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