Beargap Trail to Appalachian Trail to Virginia Creeper Loop

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Jefferson National Forest

Beargap Trail to Appalachian Trail to Virginia Creeper Loop is a 10.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Damascus, Virginia that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and backpacking and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length10.8 miElevation gain1,781 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashBackpackingHikingWalkingRunningForestRiverWildflowersRocky
Description
Waypoints (0)

Start from the Beartree Gap Rec area. From Beartree Lake angler's parking lot, take violet-blazed Beartree Gap trail across a dam and US 58 to AT; take AT southbound past the two access trails to Saunders shelter and down the switchbacks to its junction with short, blue blazed connector to the Virginia Creeper trail. Turn left and follow the Creeper through Taylors Valley and up to Whitetop Laurel Creek gorge to junction with AT at Creek Junction. Take AT southbound to Beartree Gap trail and retrace steps back to the parking lot.

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Reviews (15)
Photos (138)
Activities (15)
Completed (22)
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Bella Anatolia
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Hiking
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Nancy Sawaya
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The trail head for this trail is not well marked from the parking lot. We got lost twice trying to find it. If you park in the parking lot you’ll cross over a bridge at the lake and then take an immediate right. it’s not marked and very overgrown so you can barely see it We enjoyed the trail until we got to the Virginia creeper and had to constantly dodge more than 200 people on bikes but they were all very friendly. We picked up the AT and headed back into the woods which was an enjoyable hike back to our car. Only passed 5 people on the Bear Gap and AT Trail.

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Gregory Baskwell
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HikingBugsMuddyRocky

I completed this a little faster than expected but as others have said it is definitely closer to 12 miles than 10 miles. I completed this big loop counterclockwise which was probably in my best interest. I got the hardest and roughest pathway out of the way during the first half and was able to walk on a smooth somewhat paved trail the last several miles. If you turn left and complete this clockwise I think the last several miles would be a true butt kicker. I was fighting with the sunset and chose to run for certain parts of this hike so that I could finish before the sun went down. I finished around 9 PM (started at 4:30 PM) and it was still not pitch black yet, luckily.

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Dominique Sanchette
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Hiking

don't do it on a weekend day... getting up , maybe a dozen people. getting fown: hundreds! I stopped counting at 400... otherwise, excellent conditions, well maintained.

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Chubby Trekker
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Hiking

The trail is 13 miles long. Best hike it to do Beartree Gap trail to the AT north bound to the VA Creeper Trail south back to the AT north to Beartree Gap trail to finish up. When the VA Creeper Trail meets back with the AT be ready for a straight incline that is pretty brutal. Even the AT through hikers agreed it was pretty bad. We stayed at the top of the mountain at Saunders Shelter. Shelter has water and lots of spots to camp. Also keep in mind that the VA Creeper Trail is also a bike trail so people will be blowing past you but the hike is incredible!

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Richard Hash
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Hiking

Very much like this hike it is in my backyard I live in Taylors Valley just walk outside and go!

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Tristan C
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Great for a first time overnight trip. Trout fishing along the creek was not as great as expected. I’m not sure when they stock the creek but it obviously wasn’t around the beginning of March. My one complaint is having to walk through a tiny village on the creeper trail and the camp sites are very sparse. If you plan on camping try to get to the creeper trail as soon as possible because that’s probably the only part of the trail you can camp along.

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Hector M
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First to Review

Awesome hike can be tricky in spots with the rocks. Follow white trail to blue trail back to white trail off the Creeper trail. The last two miles are challenging back up the hill. Also not 10.8 miles more like 13 miles.

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Jen Robinson
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Hiking
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Jennifer Gillaspie
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Hiking
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Zoey Gardner
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Hiking
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Mel Anie
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Hiking
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Mike Smith
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Hiking
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Chubby Trekker
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Hiking
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Jeff Traynor
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Backpacking
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