Past Meetup

Early Morning Experienced Hike - Austin/Furnace Mtn. (13.3 mile loop)

This Meetup is past

9 people went

Location image of event venue


Who really needs their beauty sleep anyway!?!

Only RSVP yes if you are "serious" about LEAVING at before the crack of dawn!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This won't be a leisure hike for most, we will be on the move all the time and take small breaks now and then except at lunch time, if you have NOT DONE a couple long hikes before this one definitely is not for you.

Is your sole responsibility to bring a copy of the driving directions and the trail map to follow.

You experienced hikers wanted it more difficult – so here you go!
Get out of bed and join me for one of the toughest day hikes in the area around a 13.3M one day loop! This hike has a “real wilderness” feel with everything you could ask for in a hike – rock scramble, beautiful vistas, and so much more!

Plan for a good 7 hour hike – and don’t forget to bring a pack, food, extra water (remember – really long hike), and a hat. After we finish torturing our self plan on putting some of those calories back on that you just lost by eating some unhealthy food and milkshakes at one of the local places before heading home whit enough time to do some extra chores that your girlfriend ask you about (Taking the trash out/doing laundry/walking the dog/running errants at the shopping store) Yea, there is not scape from that...I wish!!

Carpooling being coordinated among those who RSVP YES but should meet in Warrenton, VA (US-211) at the (7-11) at 0500 AM.
Meetup location is approximately 56 miles from DC.
Drivers from DC should leave around 0400.

Cost: Depending on arrival time - $7.00 car entry fee. Also, budget about $10.00 for gas share.

WEATHER:This is an adventure group -- We go RAIN OR SHINE! But, keep an eye on the weather and dress appropriately!

Remember the metro does not run at[masked]am. TRAIL

SUMMARY: For more details go to:

The Austin and Furnace Mountains loop is one of the most strenuous day hikes in the Shenandoah National Park. Not only is the hike long, at over 13 miles, but the steep descent down the Austin Mountain ridge, and long climb up the exposed Furnace Mountain trail, make the 3000+ vertical feet of gain seem even that much harder. From the Browns Gap parking area pass the closed gate, and start down the yellow blazed Madison Run Fire Road (FR). In 0.8 miles look for the yellow blazed Big Run Spur Trail where the FR makes a right bend. Turn right and follow the Big Run Spur Trail uphill for 0.3 miles to the ridge, and intersection of the blue blazed Rockytop Trail. Turn left on the Rockytop Trail for 0.4 miles to the intersection of the blue blazed Austin Mountain Trail. Stay left on the Austin Mountain Trail as it follows the ridge, then gradually begins to descend. Pass several vistas of the Furnace Mountain summit, before passing through four rock slide areas. In three miles from the Rockytop Trail, the Austin Mountain Trail will make a sharp left turn, and descend the mountain very steeply for the remaining 0.3 miles to the valley, and ending at the Madison Run FR. Turn right on the yellow blazed Madison Run FR for 0.8 miles. 200 yards before reaching the closed gate, and SNP boundary, turn left onto the Furnace Mountain Trail. Immediately cross Madison Run, then start the ascent of Furnace Mountain. This section of the trail is very exposed, so make sure to have a good hat. In 1.8 miles arrive at a small saddle where the Furnace Mountain Summit Trail turns left. Follow the Furnace Mountain Summit Trail for 0.5 miles, passing a nice camping spot at the summit, before descending for 50 yards to the overlook. Return the 0.5 miles to the Furnace Mountain Trail, and turn left uphill. In 2.1 miles the Furnace Mountain Trail ends at the intersection of the blue blazed Trayfoot Mountain Trail. Stay left, on the Trayfoot Mountain Trail as it descends, then climbs to the intersection of the AT/Blackrock Connector Trail in 0.6 miles. Stay left towards the Blackrock Summit, and in 0.2 miles pass through the lower section if the Blackrock area, before arriving at the intersection of the white blazed Appalachian Trail AT and Blackrock Summit. Turn left on the white blazed AT. In 0.3 miles pass the Blackrock parking area, before crossing Skyline Drive on the AT in another 0.6 miles. After crossing Skyline Drive, pass the Jones Run parking area in 0.2 miles, and stay on the AT for the remaining 1.2 miles back to the Browns Gap parking area.


Trail map:
-----------------------------------------------------------Google Directions:
GPS coordinates:[masked],[masked]
Budget about $10.00 for gas share.
CARPOOL: Don't forget if you want a ride or are willing to offer a ride – be a friend to the environment, save money, and make friends by just posting a message!!
Have a ride: Please post where you are coming from, what time, and how many spots you have.
Need a ride: Post that you need a ride and contact any offers via e-mail for those that are offering rides.

Enjoy it!!! More pictures from past trip: