Hightop Peak Loop via Appalachian Trail [CLOSED]

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Shenandoah National Park

Hightop Peak Loop via Appalachian Trail is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Elkton, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,375 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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. NOTE: As of January 2020, please prepare for winter driving conditions on Skyline Drive. Please call to check the road status before coming: 540-999-3500.

This is steady grade. Definitely a good trail to run. Nice view. Would do again.

Great trail. The oversized boulders with green moss were beautiful. All uphill at first until you get to the overlook. Well worth the uphill climb.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

Loved this hike! We parked on the side of the road right after the entrance into the park and trailhead was easy to find. We started at 10:30 and we were back to our car by 2:15 or so with a 30 min lunch break. We passed the outlook about an hour into the hike, but opted to continue and do the loop before stopping for lunch at the outlook on the way back. Definitely rocky and some elevation, would recommend hiking boots with ankle support. Really dog-friendly. Pretty views along the way. Excited to do this again in the fall, will be especially beautiful when the leaves turn.

hiking
icy
muddy
4 months ago

Good trail, very windy at the top. Had to hike up the road to the trailhead as Skyline is closed right now, but the gate ranger was very friendly and helpful

hiking
fee
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

This trail was a very good hike. Incline was great. And at the top view was awesum. There was more people out than I thought would be. But they didn’t stay around long because it was bitter cold at the top.

Great hike beautiful views at summit.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice hike. Summit isn't a large area but doesn't seem to be too crowded. Going up the incline is gradual enough to push the pace.

hiking
muddy
Wed Mar 13 2019

Went to Hightop and turned back, about 5.5 miles that way. Great hike that is a slightly challenging steady uphill climb for the first ~2.8 miles until you reach the top. After that it is a great view with a downhill hike after! Great hike to bring the dog along too.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
Sun Feb 24 2019

hiking
Sat Jan 05 2019

Awesome hike! A little bit of sleet and snow on the way up, but the view at the top is so worth it! Would budget about 3.5 hours for a moderate pace. Would definitely do again!

hiking
Sat Jan 05 2019

Really really awesome hike!

hiking
Tue Jul 24 2018

Sun Apr 02 2017

View after first 1.5 mi was great, trail continues to follow the AT down the mountain and loops back up around to the high top peak. Not much to see after the first viewpoint. Good distance for a day hike, but if your looking for something more exciting try another trail (Riprap trail).

hiking
Mon Dec 12 2016

The walk up was very forested, though still provided beautiful views of massive rock formations. The summit was spectacular, despite rainy and foggy when we did it. Might be a little hard for someone out of shape, but definitely worth it.

hiking
Thu Nov 10 2016

Absolutely loved this hike. From the parking lot it feels about 2 miles and some change, it starts out surprisingly steep but one YOU get close to the top it definitely gets easier. This hike is amazing because the view at the top is astonishing. Best hike I've ever been on personally.

hiking
Sun Jul 10 2016

not much to look at on the way up, but the lookouts at the top were beautiful. only made it to the second one before we had to turn around because of a storm coming in. make sure you pack plenty of water, we went on a very humid day and sweated profusely and ran out of water quickly.

Tue Dec 08 2015

1 hour Nice views

hiking
Tue Dec 08 2015

Good

hiking
Sun Sep 07 2014

When hiking from the South this trail is great and less than 2 miles to a fantastic view. Coming from the north it's about 9 up a gradual grade. Coming from the south, when at the top the best view is the sec on or third outlook on the right. You do have to pay to get into the SNP but the $15 pass lasts a week so you can hit any of the great hikes in Shenandoah. This is one of my favorites!

hiking
Sun Apr 20 2014

This trail was pretty good. The trail itself was just a normal switchback, not much to look at while hiking. The view at the top was breath taking. Would be a pretty good trail to run on.

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