Blackrock Summit, Shenandoah NP

Appalachian Trail, Virginia

4.7/5
based on 11 reviews

Details

Distance

1.11 miles

Elevation Gain

253 ft

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Sarah Giek

This short, easy hike in the South District of Shenandoah National Park will provide you with expansive views to the north and south. It is ideal for watching the sunset or sunrise, but it’s a remarkable experience no matter what time of day you visit.

There are two route options, both are under 2 miles and are suitable for hikers of all experience levels. The shortest option, a 1-mile circuit, follows the Appalachian Trail from the Blackrock Summit parking area, which is just north of mile marker 85 on Skyline Drive. With only 175-feet of elevation gain, the trail is an easy walk to the summit. Once the trees open up, you will be treated to views of the mountains to the north. Continue around the mass of boulders to find equally awe-inspiring views to the south. After taking time to enjoy the view, continue around the boulders to follow the Appalachian Trail. Upon reaching the junction with the Blackrock Hut Road-Trayfoot Mountain Trail, turn left to leave the Appalachian Trail and follow the yellow-blazes back to the parking lot.

A slightly longer, 1.6 mile circuit, offers 445-feet of elevation gain and a walk through a boulder field. Upon reaching the summit via the Appalachian Trail, as described above, rather than continuing around the boulders at the summit, turn right at the trail post to continue on the Blackrock Spur Trail. Continue through the boulder field until you reach the junction with Trayfoot Mountain Trail, then turn left and follow the yellow-blazes back to the parking lot.

Although Shenandoah National Park is open year-round, Skyline Drive may be closed in the winter due to weather conditions. Always check for closures before you head out! If you're thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail or are camping in the park, Loft Mountain Campground and Loft Mountain Wayside are just 5 miles north of the Blackrock Summit parking area. You can find groceries and supplies there.

For a hiking map of the area, visit here (or ask for one at the park entrance). For a trail map, visit here.

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Blackrock Summit, Shenandoah NP Reviews

We took my parents up to the summit to watch sunrise for their first ever headlamp hike. The trail is straight forward and simple, with beautiful views at the peak.

Great, short hike, with a great view. Perfect if you're carrying up heavy camera gear! I also recommend bringing along a telephoto, if you've got it!

Took the whole family on this hike including the dog. Absolutely stunning views from the summit with plenty of rocks to climb and play on. There's a decent campsite up there as well right off the AT that some other hikers were setting up for the night. Highly recommended for a family friendly, easy stroll with a huge payoff at the top.

Choose this hike today to try out with our children. 3 & 16 months old and they loved it. Our three year old is asking when we can go back! This was an experiment for us to see how the children would react to hiking and we can wait to try another. This hike is roughly an hour long with great views.

Blackrock Summit has by far the best view in the southern district of Shenandoah National Park. This 270 degree view is a great spot in the park to watch both sunrises and sunsets. Because of the great views and the short hike this is a VERY popular hike, and it is great for families. I have taken my two boys (1 and 4) on this hike with no problem.

Perfect hike for the family! Great views at the summit with minimal elevation gain, and plenty of exploring and rock scrambling to keep the older kids interested. Ideal for sunset, but great for anytime really.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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