Compton Peak Summit via Appalachian Trail

MODERATE 99 reviews
#23 of 148 trails in

Compton Peak Summit via Appalachian Trail is a 1.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Bentonville, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

1.9 miles
593 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips

rock climbing



wild flowers


Skyline Drive milepost 10.4 (Compton Gap) there is a trail to Compton Peak, perhaps the first large mountain accessible from the North entrance of Shenandoah National Park.

21 days ago

Nice hike for my dogs and myself. Saw a timber rattle snake on the trail a little too up close and personal, but it must have been Sunning or sleeping on the trail as we quickly jumped back and turned around. Well it is the mountains right?

21 days ago

Nice hike. Northern spur overlook was fantastic included deer visit. . Southern spur views obstructed by foliage. Will try again in winter.

29 days ago

My first time in SNP! I usually go for much longer hikes, but this was a great outing for a spontaneous trip. Short and sweet, but moderately challenging because of the rocky terrain, so I wish I’d brought my hiking boots just for the ankle support. When you get to the split, you can go left, right, or straight. I suggest going to the left to see the geologic formation first, then coming back and doing the right hand trail to see the viewpoint. It’s a good snacking or lunch spot. Also, there were fewer people on the trail than I expected for a Saturday, so I had a lot of it to myself! Definitely dog and family friendly, though.

2 months ago

good mix of views and geologic features

5 months ago

My husband and I have different fitness levels and so I picked this trail because it was fairly close to home, not too long, and had a gorgeous view. Would do it again with him but would do a more challenging hike on my own. We thought it was a great place to hang out and could even see Blue Mountain and the Monastery in Linden, which is up the street from our home, with our pocket telescope.

5 months ago

Good hike. I think the trail is under rated. Had a great time with the family.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Agree with Lacey. LOTS of rocks form the pathway most of the way. Although no scrambling involved, they're just not comfortable for walking. But quite lovely view at the end. Out of shape 60-something and made it up without much trouble otherwise

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

I'm torn btw 3 & 4 stars. We did this hike in the fall two years ago. Totally different experience in the summer time! Lots and lots of uphill. Very rocky in some parts which made it a tad difficult w our pup. The overlook view is nice but not my favorite in the park. There are 2 lookout areas, next to each other but it was a bit crowded with people eating lunch. The columnar jointing was super cool to see. Not sure I'd need to see it a 2nd time but glad we saw it! Tough steep downhill and a lot of the rocks were unbalanced so we had to take our time getting to the viewpoint. The hike back down to the car was a piece of cake after all the uphill.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

We completed this trail last week. This trail was reminiscent of the Crabtree Falls further south. There was not much traffic in mid-afternoon. The view was fantastic! We did the other trail with the rock formations. Saw a large buck (!) below those formations.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Short and sweet. Beautiful views.

Friday, August 04, 2017

a couple scrambling areas on the left of the "T" GREAT views to the right. Saw a young bear and several deer. Went on a Friday mid day and little traffic. park in the Compton gap lot trail starts across the street.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Nice variety of terrain. Overlook is awesome.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Nice views.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Friday, June 09, 2017

a short trail to some of the most spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A moderately steep and sometimes rocky ascent to a fantastic view at the top of Compton Peak. Parking for the trail head is at the Compton Gap lot, MP 10.4. The nearest bathrooms are at the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, MP 5.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Great short hike...bit of a climb but not to tough & fantastic views at end. Trail is quite rocky so be careful but other than that just a great hike in Shenandoah!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Nice short hike. Good views to the west but views on the eastern spur were not so great.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Nice short hike, very dog friendly. Easy to moderate. Wasn't too busy on this warm holiday weekend. We recommend that you go both east and west at T. When you go east, be sure to walk past the overlook rock to the bottom of the rocks and look back up. Otherwise you don't appreciate the Rock formation you were standing on.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Nice trail, good rock climbing here and there.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

This trail exceeded my expectations. The terrain was rocky and interesting throughout the climb, and the columnar jointing below one of the two viewpoints was especially impressive. You really don't get a sense of the scale of this rare geological feature until you're standing right below it (photos don't do it justice). This is a great trail if you're looking for something easily accessible from the North Entrance of SNP (just 10.4 miles in).

Sunday, October 23, 2016

I love this trail. The hexagonal shape rock formation found off the east 0.2 mile spur trail is called Columnar Basalt - the result of gradual cooling of lava from a volcano.

Monday, September 05, 2016

A fun and scenic short trail. 1 mile to the T. A short walk uphill to the right leads you to a rocky overlook and a short downhill walk to the left takes you past more of the large rock formations. A moderate hike considering rocky terrain and elevation but short enough for dogs or kids to handle it just fine. The Google maps app will take you too far south on Skyline Dr. You want to park near the sign that says Compton pass. Once in the park, use the map on the AllTrails app and you will get right where you want to go.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Beautiful moderate hike. Be warned, to go down to the lava rocks you will have a descend that is tough to come back up but well worth it!

Monday, May 09, 2016

Second time on the trail. First time hiking down to the rock formations - very neat! It was a steep climb down. I had to take my time in certain spots because there was water flowing on the trail; which made it slippery in certain areas. The view from the summit is always amazing. It's a quick hike that I enjoy starting off with after entering the park. Beautiful views on a clear day.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Definitely worth it. Once you get to the top the trails break off to go east or west. The rock structure on the west trail was very unique and worth the hike. The east side trail is worth the view. I would go back either in spring or late summer to do it again to see color! Was a lot of brown colors in March. Saw a deer on the way up Skyline drive.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Relatively easy hike with beautiful views. Nice stop not far off the A.T.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Nice trail.....geo formation are kinda neat, getting there is on on the harder side. The east trail has great views

Friday, August 15, 2014

This is a fun, shorter distance hike that offers a great view and an interesting geological feature. When you reach the end of the trail it splits off 0.2 miles to the east and west. We took the east trail first which leads you down a (very steep) downhill to some rock formations featuring columnar jointing - it's very cool looking! The west trail leads you to an amazing overlook! Hiked this on a Sunday afternoon and only saw one or two other people out there. This is definitely an underrated trail!

28 days ago

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