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The Best Backpacking in Virginia

Looking for the best backpacking in Virginia? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Virginia. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top backpacking spots in and near Virginia

  • Salem, Virginia

    McAfee Knob

    4.7
    7.79 mi / 1296 ft gain
    Intro McAfee Knob is one of the most photographed and picturesque locations along the Appalachian Trail. Once you reach McAfee Knob, you'll have almost 270 degree views of the the Roanoke Valley to the East, Catawba Valley and North Mountain to the West, and Tinker Cliffs to the North. Due to t...
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  • Elkton, Virginia

    Backpack Rocky Mount Trail in Shenandoah National Park

    3.2
    9.58 mi / 2200 ft gain
    The trail begin 0.1 miles north of Two Mile Run Overlook at milepost 76.2 on Skyline Drive. You can park at this overlook for the night, just make sure you fill out a (free) wilderness permit and walk the short way on Skyline Drive to the trailhead. Immediately climb a wooded knoll before headin...
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  • Tyro, Virginia

    Spy Rock via Cash Hollow

    4.9
    5.71 mi / 1191 ft gain
    The hike is part of the George Washington National Forest, and can easily be combined with nearby Crabtree Falls (300ft cascading waterfall with a hike to the top). The entire trip is 5.7 miles, and there are nice campsites at the base of the summit (no water source) if you want to add on this pr...
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  • Mouth of Wilson, Virginia

    Mount Rogers via Appalachian Trail

    5.0
    9.1 mi / 1549 ft gain
    First of all, who doesn't love wild ponies!  There are tons of ponies here, and although they are wild, they are not afraid of people and you can get pretty close (just don't feed them!).   Once you enter Grayson Highlands State Park, you will see a parking lot for Massie Gap a few miles in, par...
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  • Lyndhurst, Virginia

    Backpack Three Ridges Loop

    4.6
    14.2 mi / 3960 ft gain
    From the parking area at Reids Gap, start off on the white-blazed A.T heading south as the trail begins on the left side of a clearing. You will begin climbing Meadow Mountain shortly and in .8 miles arrive at the top of the ridge, where you will continue on downhill for another .8 miles until y...
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  • Amherst, Virginia

    Mount Pleasant Loop

    4.6
    5.98 mi / 1427 ft gain
    From the Mount Pleasant Parking Area, take the blue blazed Pompey Mountain Trail that is just beyond the horse gate. As it's a loop, you can start at either entrance, but I prefer heading left to get the longer leg of the hike before the summit (always better to have an easy journey down in the a...
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  • Bluemont, Virginia

    Hike to Bears Den Overlook

    4.4
    1 mi
    Bears Den is a collection of rocks and boulders that overlooks the Shenandoah Valley in northern Virginia, just off the Appalachian Trail. You have two options to access this overlook: park at the bottom of the mountain and hike up to the overlook via the trail, or drive to the top and access the...
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  • Luray, Virginia

    White Oak Canyon to Upper Falls

    4.8
    4.28 mi / 866 ft gain
    Between mile 42 and 43 of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park is the trailhead for WhiteOak Canyon. Begin at the trailhead from the parking lot and cross the Limberlost Trail in .3 miles. Continue on and you will cross your first footbridge shortly. After another mile you will cross the s...
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  • Daleville, Virginia

    Hay Rock

    4.6
    7.48 mi / 1276 ft gain
    If you're looking for a hike in the Roanoke area without the crowds that McAfee Knob draws, but still want a challenging hike with great views, try hiking to Hay Rock. This 7.5 mile round trip hike begins at the Park and Ride just off I-81 at the US-220 Troutville/Fincastle exit (150B). The gra...
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  • Bluemont, Virginia

    Hike to Raven Rock

    4.3
    5 mi / 1000 ft gain
    Starting at a small parking lot right off of Route 7 (wuick right onto Pine Grove Road) this hike takes you North on the Appalachian Trail in a very hilly/rocky part of the trail. Expect to gain and lose 300 feet+ multiple times! It's about 2.5 miles each way so budget at least a few hours to go ...
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  • Buchanan, Virginia

    Hike to Apple Orchard Falls

    3.7
    5.6 mi / 1000 ft gain
    There are a few different ways that you can do this hike. One way is to start at the North Creek campground (37.54244, -79.58531) and do a loop hike that's about 6 miles, which will take you to the falls up along a stream with some swimming holes and nice campsites. I did it the other way, which ...
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  • Rileyville, Virginia

    Backpack Jeremy's Run Trail, Shenandoah NP

    3.3
    10 mi
    This hike is best done as a two-day, one-night backpacking trip, however it can be done as a day hike if you don't wish to backpack.Jeremy’s Run is a beautifully forested 10 mile roundtrip hike with numerous stream-crossing. The trailhead starts at the Elkwallow Picnic area, at about mile 24 of S...
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  • Catawba, Virginia

    Virginia Triple Crown

    5.0
    29.24 mi / 5531 ft gain
    The Virginia Triple Crown is a combination of three of the most spectacular and popular hikes in the region. It combines the Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee’s Knob and Tinker Cliffs hikes into one long multi day hike along the Appalachian Trail. It makes for an excellent 2 day backpacking trip, with many ...
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  • Stanley, Virginia

    Hike to Bear Church Rock via Bootens Gap

    3.5
    9.4 mi / 800 ft gain
    The trail leads along the ridge of Jones Mountain to the gorgeous views at Bear Church Rock, and it's the perfect hike for those seeking solitude - didn't see another soul the entire time on a holiday weekend.From the parking lot, head out left on the AT northbound. In .4 miles you will come to a...
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  • Rustburg, Virginia

    Explore the Hydaway Outdoor Recreation Center

    4.3
    If you love everything outdoors, the Hydaway Outdoor Recreation Center is the place for you! You can do almost any activity you can think of here. If you aren't affiliated with Liberty University, you can't rent their equipment, but you can bring you own to use. The main attraction is the lake wh...
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  • Mouth of Wilson, Virginia

    Mount Rogers Loop

    5.0
    15.6 mi / 1079 ft gain
    For an awesome 2-3 day trip, start hiking at the Massie Gap trailhead, which can be reached from Grayson Highlands State Park. Take the Rhododendron Trail up the ridge to connect with the AT, keeping an eye out for wild ponies in the Massie Gap area as they like to hang out here. Some of these po...
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