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Compton Peak Summit via Appalachian Trail [CLOSED]

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Shenandoah National Park

Compton Peak Summit via Appalachian Trail is a 1.9 mile heavily 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.

Distance: 1.9 miles Elevation Gain: 593 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

closed

Many trailheads in this park are closed due to COVID-19. Please check the park website for up to date info on which trails are accessible.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
scramble
2 months ago

I'd definitely rate this as Easy, rather than moderate. It was a nice winter hike in early February. Parking was across the road from the trailhead. Note: cell reception, and therefore GPS signal, is unreliable on this stretch of Skyline Drive. I accidentally drove past the parking lot and had to turn around at an overlook. My 12 y/o terrier was running this trail. We only saw a few other people along the way. The trail forks and we did both arms, each .2 miles. One fork is declines to a captivating fragmented boulder that makes you wonder how nature produces such geometry. This fork is the greater physical challenge of the two, a bit steep and wet/slippery. The way back up from this rock feature was the hardest part of the whole hike. The other fork has wider trail, and gains a bit of elevation to a nice panoramic viewpoint. Overall a quick and easy hike but much of a challenge.

hiking
blowdown
3 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Pretty easy trail, takes about 20-30 min to get to the top going at an easy pace. It does get pretty rocky though, was a little hard for my older pup I took with me but we made it to the lookout. Didn’t go to the left trail, just to the lookout for sunrise. The views pretty great, just a little off for seeing the actual sunrise but still was pretty and quiet.

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

Trail is pretty easy with the switchbacks (though a little rocky), but would agree with other reviewers to skip the south overlook and just go to the north one.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked this with my sister last Saturday morning. When you get to the trail intersection, the view from the right path is beautiful! We also ran into a possum on the path here. The path going left wasn’t really worth it and was slippery going down at parts.

Hiked this trail with our 3 kids (10, 8 and 5 yrs old) today and everyone enjoyed it! We loved the observing the columnar joints down the left trail and then going back down the other trail to the right to see Compton peak view.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice trail, it wasn’t difficult at all! The west overlook is amaaaaaaaaazing, we stoped there for an hour to eat our sandwiches. But the east overlook wasn’t really worth it!

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Good hike, right view is better than the other.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

One of the first trails from the north end of Shenandoah NP, it’s a great pick for a short hike to catch a sunrise. It’s not overly challenging. There’s plenty of climbing, but it’s well maintained and pretty easy on the ankles. Once you get to the intersection, skip turning left and turn right to get the view. Turning left doesn’t really end with much, but turning right yields the real treasure of this trail.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

This trail is great if you’re looking for a quick overlook. It’s easy and fast with a great view at the top!

Watched the sunrise!! It was beautiful!!! Go to the east view!

hiking
9 months ago

Great short hike with awesome view at the top (by taking a right at the trail-post intersection — I did not go left to see the rock formation). Took me 25 minutes to get to the top; jogged back on way down- kinda rocky, so if running this trail, be careful. I went early (around 9am on a Sunday) and was the only one on the trail, but met several hikers on the return- definitely a popular hike. Parking in the Compton Gap lot across the street was partially filled by the time I got back.

10 months ago

Great trail with little traffic, end to the basalt columns was really steep!

hiking
10 months ago

I would highly recommend this trial. Get to the top and you will be amazed at the glory.

hiking
muddy
11 months ago

hiking
Mon May 13 2019

Easy hike, would not call it moderate. Very busy on weekends.

Wed Nov 14 2018

Over all good workout. Kinda rocky tho.

Tue Nov 06 2018

Great hike. Not long and good work out. Done twice with my dogs.

hiking
Sun Nov 04 2018

Great trail. Took our two small dogs they had no problem. Did see a small black bear on the first half of the trail

hiking
Mon Oct 22 2018

Nice and quick! Make sure you go both to the right (views of the Valley) and to the left (lava tubes) at the split. About 1.25 hours. approx 2.25 miles.

Sun Oct 21 2018

Lots of rocky terrain, but nothing too daunting. Beautiful view at the top, but very heavily trafficked trail. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, pick a “down” time. Nice that the trail is a T at the overlooks- left is a rockier, steeper view and right is an easier, more open view. Good workout.

hiking
Mon Oct 15 2018

Great short hike. Definitely check out both sides of the split. The left side brings you down a steep decline to a cool rock formation. To the right is a beautiful look out.

hiking
Mon Oct 08 2018

Ha! Looks like we are the only ones who missed the trail split for the East and West part ( the scenic bit) !!! We kept walking and walking and ended up back on Skyline Drive a couple of miles from the car where we started at the Compton Peak parking lot! It was still a wonderful hike and I can’t wait to go back to see the views.

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