VERY Strenuous 9.8 Miles: Rocky Mount-Gap Run in SNP/Skyline Drive

  • April 27, 2013 · 10:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Strenuous/Borderline Very Strenuous 9.8 Miles: Rocky Mount-Gap Run in SNP on Skyline Drive (South District) with Optional Post Hike Meal

This is one of the park's most difficult wilderness hikes, but one that also provides spectacular views. If you like wilderness hiking in solitude, take this ambitious loop. Leave the main crest of the Blue Ridge to access the summit of Rocky Mount Trail. You'll have this untamed slice of Shenandoah to yourself. Rocky Mount’s western flank is a demanding climb of 1,000 feet in about one mile. If you’re not breathless at the top, the view will steal what breath is left. A series of ridges and peaks intersect and rise in succession to the limitless horizon. A return hike on Gap Run Trail takes you from soaring heights into shaded forest. Rocky Mount is one of a few 9+ mile circuit hikes in the southern section of the Shenandoah National Park. With three different ascents, the last being at the end of the hike, this 2,840 foot loop can feel longer and higher than it actually is. The reward is the great panoramic view from the Rocky Mount summit.


Note: While this is a spectacular hike, it is also very strenuous. This hike is much more challenging than Old Rag which many people consider a strenuous hike.If have not earned pre-approval status for very strenuous hikes for our group, then you must contact the hike leader before signing up for this hike so you can make an informed decision regarding this hike. It is dangerous to hike beyond your physical limitations anytime of year, but especially in winter. About 48 hours before the start of this hike, I will check to see if anyone has signed up without contacting the leader and remove them for safety purposes. Thank you for your understanding.

However, if you are in good shape, this hike may be just the one for you, particularly if you like remote country that provides a number of spectacular views. At various points along the trail, the abundance of rocks ads to the challenge but also increases the drama and beauty of the area. In addition, the trial proceeds in a roller-coaster-like fashion so that you have ascended many more total fee than the actual 1,600-foot difference between the hikes extreme high and low. For example, the elevation at the trailhead is 2,800 feet while the low is 1,200. Rocky Mount' elevation is 2,789 feet and to reach it you descend, climb, descend, cling, and descend again before climbing back to the trailhead.

Trail Information

Activity Type: Hiking

Nearby City: Simmons Gap (Hike is at Skyline Mile: 76.2)

Length: 9.8 total miles

Trail Type: Loop

Skill Level: VERY Strenuous

Season: Best spring through fall

Trailhead Elev: 2750 feet

Local Contacts: Shenandoah National Park

Local Maps:Rocky Mount - Gap Run Lariat Trail Topo Map Trails Illustrated Topographic Map 228; Map 11, Appalachian Trail and Other Trails in Shenandoah National Park, South District (PATC, Inc.)

Weather Information

We hike rain or shine. Click Here for up to the minute conditions for where this hike it located.

Gear Information

Click Here for some suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.


Carpool Information

To carpool from the Baltimore area, a great place to meet is Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station.

If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations such as the DC area, 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 where we meetup for this hike.

Hike is at 10:00 a.m.

Carpool Meetup Time from Savage is 7:00 a.m.

Fido is not welcome on this Hike!

Let's have good times and see you on the trail!


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  • Deborah E. G.

    P.S. If people are meeting at 7:45 a.m. at Dupont, could possibly do that.

    April 27, 2013

    • Victor Y.

      Hope you can make it :-). Parking is easy along Massachusettes ave (its free Sat + Sunday) where there is no meters.

      April 27, 2013

  • Deborah E. G.

    Actually, I do need a ride. Sounds like it might not work out--unless I can rendezvous at Dupont Circle. Not sure about the parking there for the day--and it's not the most convenient location for me.

    April 26, 2013

  • Deborah E. G.

    Just want to check--will there actually be some people meeting at Centerville? Debbie

    April 26, 2013

    • Victor Y.

      Doesn't sounds like it right now. Do you needs a ride?

      April 26, 2013

  • Kent M.

    Forgot to ask. Anyone coming from Savage?

    April 26, 2013

  • ali

    Can you please post GPS coordinates of hike start location to get rid of guessing. The directions provided in the post are not concise. Thanks

    April 26, 2013

    • ali

      What information is required?

      April 26, 2013

  • Victor Y.

    2 more days. Final confirmation of Carpool?

    So far 1 carpool is at Dupont at 7:45 by Devon. I want in.

    April 25, 2013

  • Megan H

    Hi all - looking forward to the hike! Any chance I might be able to get a ride with someone from DC? Thanks!

    April 14, 2013

    • Victor Y.

      Is this a good time for the Negotiations to start? :-D... Curious why this hike isn't that popular :-P

      April 22, 2013

    • Victor Y.

      I am open in hopping in someone's car but can also drive. I am at 11th and L st. NW

      April 23, 2013

3 went

  • Deborah E. G.
    .. Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Kent M.
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • A former member

Your organizer's refund policy for VERY Strenuous 9.8 Miles: Rocky Mount-Gap Run in SNP/Skyline Drive

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 2 day(s) before the Meetup

Additional notes: Refund if you cancel PRIOR to 48 hours of the hikes start time with no questions asked. IF you cancel within 48 of hours of the hike start time, you will NOT receive a refund because it keeps people on the waiting list from being able to attend!

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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