Explore the most popular Camping trails in Jefferson National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 days ago

Super cool trail , great view from the tooth and finished in about 3 hrs . Would do again!!

A very fun trail, full of steep steps and rock scrambling! Not as hard as I thought it would be and I’m very out of shape! I brought my dog and he did just fine, I just had to lift him up a few times to get up to the cliffs. So if you bring your dog, make sure he is in decent shape and can make some jumps. Beautiful views throughout, especially with the fall foliage.

Wow! I did this loop last weekend with my 15 year old son, a friend and his 15 year old son. It's beautiful, but it's no joke! it's a long 3-days of hiking given the mileage and elevation change, but it is well worth the effort. However, we started at the Andy Layne Trail Head and did North Mountain for day 1, and were very glad we did. While North Mountain is a good hike in normal instances, especially with the leaves down, which gives view essentially the whole way, it's definitely the least interesting leg of the hike IMHO. Insights that might be helpful for hikers in the near future. As mentioned numerous times by others, there's no water for the 12 miles of North Mountain for all intents and purposes. We brought about 3.5 liters of water reach, we probably went through less than 2 due to cool temperatures. When you arrive at the Dragon's Tooth parking lot, there's a large stream so water is plentiful there. Day 2 we hiked from Dragon's tooth to the John Springs Shelter about 2.5 Mike before McAfee. Although there were blue blazes for water, we found none. There was ample water at the Catawba Shelter another mile closer to McAfee, however. McAfee is amazing! Allow able time to really enjoy it. We started hiking from John Springs and got to Tinker Cliffs a little after noon on day 3. We probably spent about 30-40 minutes at McAfee, not enough but we were running short on time. Tinker was a really good view too and especially fun to do at the end of the hike because from it you can see the whole valley you just hiked around. From Tinker back down to Andy Layne Trail Head, it's a relatively easy 3.9 miles. If/when I do it again, I will definitely do this same route. Also, I think it's probably much more picturesque with the leaves down in the fall it before they come in the spring. If you're considering doing it, you'll be glad you did when it's done, but you'll get a seriously good work out in the meantime. Doing in 4 days would have helped a lot and made feel less rushed given the short days. It's definitely not for the faint of heart. Good luck!

hiking
rocky
scramble
9 days ago

Amazing! Def get to the trailhead early! Limited parking..we arrived at about 7am and it was full..we were lucky and got a spot next to the trailhead. The hike is pretty much an incline to the scramble. Do NOT let the photos deceive you! When you’re at the bottom of the scramble you don’t realize just how far it is to the top..the higher you go the bigger the rocks (look up talus if you want to know why)! Very hard, but very rewarding!

hiking
rocky
10 days ago

Great trail with a beautiful view at the top, however I would not bring my dog if you want to fully enjoy the view and climb around some at the top

hiking
rocky
scramble
10 days ago

Ahh! One of my top favorite places... my husband and I actually got married in this park. It's truly like being in a different world! It's beautiful everywhere you look. I've done several trails and they all are wonderful! It's a "must visit" kinda place!! It's a place I'll go over and over again!

hiking
12 days ago

It's a pretty easy hike for anyone remotely in shape so I'm really surprised to see it rated as "hard." Regardless, it's a really fun hike with about .7 mi up/down of purely rock scrambling right before you get to the tooth. Feels like playing on a jungle gym! Also, if I could give it an extra star I would.. simply because of how impressed I was with how clean and well-maintained the trail is!

great adventure for a long weekend! we did it in 3 days, but I would say do it in 4 if trying to do it late fall like we did. The shorts days meant we hiked a lot after sunset. overall, I'm so happy we made it and would highly recommend. great views all around!

Took a shuttle to the top and rode down, really nice, beautiful riding along the river and lots of sights to see.

Had an great experience hiking this trail. Each of the “Crowns” offered stunning views. Hiked it with some friends first weekend of October last year. Arrived at the trailhead the first night and camped in the AT shelter near McAfee Knob. Set up camp on the opposite ridge the second night. Definitely recommend stashing your backpack when you hike Dragon’s Teeth.

A friend and I did this early in the week before Halloween. The rocky terrain and shortened hours of daylight kept out miles we could push daily down. One of my favorite parts besides the obvious views was the surprise overlook for the reservoir about halfway between McAfee & Tinker’s. Great place to take a break!

Backpacked this loop 11/2-11/3, truly amazing trip. Well blazed and easy to follow, minimal mud. Plenty of elevation gain, but most of it long and steady instead of steep. Mt Rogers summit was a little anticlimactic. Plenty of water for us, as it rained a few days before we went, except for the Wilburn ridge section.

hiking
rocky
16 days ago

Completed the triple crown this last weekend and it was stunning! A real butt-kicker to be sure! This is a challenging loop but you are rewarded a spectacular views. I caught a spectacular sunrise and sunset every day on the trail. You’ll want to have a solid plan before attempting this. There are no legal campsites between miles ~11 to 25. It had just rained so water sources were all good but I’ve heard they can dry up. You cross multiple parking lots which could offer great opportunities to stash some water. Some sections of the trail can be pretty rocky. The trail to dragons tooth has some serious scrambling. It’s an out/back section so I highly recommend stashing your pack rather than attempting it with a huge backpack. All in all, if you are considering this loop...do it! The fall colors were absolutely unreal so I highly recommend this time of year.

hiking
scramble
17 days ago

rocky
scramble
18 days ago

One of my favorite hikes in VA. After reading the review, we decided to bring our Shitzu along. After 1.2 miles of gradual incline are the boulders. I'm 5'4 and managed the climb with my dog in one hand. A bit tricky but made it fun and totally worth it. After the scramble, we took the sketchy path on the right side along the marbleyard.

hiking
scramble
18 days ago

Can’t be worried about heights when reaching the last part. Other than that, it’s is a very beautiful trail with a reward at the top.

horseback riding
22 days ago

Do NOT do this trail. It is not marked well at all. This should NOT be on this app.

mountain biking
muddy
rocky
24 days ago

We rode the entire 34 miles from white top to abingdon. The first 17m to Damascus is all downhill and mostly through the forest. Beautiful!! especially in fall. Lunch in Damascus. The next 17m are level and then slightly uphill through less forest, mostly private property and farmland with the last 2m suburban. I'm glad we rode the whole trail but the first half was way better.

hiking
rocky
scramble
25 days ago

Love that trail, challenging once you get to the rocky part.

Coop and I did the triple crown loop again this weekend. We started by setting up the tent and leaving our packs at the Boy Scout campground at Dragons Tooth at 6:30 am and then drove to the Andy Layne trail head to start at North Mountain. This meant I only had to carry a sling pack with 3 liters of always across north mountain, which was a HUGE difference from last year when I carried the whole pack across on our 2nd day. We didn’t see anyone else in north mountain, and made it back to the campsite by 1:30, then headed up Dragon’s Tooth. There was plenary of water at the Boy Scout campground. Day 2 we headed out to Mcafee Knob, and spent the night at Campbell shelter. Water was trickling Saturday, and luckily we spent the night in the shelter, because it absolutely poured that night! The next morning water was pouring out of the hose, and we stocked up and headed to Tinker Cliffs. Due to the rain, we didn’t pass anyone until we reached the top of the cliffs. The trail is in great shape, and with all the rain, the water sources seem to be back!

hiking
28 days ago

I hiked this on a very foggy afternoon. A very well maintained trail. The rock section up top is a ton of fun with a couple of spots where you should definitely be on point. I think the fog shrouded things enough to keep me thinking I was to high up. So I didn’t get to enjoy the view this trip. I guess I’ll have to go back.

I started this hike very early in the morning to catch the sunrise. It was beautiful! Good workout as well.

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