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AT in Shenandoah National Park
Pinefield Gap to
Swift Run Gap
Appalachian Trail GPS Tracks
Get the complete GPS Tracks for the AT in Shenandoah National Park and Northern Virginia for ONLY $1.97! This .gpx file includes waypoints for all trail shelters along this stretch of trail and many of the official AT parking areas. Use the BUY NOW button below and we'll send you the file via e-mail! Happy Hiking!
This 11.3 mile section of the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park features 3587 foot Hightop. Although there are no views from the tree summit, there are a couple of nice views from open ledges further along the AT. At one time there was a lookout tower at the summit.
This section begins where the AT crosses Skyline Drive at MP 75.2 in Pinefield Gap. The trail ascends through sparse woods and at 0.8 miles reach the top of 2864 Weaver Mountain. The trail now descends and reaches Simmons Gap at 1.9 miles where Simmons Gap Fire Road meets 73.2 MP of Skyline Drive.
The AT crosses Skyline Drive and follows the fire road for about forty feet before turning left onto a woods path. At 2.0 miles you cross under power lines. At 2.8 miles the AT turns left while an old road goes straight. At 3.4 miles reach the summit of shoulder of Flattop Mountain, the trail continues along the northern ridge crest.
View from the AT near Powell Gap
At 4.6 miles there are open rock ledges to the right of the trail that offer spectacular views of the Roach River Valley. At 5.2 miles reach Powell Gap and cross MP 69.9 of Skyline Drive. At 6.8 miles cross MP 68.6 of Skyline Drive in Smith Roach Gap. The AT travels within a few feet on the right of a fire road for about 300 feet before crossing the road and ascending.
At 7.9 miles cross the Hightop Hut Service Road. The hut is to the left. At 8.0 miles reach a side trail on the left that leads 0.1 mile to Hightop Hut. This hut may be used only by long distance thru hikers of the AT. The hut was built in 1939, sleeps six with designated campsites as well as a privy nearby.
At 8.6 miles there is a covered piped spring near a large boulder to the right of the trail. Soon a side trail on the right leads 350 feet to the site of a former lookout tower on the 3587 foot summit of Hightop. There are no views from the summit, however there is a view in about 100 feet along the main AT and then a second view. The trail will begin the descend rather stepply.
At 10.1 miles the trail crosses MP 66.7 of Skyline Drive then follows an old farm road, ascending slightly. At 11.3 miles the trail turns right on old road, following it for just a few feet before climbing to the right. Then the trail descends steeply toward Skyline Drive and the bridge over US 33, reaching Swift Run Gap. This marks the end of this section where the AT crosses the bridge over US 33.
We recommend purchasing any of the following books/maps for those looking for more information on hiking the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park:
Appalachian Trail Guide to Shenandoah National Park
Day & Overnight Hikes Shenandoah National Park
Hiking Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park, VA - Trails Illustrated Map #228 (National Geographic)
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