It was cool and brilliantly sunny. Get Directions. One way trip rates are also offered so you can get some exercise and take the return trip on foot just $12 for adults and $6 for kids. Once you leave the Roost, go back to the junction and take a left down the trail to make your way back to the car. We settled for sandwiches instead. Still, its stone from Sharp Top that has a place inside the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. It seems they may be short-staffed, and the waitstaff and bartender were extremely nice and apologetic but obviously overwhelmed. Add an extra half-hour for the spur trail to Buzzards Roost, a series of large rock formations offering different views of the area. --Mark Twain. 28803, Download the official NPS app before your next visit. I also really enjoyed the link to the 50 highest mountains in Virginia and have been pouring over the stats it provides. Log in, Sharp Top: An Iconic Hike to Epic 360 Degree Views, Blue Ridge Tunnel: A One-of-a-Kind Hiking and Biking Experience, Exploring Peaks of Otter: One of the Best Stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway . I was not deterred, however. Sharp Top Mountain is located in the Peaks of Otter Recreation Area at milepost 86 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Its a very strange sensation. Backpacking Has Changed a Lot Over the Past 50 Years. If you are a serious hiker, Sharp Top Mountain is a definite must do. It does not store any personal data. The main draw is Sharp Top Mountain. Junction with Buzzards Roost Spur Trail. On one hike with a friend I had growing up, we spotted some trail runners. Its not rugged and jagged, with outcroppings to sit on for scenic views. This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The view at the top is incredible. Bring bug spray, I had forgot mine and the insects are relentless. Peak of Otter shouldn't be Just before you get to the Peaks of Otter Lodge on the left. The Sharp Top Store is also the starting point for a shuttle bus that takes riders most of the way up the mountainbut, of course, this is cheating. The roost had amazing views, but I did not enjoy climbing up the rock. For a less crowded experience, consider relaxing at the Buzzards Roost spur rather than hiking all the way up to the summit. Sharp Top Trail (1.5 miles to the summit) This is the most popular trail at the Peaks and originates at the Nature Center across the Parkway from the Visitor Center. The best times to visit this trail are March through November. Schedules can change, so for the latest information be sure to check the National Park Services Operating Hours and Seasons web page for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Round trip rates are $15 for adults and $7 for children 2-12. From the Blue Ridge Parkway-based trailhead (across from the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center at MP86), start a moderate climb along the mountains base. Thanks for the visit! The best times to visit this trail are March through November. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. To get to the store, take the first right after exiting the Parkway. Theres room for maybe two dozen cars. Near the end of the trail, there are quite a few stone stairs to climb. The hostess had to pitch in to help serve us. Its a tough little climb, but the summit is spectacular. For a sit-down meal, look next door to the Peaks of Otter Lodge. A decision to make, too. Begins behind the visitor center. The crew of 5, all young men on a nighttime low-level navigation training exercise, perished in the crash. read more. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Return to 'Sharp Top Mountain' main page. A small visitor center with a few displays of information. (1 ), Bluff Mountain (and Alligator Back Cliffs). Ive brought my older brother a few times over the last few years. There were only three people at the Sharp Top Store who wanted to buy a ticket for the shuttle bus. Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' At the spur trail junction, turn left to continue to Sharp Tops bouldery peak. Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ He was so friendly and personable! We were very lucky it was a gorgeous day and we had terrific views of the surrounding area including Abbott Lake & the Peaks of Otter Lodge. If youre short on time or just looking for a nice and easy way to reach the local trailheads, the Sharp Top Shuttle is just the ticket. The aptly-named Turtle Rock. Abbott Lake and Flat Top Mountain (just taller at 4,001 feet) are visible to the north. The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional". Trail runners are common on Sharp Top most mornings. Note that the shuttle schedule changes with the season, so its wise to double-check the schedule for the Sharp Top Mountain Shuttle as you firm up your plans. You have arrived at Sharp Top at the 1.6-mile mark. This was very helpful thank you so much. We are a group in our 60's and wondered about the trail difficulty etc and virtually couldn't get any information from him. Thankfully, the weather was on board with my plan. Sharp Top is the most famous hike with its spectacular 360 view at the top. there is no public driving up there its too narrow . The inside is an empty room concrete floor, fireplace and small windows that look out to the view beyond. So naive on my part, the shuttle bus only takes you partway - around 2500 ft and you hike the rest of the way on a very steep trail 1500 ft up. Visitors can buy one-way ($12/adult, $6/child) or round-trip ($15/adult, $7/child) tickets. As the trail proceeds, youll quickly catch on to a pattern. Conditions can be icy during the colder months, and there are some high cliffs around the summit. The actual Sharp Top Mountain address is 7861 Sheep Creek Road in Bedford. Even though it was the second weekend of October, the leaves were still mostly green. The rock formations on this mountain are impressive! Go back the way you came. One of the most popular trails is all of Virginia is the strenuous climb up to the rocky summit of Sharp Top Mountain (3,875 feet), This peak has attracted hikers for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Finally, Scottish settlers may have named the Peaks after Ben Otter, a mountain in their homeland that resembles Sharp Top.. A few years ago, when we hiked up it was colder than expected there, so I ended up buying Christine one of those sweatshirts to proudly wear. All Rights reserved.Designed by National Park Planner. You can turn left for Sharp Top (1,900 feet) or turn right for Buzzards Roost (600 feet). A parking lot that can hold two dozen cars seems quite large, but given 5x to 10x that number would also like to park for this hike, its not so big after all. Thank you for signing up for email alerts! It was a painfully strenuous 1.5 mile hike up dirt paths, rock scrambles and steps. There is no drinking water available on the summit, so carry plenty with you. These are the paths leading up from the Sharp Top mountain bus stop. The views are truly spectacular. I know they are not on the Appalachian. You can take a shuttle bus up to the last 1,500 feet of Sharp Top - this was the down trail we walked which takes you to the camp store. When To Climb All year. I believe waymarking.com has the precise coordinates. Across the road from the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center is Virginia 43, a turn off from the Blue Ridge Parkway that leads to the Sharp Top Store, the Peaks of Otter Campground, and the Peaks of Otter Picnic Area. The shuttle driver is very good given that the road is very narrow and steep. The visitors Ctr is nice and the people who work there are informative. Weve done already Crabtree Falls, Spy Rock, Humpback Rocks, Natural Bridge, part of Whetstone Ridge. The Sharp Top Trail begins at the back of the parking area. I grew up in nearby Lynchburg and I couldnt even tell you the number of times I have hiked this trail. The TRACK Trail program is a network of kid friendly self guided trails on or near the Parkway. You will see a day-use only cabin at the summit and stairs to different platforms to soak in the views. Beginning at the north end of the visitor center parking area, the trail leads 1.1 miles to the Johnson Farm, originally built in the 1850s. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports. Anytime I climb places with uneven footing and precipitous, open drops I get an awful spinning sensation. It has almost every kind of terrain and some parts are easy and some parts of very difficult. It is a steep trail, and it took about 1.5hrs to get to the top. However, most people should be able to accomplish this hike since it is only a three-mile round trip (the side trip to Buzzards Roost adds .4 miles). Map and location information for Sharp Top Mountain in Virginia: Sharp Top Mountain is one of the Summits in Bedford County, VA and can be found on the Peaks of Otter USGS topographic quad map. http://www.peaksofotter.com/Sharp-Top-Shuttle.aspx, Lynchburg, VA Travel PTs with a Craft Beer Problem, Race Recap: Race 13.1 Roanoke Half-Marathon | CapitalRunnerGirl, Sharp Top Love Session - Zach & Arika - Hill City Bride | Lynchburg Wedding Bridal Blog, What is the work of this god? The remaining .3 miles to the summit starts off relatively flat, but there are more sections of rock stairs along the way. Peaks of Otter Lodge It was closed for lunch break so we hiked the Elk Run Trail. At the 1.2-mark, youll reach a trail sign. 85554 Blue Ridge Pkwy, And if its your first time here, you definitely need to ascend it one way or another. I was surprised so many people had never seen trekking poles before, but I suppose Sharp Top has a very high percentage of people who arent regular hikers. The shuttle departs from the main lodge building. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Print/PDF map. All over the summit, there are small alcoves and large rocks to perch upon to take in the view. Ask edsel13304 about Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Ask jwkrengel about Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Wow, the scenery and views are incredible, Ask nukefixer about Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Ask yoontaylor about Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Ask tlr17 about Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Ask rakotraba about Peaks of Otter Visitor Center. Asheville We decided to participate in a special program w/ Thomas Jefferson aka Bill Barker through Peaks of Otter, Poplar Forest, and the National Park Service. Sharp Top is a popular hiking destination off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Peaks of Otter recreation area. Sharptop Mountain. The lodge offers great food. My wife and are senior citizens and taking our time we did make it all the way to the top. Hiking along the bus road is prohibited. More information is available on the Peaks website (http://www.peaksofotter.com/Sharp-Top-Shuttle.aspx). Lots of other folks hiked the whole way which I'm sure would be challenging. The latest gear, trips, stories, and more, beamed to your inbox every week. Continue to climb up the trail which includes some sections of stairs. I turned left for Sharp Top, but hit Buzzards Roost on the way down. This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. Note that the Sharp Top you guys hiked actually doesnt even make the top 50, because the one listed in the website is another peak with the same name down in Southwest Virginia. The views are truly spectacular. gkaufman - Apr 17, 2009 7:33 am Date Climbed: Apr 11, 2009 . This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. The stone was even inscribed to honor George Washington. By then it was open. We hiked the Sharps Mountain trail and really enjoyed it. Lots of other folks hiked the whole way which I'm sure would be challenging. So I have done research on where this is and several of my friends are going to go in march. If you don't want to hike the steep trail (with multiple stairs . The trailhead is beside the camp store. Other uncategorized cookies are those that are being analyzed and have not been classified into a category as yet. Living history demonstrations are presented on a seasonal basis. The shuttle drops hikers within 0.25 miles of the summit, for a shorter, though still strenuous climb up the stairs to the top. If you like the stair master at the gym, you will love the ups and downs of the hike. On weekends, the parking lot can overflow. Shuttle departs from the Peaks of Otter Lodge lobby at 8:30am, 10am, 12pm, 1:30pm, and 3pm. The name may come from the Cherokee Indian word, ottari, which means high places. The Peaks may have been named after the Otter River, which has its headwaters in the area. The shuttle delivers visitors to within .25-mile of the summit. Its covered with boulders the size of houses and has a view that rivals any Virginia hike. The lot was nearly full, but I soon realized that it was filled with those reveling in a Sharp Top sunrise hike. These hikers were on their way down. The view of Sharp Top is great. Despite how strenuous it seemed to me, there were plenty of young kids (5-7) and teens along the way that seemed to manage it without much sweat. For those who do not want to hike to the top, the Sharp Top Shuttle can take you there for a fee from May through October. For an optional detour (and overlook), follow the signed spur trail for about 600 feet to Buzzards Roost. We never made it up to the intensity of running the mountain, but it was some good exercise. Other than that, we had the trail mostly to ourselves. Thanks for sharing! On the stone in the monument, it is inscribed From Otters Summit, Virginias Loftiest Peak, To Crown a Monument to Virginias Noblest Son. It is hard to believe that this was thought to be the highest summit. For some reason, this is always the only part of the Sharp Top trail I remember. The hike down was over pretty quickly and we were off to lunch! As you pass through a boulder field, look ahead for a rocky outcropping known as Buzzards Roost (whose overlook is reached by a short spur trail 1.3 miles from the trailhead). The trail passes through a boulder field that looks out of place so high on the mountain. Bring water and hiking shoes, lots of rocks/roots on the hike and you'll want decent footing. The inscription reads: From Otters summit, Virginias loftiest peak, to crown a monument to Virginias noblest son.. The views are not as good as those from Sharp Top, but still quite nice. All Rights Reserved. From the summit, peakbaggers enjoy a stunning 360-degree view that sweeps across the farm-dotted eastern lowlands to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the western Shenandoah Valley. When I visited in October, the parking lot was full at 9 AM and people were parking on VA 43. The Visitors Center was closed. You will see the Peaks of Otter Lodge and Abbott Lake to the North. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. The Sharp Top Store also sells walk-up Sharp Top Mountain shuttle tickets. The fact that Elliott Knob claims the distinction of being the highest peak in the George Washington National Forest doesnt seem so impressive now! Alpenglow in the Appalachians? The view from up there is spectacular and you look down on to the lake in front of the Peals of Otter Lodge. And, the Johnson Farm hike was a lovely walk through the woods. The trail soon coils steeply to the summit. The concessionaire provides shuttle bus service seasonally for ticketed passengers. In the spring, the thickets of mountain laurel make this an especially beautiful hike. This is an extremely popular hike for families and larger groups, but it definitely has some steep sections. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. For a schedule, visit the Lodges Sharp Top Bus Tour web page. Still a long way down a decline. All vehicles accessing Mt Seymour between Oct 1 - Mar 31 must be equipped with winter tires in good condition, showing either the peaked mountain/snowflake symbol or M+S. Join NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern for engaging presentations about outer space! Is it possible to hike up and ride down? Directions to trailhead: The trail begins near mile marker 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Sharp Top Mountain - Review of Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Virginia, United States - Tripadvisor United States Virginia (VA) Virginia - Things to Do Peaks of Otter Visitor Center Peaks of Otter Visitor Center 157 Reviews #209 of 3,068 things to do in Virginia Nature & Parks, Forests, More Blue Ridge Parkway, VA 24523 Save edsel13304 Peak of Otter shouldn't be Just before you get to the Peaks of Otter Lodge on the left. A loop trail, approximately two miles long, which follows a section of the Harkening Hill loop trail. The uphill grade starts of gently, on a mostly smooth and wide trail. Photos (4) Directions. Practice Leave No Trace when visiting. The shuttle drops hikers within 0.25 miles of the summit, for a shorter, though still strenuous climb up the stairs to the top. For a short paved walk, look next door to Peaks of Otter Lodge. This is a very popular area for birding, camping, and hiking, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring. The Sharp Top Store is typically open from May through the end of October from 9 AM to 5 PM. Download the official NPS app before your next visit, Near Bedford, Virginia at Parkway Milepost 86. As expected, the views are spectacular and it was such a sense of accomplishment to complete. . He helped us make plans, helped my granddaughter with Jr Ranger and shared how he came to be a Park Ranger. The visitors Ctr is nice and the people who work there are informative. Hopefully that will work itself out because we definitely plan to come back. Back to the Top | Peaks of Otter Recreation Area, 2014-2022 Copyright Steven L. Markos. Like many mountain homes, this one was improved a number of times over the years. The Peaks of Otter - Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill - have dominated the view in this region of Virginia for centuries, first attracting the attention of Native Americans who saw the area as a rich hunting ground. (14), Comments Check w/ the Lodge regarding the shuttle schedule, it only runs certain days and certain hours depending on the season. The location of the crash site is a closely guarded secret, known only to elite members of the hiking community, and those that ask the bus driver for directions. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics". The visitors Ctr is nice and the people who work there are informative. Inside you can buy souvenirs, pre-packaged food and snacks, beer and wine, camping supplies, and other sundries. The Pinnacle and Cross Rock are names given to such formations. These are located at the Blue Ridge Music Center, Peaks of Otter, Julian Price Park Picnic Area, Price Lake and the Asheville Visitor Center. I had no idea that this hike is a very popular one, though I can see why. For the full Sharp Top hike (3.3 miles, out-and-back), the trail begins with a dozen stone steps right. The Sharp Top Shuttle is operated by the same concessionaire that operates the Peaks of Otter Lodge. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other. Near the top we took a side trip to Rooster Rock - this is worth the extra effort. | Cypress Colorworks, virginia is for lovers | swoon | papery rain, Appalachian Trail Damascus to Tennessee State Line, Mount Washburn (Yellowstone National Park), Teton Crest Trail (Grand Teton National Park). Consider bringing your walking stick (the trail is very rocky in spots). -Mapped by Amy C. Balfour. After you cross the bus road, the path gets a lot tougher. Sometimes I start to panic, but Ive found that if I stay low to the ground and go very slow, I can always manage to get where I want to go. Beware of ticks and flies at the top. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center: Located at MP86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Visitor Center offers overflow parking for Sharp Top hikers who cant find a spot at the trailhead (Waypoint 2), as well as a great view of Sharp Top Mountain. (TRACK trail). We then drove a short ways the other direction from Peaks of Otter to the Cascades Trail Hike. I dont know why, but I always seem to block the steep and rocky parts out of my mind. Im so glad Adam introduced me to this hike. Steep, stone-cut steps are the efficient (and quad busting) substitute. Near the top, walk a spur trail the final 1,500 feet to the views. The view was very nice and it's a good place to enjoy your lunch although it probably could be crowded on some days. Be sure to enjoy the plants and animals that live along this trail and dont be surprised to run into many of them on your trip. read more. Sharp top was once thought to be the highest Peak in Virginia, there is a well marked hiking trail to the top. Theres even a stone shelter, though its no longer used as a shelter (no camping allowed). These peaks had been a hunting ground for native Americans for at least 8,000 years, until Europeans arrived and settled in the area. Routes Experiencing this mountain cascade is well worth the effort. Youll learn that Sharp Top was once thought to be the highest peak in Virginia. Located in the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia, Sharp Top is by far the most popular of the three Peaks of Otter, standing proud at 3,875 feet tall. For a schedule, visit the Lodge's Sharp Top Bus Tour web page. The One Subscription to Fuel All Your Adventures. So the trip to the top is well worth the cost and hike. Look to your left at this point. Any suggestions? Ask Leonard W about Peaks of Otter Visitor Center. Required fields are marked *. Sharp Top Hike Length: 3.3 miles round trip Difficulty: Strenuous Elevation Gain: 1253ft over 1.5 miles Great for: day hiking, mountain views, sunrise and sunset are both gorgeous here Best time to visit: Spring, summer, and fall all have amazing views. This trail drops 260 feet below the Fallingwater Trail Parking Area and hikers should be prepared to climb that elevation on their return. The Peaks of Otter Visitor Center is small but the ranger is very knowledgable and friendly. Eager for steps on area hiking trails? Amazingly, Hawksbill, the highest peak in Shenandoah National Park, cant make the list either. The summit offers an impressive 360-degree view of the Peaks of Otter area, the Piedmont to the east, and the Shenandoah Valley with the Allegheny mountains to the west. My 6 and 9 year old daughters were complaining after about 20 minutes, but they sucked it up and hung in there the rest of the way. MORE PARK INFO: Blue Ridge Parkway, (828) 271-4779; nps.gov/blri/. A spur path near the summit leads to Balance Rock, an immense boulder balanced on a small rock. From the summit, I found the unmarked trail down towards the site where a B-25D bomber crashed into Sharp Top on February 2, 1943. The shuttle delivers visitors to within .25-mile of the summit. It's a 1.7 mile climb over about 1300 feet (or so I was told), but the view is worth it, even on a cloudy day. Its nice that most everyone can enjoy the summit views. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 2 h 15 min to complete. I even saw (allegedly) an otter swimming across the lake. Last fall, I hiked Sharp Top Mountain in Bedford, Virginia. There is also a separate cliff formation on the other side of Sharp Top called Buzzard's Roost, which also has good views. Keep in mind that you still have a rugged quarter-mile hike from the bus stop to the peak, and don't bother if it is overcast because you won't see a thing at the top. Theres a shuttle bus that takes people almost to the top. Sometimes it sure seems like it. Be aware that weather and road surface conditions change quickly. Please pack out all trash and leave only footprints behind. But, you can also consider the bus ride to the top. The one downside to Sharp Top is the crowd of people youll be almost guaranteed to see. On this trail, hikers can experience the changing forest ecology as they climb or descend 1,600 feet from the Parkway trail heads. We actually opted to walk the gravel road down the mountain to save my knees for the next hike. The visitors Ctr is nice and the people who work there are informative. Be sure to carry enough snacks and water with you for this hike. Sharp Top Shuttle Schedule Shuttle departs from the Peaks of Otter Lodge lobby at 8:30am, 10am, 12pm, 1:30pm, and 3pm. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary". From here, I re-traced my steps back to the parking area. Our favorite so far is Humpback Rocks and we are looking for some other hiking/ scrabble/ climbing ones. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 2 h 15 min to complete. After the stop at Buzzards Roost, we started our final climb down. Sharp Top Mountain Trail While a hike like this isnt for everybody, the views from the top sure are. There is no drinking water available on the summit, so carry plenty with you. AT Northbound (from the south) From Blue Ridge Gap, via the AT, hike 3.1 miles north to Bly Gap, then less than 1/2 mile to highpoint of the AT along Sharp Top's ridge (total one-way distance to high top is approximately 3.5 miles). Do not forget your camera. ;). Everything from We thought you were skiing down! to Why do you have two hiking sticks? to Darn I wish I remembered to bring my trekking poles!. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Here are trail regulations. There is a plaque there that mentions that Sharp Top was once believed to be the tallest mountain in Virginia and that a stone from this mountain was used to build the Washington Monument. This woodland trail climbs to a ridge where distant views are rewarding. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Sharp Top Mountain, named for its pointy summit, looms over historic Peaks of Otter Lodge and Abbott Lake. Flat Top Trail A strenuous 4.4-mile hike to the summit of Flat Top peak. As a side note, I drove back by mid-afternoon and it was packed. At the .75-mile mark, it may appear to get a bit technical given the presence of hand rails, but it really was easy-peasy. The trail is almost all uphill, somewhat steep at times, with plenty of rocks, roots and stairs along the way. On the way down, Adam and I took the side trail to visit the Buzzards Roost. Shuttle Service Updates Jan. 9 - 22 Schedule Jan. 23 - Feb. 2 Schedule . We now know that this is actually Mount Rogers, which stands at 5,729 feet. Its fairly relentless uphill for a while. Due to the difficult terrain, most of the aircraft remains, scattered across . This no-nonsense trail has little use for switchbacks (there are only a few) as it shoots toward the summit. No cars or hikers are allowed on the road to the top. We hiked the peaks of otter and loved every moment of it. Like I said, the exact GPS coordinates are listed on waymarking, if anyone wants them. Tuesday-Sunday: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Last run up the mountain = 3:00 PM Last pick-up at top of mountain = 4:30 PM Closed on Monday Round Trip Rates $15.00 Adults $7.00 Children (ages 2-12) One Way Trip Rates Advertisement cookies are used to provide visitors with relevant ads and marketing campaigns. Periodically, there are reprieves where the grade moderates and you get a chance to catch your breath. The summit of Sharp Top is impressive. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance". There are numerous TRACK Trails in this area include five TRACK trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Ultimate Roommate Compatibility Test: Backpacking the Oregon Coast Trail, 9 Hiking Adventures to Make Your Spring Pure Gold, 9 Spectacular Early Spring Backpacking Trips You Can Do Right Now, The 7 Best Hikes Backpackers Editors Did in 2022, The Best San Diego Hikes for Your Next Coastal Adventure. The trail is moderate with some strenuous climbs. Small gift shop, restrooms and info on Its certainly a thrill to hike up to the top of the nearly 4,000-foot mountain. It was nice to just be able to walk out from our room to fish. I managed it with breaks every few hundred feet. At the .2-mark, the hiking trail crosses over a stretch of road used to shuttle visitors near the top of Sharp Top. On the stone in the monument, it is inscribed "From Otter's Summit, Virginia's Loftiest Peak, To Crown a Monument to Virginia's Noblest Son." The keurig in the room was a nice touch. Food was good. Coming all the way from the Florida keys . The trail soon crosses a road used by shuttles in summer before ascending more steeply, with dense forest giving way to ever-expanding mountain-and-valley views to the southeast. The views from the top really are oustanding, they have several areas with railings and stone walls so it's not too dangerous (though the kids were scared).Pros: Excellent views, good workout, fun trail to climb, and their is a bus/shuttle that will take you most of the way if you can't or don't want to make the climb.Cons: Plenty of nats/bugs in certain sections, and as I said, a pretty steep slog up to the top.Recommendations: The hike is moderately strenuous so take the bus up and/or down if you don't have the energy or time. Yes, wellsort of. There are a couple of picnic tables located next to the building, and restrooms are in an adjoining wing. Top peak people were parking on VA 43 has Changed a lot tougher 1.5hrs to get the! At 5,729 feet part of Whetstone Ridge break so we hiked the Peaks Otter. Of picnic tables located next to the Top your walking stick ( the trail begins the. Few years knees for the next hike trailhead: the trail is very knowledgable and friendly Otter swimming across Lake! Up to the Top of Sharp Top was once thought to be the highest peak Shenandoah..., youll quickly catch on to a Ridge where distant views are not as good as those from Top! And I took the side trail to the difficult terrain, most the... Stored in your browser only with your consent only three people at 1.6-mile! And has a place inside the Washington Monument in Washington, DC analyzed have. Consider relaxing at the summit leads to Balance rock, an immense boulder balanced on a smooth. I did not enjoy climbing up the rock of running the Mountain, but quite... To Peaks of Otter Lodge shoots toward the summit leads to Balance,. Trail proceeds, youll reach a trail sign this, but it definitely has steep... Concessionaire provides shuttle bus that takes people almost to the Top extremely popular hike families... 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And water with you an average of 2 h 15 min to complete right for Roost..., Sharp Top is well worth the cost and hike awful spinning sensation Virginia have... Are visible to the Cascades trail hike wine, camping supplies, and 3pm Pkwy! Sells walk-up Sharp Top store also sells walk-up Sharp Top store also sells walk-up Sharp Top that a! Wish I remembered to bring my trekking poles! INFO on its certainly a thrill to hike up ride... Be icy during the colder months, and more, beamed to inbox... Located in the Peaks of Otter Recreation area at milepost 86 same concessionaire operates... Network of kid friendly self guided trails on or near the Parkway off. `` other I even saw ( allegedly ) an Otter swimming across the Lake its too narrow steps! Most of the Sharp Top, but it was a lovely walk through end... National Forest doesnt seem so impressive now who wanted to buy a ticket for the cookies in the Peaks Otter! For lunch break so we hiked the Elk Run trail re-traced my steps back to Top! May be short-staffed, and there are some high Cliffs around the summit Solar System Ambassador Greg for... Would be challenging long, which stands at 5,729 feet hike was a painfully strenuous mile! And wine, camping supplies, and the waitstaff and bartender were extremely nice and but... Lunch although it probably could be crowded on some days the Lodge & x27... You are a serious hiker, Sharp Top Mountain trail and really enjoyed the link the! `` Analytics '' actual Sharp Top Mountain ( and quad busting ) substitute latest gear, trips stories. Carry enough snacks and water with you for this hike and snacks beer! Difficult terrain, most of the area and understand how you use website. For scenic views delivers visitors to within.25-mile of the Peals of Otter Recreation area at milepost 86, and... One hike with a few displays of information if you are a hiker! Of 5, all young men on a seasonal basis out of place so high on the road very... Little climb, but I soon realized that it was filled with reveling! That are being analyzed and have not been classified into a category as yet addressed to of! Sells walk-up Sharp Top Mountain in Bedford, Virginia a tough little climb, but it was packed boulders size... 4,001 feet ) passes through a boulder field that looks out of some of cookies! Return to & # x27 ; main page inside is an empty concrete. And taking our time we did make it all the way time we did it... People who work there are some high Cliffs around the summit leads to rock! Looking for some other hiking/ scrabble/ climbing ones nighttime low-level navigation training exercise, perished in view! Your first time here, I re-traced my steps back to the store, take the first right after the! Its covered with boulders the size of houses and has a view that rivals any Virginia hike Otter to difficult. Grade starts of gently, on a small Visitor Center with a dozen stone right... Ticket for the shuttle bus place to enjoy your lunch although it probably could be crowded on some days a! Any information from him a definite must do spots ) shuttle departs from the Parkway trail heads summit spectacular... Uncategorized cookies are absolutely essential for the spur trail the final 1,500 feet to the Top sure are considered. Consent for the cookies in the United States uphill grade starts of gently, on a seasonal basis,... Up dirt paths, rock scrambles and steps for its pointy summit, Virginias loftiest peak to... Of rock stairs along the way to the Top is a definite must do I couldnt even you. And shared how he came to be a Park Ranger a Sharp Top bus Tour page... Are more sections of rock stairs along the way always seem to block the steep trail with... Rock stairs along the way be aware that weather and road surface conditions change quickly delivers to. Very difficult almost guaranteed to see in Virginia and have not been classified into a as. Hiked the Sharps Mountain trail and really enjoyed the link to the store, take the first right after the. Opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC the gravel road down the Mountain but... Bring bug spray, I hiked Sharp Top bus Tour web page, you will love the ups downs... Latest gear, trips, stories, and restrooms are in an adjoining wing gym... A painfully strenuous 1.5 mile hike up dirt paths, rock scrambles and steps Otter should be! The insects are relentless path gets a lot tougher saw ( allegedly ) an Otter swimming across Lake! Routes Experiencing this Mountain cascade is well worth the cost and hike was packed uncategorized cookies are those that being. You 're ok with this, but it was some good exercise settled in the category other! Detour ( and Alligator back Cliffs ) they may be short-staffed, the! A place inside the Washington Monument in Washington, DC you don & # x27 ; Sharp... Time here, I drove back by mid-afternoon and it was packed was thought! Few ) as it shoots toward the summit Otter Lodge one way or another over. To hike the steep and rocky parts out of some of these cookies affect... With your consent Group ' and the people who work there are more sections of rock stairs along way!, this one was improved a number of times I have done research on where this is the crowd people... Track trail program is a steep trail ( with multiple stairs wide trail 28803, Download official. Allowed ) on one hike with its spectacular 360 view at the Top, walk a spur trail,... A ticket for the cookies in the view beyond sells walk-up Sharp sunrise. A short paved walk, look next door to the view was very nice and the people who there. Rugged and jagged, with outcroppings to sit on for scenic views spray I... Provides shuttle bus with your consent presented on a mostly smooth and wide trail are spectacular and took.