Mount Rogers Spur is a 10 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Whitetop, VA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The half mile spur to the summit through the dense moss-covered pine trees is quite a contrast to the dramatic mostly open terrain you pass to get there. Though slightly anti-climatic despite being at the highest point in Virginia (5729 feet), it is the journey that matters most...and what a journey it is! I am glad I know about the second marker at the summit now...thank you Bill! I will be sure to find it on the next visit.
Mt. Rogers Spur proper is a blue blazed trail leaving the AT near the Thomas Knob Shelter along the AT that climbs to Virginia's high point at 5729 feet. We hiked on a partly cloudy cold day with a wind chill of 7 degrees in the open areas. It got much warmer out of the wind on the tree covered top of Mt. Rogers. The Spur travels up though first fields of grass and then dense pines at the top much like what you encounter along the Black Mountain Crest Trail and Mt. Mitchell in NC. I'd also compare it to the dense moss covered pine forests of British Columbia. The top is not very spectacular except for the change in climate zone and the cool forest. There are two geodetic markers, the true top is the second one which is only 100 feet or so from the first across the area at the top. This hike, combined with the lower trails from Massie Gap that you have to take to get there is a not to miss adventure! Enjoy!
This was a very nice hike. We reached the trailhead from the massey gap parking lot, taking the Rhododendron Gap trail to the Appalachian Trail. Took about 4 miles to reach the Mount Rogers Spur Trail, and every mile was totally worth it. The hike started out with wild ponies, how can you beat that. The hike was very rocky but full of scenery and views all around you. We are attempting to hike all of the highest peaks in every state, and this is by far the most fun and most scenic hike we have done yet, having completed all of the states in the southeast thus far. The Mount Rogers spur trail alone was a very easy short hike to the summit, hiking through some very thick wooded areas that is very beautiful. Our only negative would have to be that there was no sign at the top stating the peak and its elevation. Luckily their was a piece of cardboard with the info out it laying on a rock that someone made. HA.
I enjoy this area a lot. I recently hiked this area in February and I'll let you know it was exactly what the warning signs say, the weather can change drastically quickly. If you go to this area in winter or early spring please prepare for that. We actually saw some hikers heading up late in the afternoon with not a lot of protection or gear. We warned them of how cold it will get and when the sun goes down it will be a tot a lly different scene. We hope they heeded our earning and got back down to Massie gap before sun down.
Friendly Feral Ponies! Need I say more? I didn't think so....
This is an awesome hike to the highest point in VA. Don't let the fact that this trail itself is 0.5 mi. fool you. The nearest access points are Grayson Highlands, Grindstone, and Elk Garden. They are each over 4 miles away from this trail's start point. But nevertheless, this is an awesome hike, with ponies, views, trail shelters, and many hikers you will likely meet along the way. Come in from Grayson Highlands to experience the best views. At the summit there are... no views. Just the satisfaction of being at VA's highest point, I guess. I found a big group of hikers up there when I reached it last August. This mountain was part of my 20-mile day hike from Grayson Highlands to Scales and Whitetop.
We actually started in Damascus Virginia hiking to Mt. Rogers via the AT. It was a very strenous hike with amazing views. The day we climbed Mt. Rogers visibility was down to 20 yards so we struggled finding the shelter which became crowded by the end of the night. Woke up the next day to sunshine and wild ponies roaming the bald. After B-fast we climbed to the summit and then back to the road where we had our first hitch-hiking experience to get back to Damascus and our Car.