Very Strenuous Hike: Robertson Mountain Plus Stony Man Mountain!

  • February 16, 2013 · 9:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Very Strenuous 16 Mile Hike in SNP!

Robertson Mountain Plus Stony Man Mountain!

Are you ready to climb some serious elevation gain in a day hike? Well then, look no further because here it is!! And if you are up for it you can join us for a post hike meal too.

For those of you who want more butt kicker hikes, consider this challenge! In this circuit hike, we climb over Robertson Mountain and thenup to the summit of Stony Man Mountain. The summit of Robertson Mountain has excellent views of Old Rag, Corbin Hollow and Hawksbill Summit.

Very Strenuous Hike Pre-Approval Required:

Note that while this is a spectacular hike, it is very strenuous. This hike is much more challenging that Old Rag which many consider a strenuous hike. If have not earned the pre-approval "title" for our very strenuous hikes, you must contact the hike leader before signing up for this hike so you can make an informed decision together regarding this hike. It is dangerous to hike beyond your physical limitations. About 48 hours before the hike, I will check to see if anyone has signed up for this hike without contacting the leader and remove them for safety purposes. Thank you for your understanding and let's have a great time out there.

We have combined these two mountains to create a very strenuous circuit hike. This hike uses multiple trails and some fire road. Overlooking Old Rag Mountain, the Robertson Mountain hike has one of the steepest trails in the central section of the Shenandoah National Park, with an elevation gain of 1,700 feet in just over 1.5 miles. We will say this again, this is a very strenuous hike due to the amount of elevation gain AND elevation change over 16 miles. Also, our pace will average about 2.5 mph.

From Stony Man Overlook, you can see the profile of his face looking west. But you can climb to his forehead and look west with him! There is beauty all the way, in every season! The view on a clear day is unforgettable: the valley, the town of Luray, Massanutten Mountain, and far, far off -- the Alleghenies in West Virginia. The buildings of Skyland lie below to the left; Skyline Drive winds below to the right. If there are clouds, they throw shadows across the peaks and ridges. The panoramic views from Stony Man and Little Stony Man are outstanding. From 1845 to the turn of the century, a copper mine operated near the summit of Stony Man. The Passamaquoddy Trail was laid out by George Freeman Pollock, founder of Skyland, in 1932.

Stony Man is one of the prettiest mountains in the entire Shenandoah National Park. It is also the second highest mountain in the park, and the only other mountain that eclipses 4,000 feet where you will be standing on rocks which are part of an ancient lava flow later metamorphosed into greenstone. Once you reach the summit of Stony Man, you have great views to the west looking over the south fork of the Shenandoah River and beyond to the mountains in George Washington National Forest. The summit is free of trees and is pretty much a large rock outcropping with cliffs of 200' or more on the western ledge.

From Stony Man, we’ll continue north on the Appalachian trail and then return to the Old Rag parking via the 6-mile Nicholson Hollow trail.

I recommend 3 to 4 liters of water and plenty of snacks to sustain yourself and have enough caloric intake and energy for this hike.  Also, we will have a briefing before the hike and go over the route with maps.

Post-Hike Meal

Our optional post-hike dinner will be at Thornton River Grille in Sperryville.

Trail Information

Nearby City: Sperryville

Length: 16 total miles

Pace: 2.5 mph average pace for this hike

Duration: About 7 to 8 hours

Trail Type: Circuit

Skill Level: Very strenuous due to overall length, technical features, and pace

Elevation Gain: 4000 ft

Special Winter Gear Requirement:

Traction gear is a must in order to hike in the winter with our group for safety and so we can hike all four seasons! The most dependable/reliable gear in our opinion is either Kahtoola Microspikes or STABILicers Originals (Stabilicer "Originals" and not the "lites" as too many "lites" have snapped while out on the trail) and YakTrax are highly discouraged. Traction gear/ice cleats come in handy for getting the mail or walking the dog, in addition to any other outdoor activity where there is ice involved! You can run on the ice with them on and many runners do just that!

Trail Notes for Leaders

Weather Information Rain, Snow, Ice, or Shine. Click here to see an up trail forecast.

Carpool Information

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 information and 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 where we meet for this sick hike!

Meetup Time for Hike is 9:00 a.m.

Carpool time from Savage Station is 6:30 a.m.

Carpool time from Centerville Park and Ride is 7:30 a.m.

Park Entrance Fee
Many of our members have passes so please coordinate amongst yourselves to help cut expenses! 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. If you plan visiting more than once it is well worth it to purchase a pass!

Fido is NOT Welcome on this Hike

Brian: [masked]

Shinyi: [masked]

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  • Brian Crowe

    Thanks for a great hike everyone hopefully no one minded the extra trail I added, it paid off good view and A frozen waterfall. Anyone looking for pre approval for strenuous hike's email me and I will get it handled. Everyone did great look forward to seeing everyone hiking soon.

    2 · February 18, 2013

    • David Ludwig

      that was definitely a worthwhile diversion... what's another couple of miles ;)

      2 · February 19, 2013

  • Kellie Carlisle

    Brian and Shinyi, thanks so much for leading this hike. Sounds like everyone had a great time. Brrr, the pics make it look very cold. Happy everyone made it off the mountain all safe and sound. Bet everyone slept like a baby after this hike.

    2 · February 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Gorgeous hike, great group! Thanks, all!

    3 · February 17, 2013

  • Sameer

    Steepest climb and one of the best vistas

    2 · February 17, 2013

  • Tom

    Thanks guys. Great experience with breathtaking views

    1 · February 17, 2013

  • David March

    Thx. Shinyi and Marine Brian for leading yet another great hike. The winterscape was amazing. Next time, I hope to make the posthike fete.

    1 · February 17, 2013

  • Rick

    Great day. Thank you all!

    1 · February 17, 2013

  • Shinyi

    Hello everyone, I tried to match the names that I remembered with our RSVP list, unfortunately I just couldn't come up with the magic number "20" attendees. If I marked you wrong, please message me so I can correct my mistake. Thanks for a fabulous hike today :)

    1 · February 16, 2013

  • Selma Halman

    Thank you, Brian and Shinyi for leading the group. It was a great hike with awesome views!

    1 · February 16, 2013

  • Lyndal

    Another great hike in the snow, Stony Man Mountain had the best views and the frozen waterfall was very cool to see! Thanx Brian and Shinyi for leading, was nice to all hike together instead of two groups:) Thanx Sameer for setting up the group pic!

    1 · February 16, 2013

    • Christine

      Damn, so sad I missed this. And I even bought traction gear! Oh well, next time. Glad y'all had a blast!

      February 16, 2013

  • David Ludwig

    A great hike. The climb up Robertson Mountain was a butt kicker as billed. Stoney Man climb was awesome with fabulous views. Thanks Brian and Shinyi for leading the hike. Now for a nice hot shower!

    1 · February 16, 2013

  • Sara

    Sorry I missed you!

    February 16, 2013

  • Sara

    On my way to centreville. 5 min late. Pl wait

    February 16, 2013

  • Kent Morgan

    Anyone coming from the Baltimore area?

    February 14, 2013

    • Kent Morgan

      Savage Station works for me. See you then.

      February 15, 2013

    • Jim S

      Sorry, kent. Running really late. Will have to drive directly to Va. Apologize

      February 16, 2013

  • Bill Peters

    I am looking for a ride from the Alexandria area. If I can't do that, I will come to Centreville looking for a reide. Thanks

    February 12, 2013

    • Bill Peters

      I will be at Centerville at 7:30

      February 15, 2013

    • Jin

      I'll be at Centreville P&R by 7:30, drive or ride.

      February 15, 2013

  • Brian Crowe

    70% chance of snow Friday night late to Saturday morning expecting 1-3" in SNP so PLEASE PACK TRACTION GEAR and appropriate clothing/ ample water. I have zero intentions of canceling but will turn away unprepared hikers!

    2 · February 15, 2013

  • Salvatore

    Looking for a ride from the DC area. Will chip in for gas.

    February 11, 2013

    • Tom

      Hello Whitney - I'm still planning on attending and will stop at Centreville at 7:30 if I do go. Last week when we did Old Rag there were enough people at Centreville to fill two cars so as Christine said, you shouldn't have any trouble getting a ride even if I can't make it.

      February 14, 2013

    • Christine

      I can't shake this illness, so sad to report I'm gonna have to sit this one out. :( Have fun all!

      February 14, 2013

  • Michael

    This one looks like a lot of fun! Go Shinyi!

    2 · January 23, 2013

    • Melody

      Hi Mike!

      February 14, 2013

    • Michael

      Hi Mel! Have a great time on this hike. Long time, no see. :o(

      February 14, 2013

  • Tom

    Brian and Shinyi,

    I'm really excited to join you all on this hike. I hiked with Shinyi once about a year ago. Almost the same trails as this one. I would like to meet you at the trailhead. I may need to speed off to some dinner plans with my folks afterwards. I will be at the Old Rag parking lot by 9AM. See you there.

    February 14, 2013

  • Salvatore

    Looking for a ride to Centerville from the DC metro area.

    February 14, 2013

  • da2010

    Hi—I'll also be looking for a ride from Centreville.

    February 14, 2013

  • Sameer

    I am driving from Alexandria VA

    February 13, 2013

  • Brian Crowe

    Also due to the trails still being ice and some snow cover at higher elevations in SNP please make sure you pack traction gear otherwise we will have to turn you away, sorry but safety is priority. Please read the note about traction gear on this page. If you do not have it I would recommend micro spikes version over others.

    1 · February 11, 2013

  • Shinyi

    Just a final reminder, if you haven't earned a "Pre-approved' title underneath your name, and didn't contacted either me or Brian yet, I would automatically move you OUT of RSVP list 3 days before the actual hike. This is for everyone's safety and enjoyment to complete a very strenuous hike within limited daylight. Whitney and David, you both are on board with us!

    February 10, 2013

  • Selma Halman

    Hi! I am a looking for a ride from Centerville P&R. I will chip in for gas. Thanks!

    February 7, 2013

    • kimmie

      David , do you have a room for one more? I will chip for gas, also I can meet you at Centreville P&R .

      February 8, 2013

    • David March

      Of course. We can sort it out at Centreville. Some people may want to do an after-hike meal, others may want to rush back.

      February 9, 2013

  • Melody

    Ed Thompson pre approved for strenuous hikes joining

    1 · February 3, 2013

    • Shinyi

      Thanks for letting me know, I still remembered you both at Tri-State hike. You two are all set :)

      February 7, 2013

  • David Ludwig

    I'm signed up for this hike but need a confirmation from the hike leader. Anyone coming from Southern Md, let me know if you want to carpool.

    February 6, 2013

    • David Ludwig

      Brian, I sent you an email with my hiking experience. I had thought I sent the info to Shinyi a few days ago, but apparently failed to hit the send button as I don't have any record of it. Let me know if you don't get my email. Dave

      February 7, 2013

    • Shinyi

      Please send to either one of us again, thanks!

      February 7, 2013

  • Augusta

    would someone be able to give me a ride from the DC area? of course, I'd love to help with gas and buy you a cup of coffee for the favor

    January 23, 2013

    • Daniel Corini

      Unfortunately not yet. My employer is purchasing the tickets and is being a little slow on locking down the exact date of travel. I wont know till 10days prior its looking like. So tentatively yes on the carpool for both of you and I'll update you when I find out around the 6th. Sorry for the limbo

      January 28, 2013

    • Daniel Corini

      Unfortunately the work trip got moved to the 15th so I will have to back out of this one. Hopefully carpool works out and enjoy the hike everyone.

      February 7, 2013

  • Sarita K

    I meant to say PLEASE approve me. Thank you for your consideration.

    2 · January 30, 2013

    • Sarita K

      Thanks Steve! I knew I could count on you! :)

      1 · February 4, 2013

    • Brian Crowe

      your approved just in case you didnt see the post on your page

      1 · February 6, 2013

  • Miguel

    How do you get pre-approved for very strenuous hikes? Do we have to do lots of strenuous hikes first?

    January 29, 2013

    • Shinyi

      In order to get pre-approved, you must have hiked with us and finished a VERY strenuous hike (this one for example). And then the hike leader would grant you the title which allows you to sign up without restriction next time.

      January 30, 2013

  • Sarita K

    I am pretty sure I can do this hike. If there will be snow and ice on the ground, it may be more challenging. Approve me! I need a challenging hike. I am always out in the front. :O ) I need a challenge, Lol

    January 30, 2013

  • Bill Peters

    I see the net elevation gain is 4000 feet. Does anyone know the mileage? This should be an amazing hike

    January 22, 2013

    • Selma Halman

      As far as I know, the total mileage is close to 7 miles for Mt. Robertson.

      January 22, 2013

    • Bill Peters

      Thanks Christine

      January 22, 2013

  • Bill Peters

    The east face of Robertson is definitely a good, steep climb. It's a few feet taller than its cousin, Old Rag.

    January 22, 2013

  • Christine

    I've done this hike with Kenny - the Robertson part is a serious climb! Looking forward to a great glute workout. :)

    January 22, 2013

19 went

  • Shinyi
    Certified Hike Leader and Wilderness Medical First Responder
    Event Host
  • Brian Crowe
    Certified Hike Leader
    Event Host
  • da2010
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Kent Morgan
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Brian T
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Chris Taylor
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Selma Halman
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Salvatore
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • L N
    Preapproved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Tom
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Jim S
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Sameer
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Tom
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • David March
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Rick
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes! 01/20/2013
  • Jin
    . Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Lyndal
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • David Ludwig
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes! 02/17/2013
  • A former member

Your organizer's refund policy for Very Strenuous Hike: Robertson Mountain Plus Stony Man Mountain!

Refunds offered if:

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

Additional notes: 100% Refund with no questions asked if your RSVP is changed to a "NO" prior to 48 hour before hike time!

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

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