Brumley Mountain Trail: Hayter's Gap to the Channels

MODERATE 138 reviews
#4 of 65 trails in

Brumley Mountain Trail: Hayter's Gap to the Channels is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Saltville, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,272 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Incredibly scenic hike along Clinch Mountain from Hayter's Gap to Middle Knob along the 14-mile Brumley Mountain Trail, one of the East's newest long (10 miles+) hiking trails. Although the Brumley Mountain Trail runs all the way from Hayter's Gap to Hidden Valley Lake off of US-19 in Moccasin Gap, this guide features the trail's most heavily used, easternmost 3 miles that travel to the Great Channels of Virginia. The Channels are a series of deep sandstone crevices worn into sandstone outcrops on the mountain's summit and form one of Virginia's most fascinating ecosystems. It is possible to easily walk within the maze-like channels, which harbor an almost cave-like microclimate and often hold snow cover long after temperatures have risen above freezing. Coupled with outstanding views from the top of these outcrops and a firetower on Middle Knob's summit, this hike forms one of southwest Virginia's most scenic and popular hiking destinations.

hiking
3 days ago

This is a HARD trail, I hike a lot and this trail is not for the part timer. Almost uphill the entire way, first 1.5 Miles very easy gravel then the accent begins, pretty well marked but if you get to the Channels it’s easy to get turned around.
We found 2 kinda private overlooks and actually took a few naked pics for fun lol.
Well worth it but for sure hard.

18 days ago

The channels are other-worldly and spectacular. This hike is well worth the effort in any season - I take all my visitors, no matter the time of year or weather- and everyone is always amazed. The trailhead parking can get crowded on nice weekends, weekdays are my favourite time to go and I have often had the channels to myself. If you are interested in a 22.5 mile grueling day hike, the channels can also be reached from the Hidden Valley parking lot at the opposite end of the Brumley Mtn Trail. I did this version on a rainy May day, but despite my exhaustion and familiarity with the destination, I still wandered through the Channels with the same sense of wonder as the first time.

hiking
21 days ago

All around amazing! The hike is more of a challenging one - 3 miles all uphill and the return journey down is a long one. Definitely bring lots of water and sunscreen. Getting to the trail head can be a little confusing, as you start on a gravel road that splits into the trail. The top of the mountain is absolutely gorgeous, and the channels themselves are extraordinary. Definitely worth the hike.

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful view at the top and cool to see the natural changes formed from the rock erosion. The hike is fairly easy until the last mile or so, which is pretty steep. It may have been a mixture of the heat, humidity, and steepness, but I had to stop several times to catch my breath.

hiking
30 days ago

The Channels were amazing!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with a huge bonus at the top! The channels were amazing!

1 month ago

Beautiful views at the top! Moderate incline hike with a few larger hills to climb but overall a good hike. Channels are absolutely gorgeous!

1 month ago

Steady-but-easy climb for 90 minutes with visual rewards up top. The actual Channels were an entirely new treat - like a giant, stone labyrinth tucked away just below the lookout. Great stuff all-around.

1 month ago

Absolutely a must do in Virginia! It was probably the most rewarding hike I've had as far as having amazing activities at the top. My 4 and 6 year olds had a blast on this one!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this a few times with some friends and loved it! It is a bit challenging to hike up the mountain, but the trail is very well maintained which makes things easier. I suggest hiking up to the top early in the morning so that you can enjoy a few hours actually inside the Channels and on top of the mountain. If I’m ever out that way again, I would definitely hike this trail again!

2 months ago

It was a great hike, my dog enjoyed it as well. It’s basically all up hill until you get to the channels but the average person could easily hike this(not saying you won’t be tired). It has an amazing view at the top and then you can wind down in the channels and explore. Loved the hike and will definitely do it again.

hiking
2 months ago

Love the trail, and the Channels are amazing! Such a fun find! Definitely worth the trip. Nothing to really break out the camera for until you hit your second mile or so. Pretty bland trail till then. The trail was very well marked and easy to follow. My only complaint would be the amount of trash of the trail. Its really sad to see that people don't have more respect than that.

Whoever said it was a moderate grade was nuts. If you are over 50 and out of shape this is not your hike. I'm over 60 and consider myself to be in good shape for my age compared to other people over 60. It took me 2 hours to get up to the top. And I did enjoy the channels once I got there but the prospect of having to go 3 miles down the hill was not a pleasant thought so it really dampened the entire experience for me. I've never seen a sign that said there was a rescue squad available at the beginning of a trail which should tell you something about how hard it is to get up there. I saw too many people bend over gasping for air over 30 years younger than myself. I do not recommend this hike if you are over 50. the grades I think are fairly steep in places. it would have been nice if there were benches periodically where people could sit down. And for Heaven's sake don't bring a toddler unless you plan to carry them. That is too long of a stretch for little legs. If you do decide to take this hike, bring plenty and I do mean plenty of water and snacks and dress in layers.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice early April Day for a hike to the Channels. Different perspective from the last early August hike. With a mid 70's day it actually pretty chilly down amongst the channels. Always a good hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Slow and steady, the reward is more than worth it! Take a flashlight. Photos can’t even get close to capturing how amazing it is.

hiking
3 months ago

Well marked trail, steady incline without extremely steep climbs. Great views on top, with so much to explore in the “Channels”. Look for the geocache

4 months ago

The Channels are amazing! We went on a cold rainy day, but it was totally worth it.

hiking
5 months ago

Good workout, started in the afternoon. Parking was a problem. Go early.
The channels was great. A good view is to be had Northeast of the Fire Tower.

5 months ago

Such a fun hike!

7 months ago

excellent hike. Done in Dec. the weather was perfect. the channel rock formation is something that you need to see. pictures cannot give justice to the place.

8 months ago

Great trail! The waypoints along the way are really nice to read and find out more about the history of the area.

8 months ago

Great geological feature rewards you at the end of this trail. Well marked, well maintained trail. The top of the trail in May when the Rhododendrons are in full bloom would be worth seeing.

8 months ago

Great hike with very worthwhile destination point. The Channels are well worth the hike.

9 months ago

Moderately difficult but very dense and natural forest area and the views are really great on a sunny clear day ....3 or 4 hours up and back if ya take yer time .....

9 months ago

Awesome hike! Fabulous views at the top. The channels are so cool both literally and figuratively! Two bear cubs were spotted today. As far as we know the mother hear kept a low profile.

11 months ago

This is a very well maintained trail, and not steep at all. It was raining like crazy when I went, so no one was there. it was really fun running around that place all alone. It's amazing! ❤

hiking
11 months ago

The hike there was nice, good incline but not very scenic. The gaps are easily navigated and you can also climb up them and walk around on top. We made it in time to be swallowed in a cloud. The views are well worth it.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Excellent views at the summit

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Channels are fantastic with great views however the fire tower has been decommissioned with signs banning climbing it

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Pretty cool trail. Starts out as a gravel road, then turns into a smaller dirt road for the majority. Has some pretty steep incline spots, more cardio and leg burner than anything. When at the top (near the old ranger house) hang a left through the trees for a cool panoramic of the surrounding mountains. The channels themselves are awesome to explore!

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