to two separate, private vistas that will increase your view over the valley. 

After making it to the knob, set up camp, relax, make a fire, and wait for sunset. Sunset on private vista is perfect. Wait a few hours later, and you will have one of the best stargazing vistas in northern Virginia/West Virginia. This are has very little light pollution, and will give you clear views of the stars and the milky way. 

To photograph the stars, you will want a fast lens (low aperture), a long exposure time, and a tripod. In addition to this, to photograph the milky way galactic core, you will need to go close to a new moon between April and July.

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ūü•áTop Contributor

4 months ago


Dark, dark skies for astrophotography. Don't forget to bring your photo setup for camping up here, cause you'll be happy you carried the extra weight! Pay attention to the lack of water, make sure you bring some extra in your car for after you get back!

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