Mt. Rogers / Wilburn Ridge Loop

Basics: Mileage: 15.4 miles; Difficulty: Strenuous; Carpool: Roanoke Valley hikers meet at the Orange Market ready to depart at 8:00 AM, New River Valley hikers meet at the Christiansburg Park&Ride at 8:30 AM; Carpool Fee: $12.50 per rider + split the parking fee at the state park; What to Bring: Basic hiking gear (remember the 10 essentials), lunch, and we’ll probably want to stop for dinner on the way back.

Detailed Description: This hike is just about as spectacular as it gets in Virginia, and I’ve scheduled it (hopefully) near the height of the laurel / rhododendron bloom in the high country. We’ll park at Massie Gap, then hike up to the Appalachian Trail. I like to follow the AT and blue blaze trails over the crags of Wilburn Ridge before reaching Rhododendron Gap. From there, it’s and out-and-back to Mt. Rogers summit, Virginia’s highest point at 5,729 ft. Once back at Rhododendron Gap, we’ll follow the Pine Mountain Trail and Virginia Highlands Horse Trail to the Scales, then loop back to Massie Gap using the AT. This loop comes in at 15.4 miles. Here is a write-up on the hike from Hiking Upward (and notice the view rating of 6 out of 5):

Note: If anyone is available on Monday, we could turn this into an overnight activity. Share any ideas you might have on the discussion section.