Holiday Hike in SNP!
Austin Mountain-Furnace Mountain (Portions on the AT)
A Strenuous 12.4 Mile Hike with Optional Post Hike Meal
So, C'mon! Get out of bed and onto the trail! Steve will be leading on this hike and he CHALLENGES you to get out of bed and hike! Rich in human history and wildlife, Shenandoah is truly one of the jewels of the East.
This is a strenuous circuit with approximately 2600 feet of elevation gain and is for experienced hikers only.
A strenuous but beautiful hike into a rugged wilderness area within the park. The Austin Mountain-Furnace Mountain area consists of a huge expanse of land. Fortunately, many trails exist there. This trek promises solitude and views and is geologically interesting. This difficult hike ranges west from Frowns Gap to Austin Mountain, dips into the Madison Run drainage (crossing at the 1500 ft elevation point), climbs back onto Furnace mountain, and returns along ridgelines to Blackrock and Skyline Drive. A short scramble on Blackrocks tumbled boulders offers spectacular views. Outlying Austin and Furnace peaks are in one of the Park's most remote wilderness areas. Heavy-duty footwear is recommended, along with an extra measure of caution. Parts of the circuit may be overgrown, and there are several stretches on talus slopes of loose, treacherous rock. Others are steep and poorly graded. Black bear sightings are very frequent so if you are uncomfortable around bears, this is not a hike for you.The 0.5 miles side trail to the summit of Furnace Mtn offers excellent views over the Madison and your entire route. Vultures fly by at eye level between the peaks.
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Simmons Gap
Length: 12.4 total miles (13.1 with recommended side trip to Furnace Peak)
Trail Type: Loop
Elevation Change: 2500 ft (2750 ft with side trip option)
Skill Level: Strenuous
Trailhead Elev: 2552 feet
Top Elev: 3200 feet
Trail Notes for Leaders
We hike rain or shine. Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.
Gear Information Here are some suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan with the hike leader from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station.
DC Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the metro DC area, meetup at the Centerville Park and Ride. Click here for informationand directions to the Centerville location. If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!
Directions to the Trailhead
Click here for directions to the trailhead if not carpooling.
Hike Meetup Time is at 9:00 a.m.
Carpool meetup time at Savage is 5:30 a.m.
Carpool meetup time at Centerville is 6:30 a.m.
Park Entrance Fee
The hike leaders and many members have an annual passes for Skyline Drive/SNP and if you ride with them it will be free to get into the park and on a first come first serve basis. Hopefully this will help encourage carpooling. The entry fee for Skyline Drive for all vehicles is $15 for a single car. Passes, which are valid for unlimited entries within a seven-day period, are issued. Payment may be made with cash, credit, or debit cards. A year-long pass can be purchased for $30 and is the best value if you plan visiting more than just this once.
Please note that our holiday hikes are not refundable due to too many people backing out of the at the last minute before the refund cut-off. Sorry, but this is the only way to help make sure that there is a good turnout and our leaders not offer to lead a hike on their holiday in vein...or they will be burned enough that they will no longer offer. Since we have made holiday hikes non-refundable it has boosted attendance rate significantly and often have perfect attendance, yay! Thanks so much for your understanding.
Fido is Welcome on this Hike only with prior approval of hike leader.
Please take a hike leaders number with you just in case but note that there is no cell reception within about a 15 mile area of the trailhead. Call early if you have concerns about the directions!