Hightop Peak Trail [CLOSED]

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Shenandoah National Park

Hightop Peak Trail is a 3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Elkton, Virginia that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 3.0 miles Elevation Gain: 941 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

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
1 month ago

I love this trail for a quick calorie burn and beautiful view. I continued past the vista to add some mileage.

Very straightforward - 1.5 miles up and 1.5 down. Pretty solid incline and very well maintained. Can also continue beyond the peak if you take a left at the top. There is a gradual descent with some pleasant views I'd highly recommend tacking on an extra mile.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous view, very worth the uphill hike!

hiking
3 months ago

Not a bad hike at all, in fact I really enjoyed it. It's pretty tough but I wouldn't describe it as strenuous by any means. You are gaining approx. 1000ft of elevation in 1.5 miles which is a pretty good climb if you ask me. The overlook at the top is worth it though, my girlfriend and I timed it up perfectly to get to the top around sunset and we watched the sunset from up there and took some photos. Really awesome views. Its also a short hike so very easy to use it as a training trail or something if you want. All in all I think it took us 60-70 minutes? Maybe not even that long. That's including the hike up, hanging out and taking a bunch of pictures and then going back down. Def recommend and if youre coming from Hburg its only about 30-45 minute drive

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Great dog walking trail, easy on the knees, but a stiff uphill. Not to rocky, and well maintained. Two very nice overlooks on the way.

hiking
5 months ago

Very enjoyable hike with a great view at the summit! Hiked it with about 2 inches of virgin snow on the trail which cushioned our footing. We also started north a mile and picked up the AT near the ranger station which added 2.4 miles to the hike for a total of 5.8. Quite nice on a day where temps hovered around 34 degrees.

hiking
6 months ago

Heavily trafficked, easy to follow out and back. Unsure if we went to top as the temp dropped dramatically so when it started to descend after an overlook we turned back.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

I am out of shape and found this uphill hike extremely difficult, ha. Just so you know, if you’re not in good shape this hike will be really challenging and feel long. The lookout and landscape are stunning however. Loved it. Just need to get in better shape to deem these va trails moderate.

hiking
7 months ago

Had a great day hiking! Great trail and view!

hiking
7 months ago

trail is very well maintained and has alot of really cool geology throughout the trail has one false summit thats a bit overgrown keep going just past it and you will get to the real view, pretty steady incline all the way up but not that strenuous highly enjoyed this portion of the AT

hiking
7 months ago

Fairly easy hike for an all the way up and all the way down out and back. A little rocky, but great breeze at the summit, and the view is fantastic!

hiking
8 months ago

the second peak was great

hiking
8 months ago

Easy hike. No views until top but nice. Well maintained trail.

hiking
bugs
8 months ago

Well worn 1.5 mile section of the AP leading to high point lookout. Steady incline. Great payoff view.

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

Hiked it in the early afternoon, the hike itself is uninspiring-just a boring steep climb, but the (2nd) overlook is worth the effort. Hiking is subjective. My gf loved this hike, I was unimpressed- largely because you get the same views from skyline drive. This hike is wide, and well defined. I'll have to give it another shot around sunset If you have time and want to do a quick challenging 1 mile hike/rock scramble, I'd suggest bearfence 10 miles down the road towards the Swift Gap.

hiking
9 months ago

This was a nice short hike. A mile and a half up and a mile and a half down. The view at the top did not disappoint and is worth the effort. If I ever do this again I’ll do it in the evening for a sunset hike.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

Great quick hike! Lots of horseflies at the top but that might of just been today/time of year. The hike itself was pretty steep but definitely doable, and the view was amazing!! Perfect distance for a quick day hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice and easy hike. There are two lookouts on top. Be sure to also go to the second.

hiking
9 months ago

This is a nice out and back segment of the AT. It’s pretty steep but very do-able for most anyone. No views until you reach the top but they are worth it. Saw a Scarlet Tanager on the way down ... a spectacular crimson and black bird that I understand is hard to find. As others have said this would be a great evening hike to view a sunset.

hiking
10 months ago

Quick hike we did with a gap in our day... Beautiful views at the top, very quiet hike!

hiking
bugs
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Easy trail, short with nice views at the top. Less know and less crowded, close to the park entrance.

hiking
11 months ago

I got to this trail late so I hiked up to the summit as quickly as possible and enjoyed the sunset view before heading back down with strong flashlight in hand. This trail has a very small roadside parking lot and the trailhead is on the east side of the road marked only by a cement marker with no other sign. To be honest I found myself thing "is this all there is?"

hiking
rocky
Sat May 25 2019

The trail offers a lot of shade and is well-maintained. Amazing views at the top. Although it was a pretty steep hike up at times, the path flattened out occassionaly which was a nice break. If sharp uphills and downhills bother your knees, avoid this trail, otherwise it is a must-see!

hiking
Fri May 10 2019

Great quick hike near the swift run entrance with a great view. Both times I’ve been up there, I’ve crossed paths with several thru hikers.

hiking
bugs
rocky
Wed May 08 2019

Out of shaper hiker who occasionally like to get out into nature and enjoy the beauty. I wouldn't call it easy for my skill lever but it was moderate. Rockier than I was expecting with many loose rocks though it did rain heavily recently. Overall not too muddy, not too difficult. The trail winds back and forth which helps the climb. Encountered a handful of hikers going up and down. View unremarkable as it was foggy the day I went however lots of flora along the trail. Overall I will definitely be back on a clearer day.

snow
Wed Apr 17 2019

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