9.0 Miles / 14.5 km
Time to Hike:
4 hours, ~30 minutes
Surface Type:
Jefferson National Forest
Wilson Creek, Virginia
36.645759, -81.583136
September 06, 2017
June 18, 2019
1,249 '

Total Change
1,929 '

1,940 '


The Appalachian Trail to Mount Rogers at Jefferson National Forest in Virginia is a moderately-trafficked 9 mile out-and-back hike from the Elk Garden Trailhead / Appalachian Trailhead to Mount Rogers and back.

Mount Rogers is the highest peak in Virginia sitting at 5,728 feet; however, there are no views from the top. The hike out to Mt Rogers is a bit of a challenge due to the elevation change and length, but the hike isn't much more difficult than moderate.

The trail first starts off in a cow pasture where you hike up and down scenic hills before heading into the woods after about a half mile in.

There honestly isn't anything to see from mile 0.5 to about mile 3 where there's an intersection with a spur trail that leads down to the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail. I highly recommend heading down this short 0.1 mile out-and-back spur trail to get an amazing view of the surrounding mountains - some in Grayson Highlands State Park.

After this intersection, you're only 1.5 miles from the summit of Mt Rogers. About 0.75 miles from the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail intersection, you'll find another set of amazing mountain views - the views don't get much better than this spot, so soak them in while you can before heading up to the summit.

Once you reach the intersection below the summit, you have 0.5 miles left to climb. You'll hike through evergreen forests before reaching the summit with a small marker at the highest point. Start your journey back to parking, but enjoy the views along the way.

On the way back, you can alternatively take the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail which is only 2.8 miles one-way, to shorten the trip to about 8.5 miles total.

The Appalachian Trail has white blazes - you can follow these all the way until you reach the intersection just below the summit (0.5 miles from summit) where the blazes turn to only blue.

Explore 4 trails near Wilson Creek, VA
  1. Parking

    36.645759, -81.583136
  2. Main Trailhead

    36.646105, -81.582788
  3. Entrance to the trail

    36.646136, -81.582803
    Entrance to the trail
  4. Turn right to head toward Mt Rogers

    36.659328, -81.554328
    Turn right to head toward Mt Rogers
  5. Beautiful vista just off the trail

    36.651719, -81.549675
    Beautiful vista just off the trail
  6. Beautiful vista just off the trail

    36.651711, -81.549631
    Beautiful vista just off the trail
  7. Beautiful vista just off the trail

    36.651681, -81.549606
    Beautiful vista just off the trail
  8. Beautiful vista just off the trail

    36.651597, -81.549531
    Beautiful vista just off the trail
  9. Vista along the trail

    36.656703, -81.539314
     Vista along the trail
  10. Vista along the trail

    36.657239, -81.537933
    Vista along the trail
  11. Left-hand turn to Mt Rogers Summit

    36.658158, -81.537658
    Left-hand turn to Mt Rogers Summit
  12. Summit of Mt Rogers - no views

    36.66009, -81.544919
    Summit of Mt Rogers - no views
No community routes found. To add your own hike as a Community Route for this Trail guide, leave a Trip Report with an attached GPX file.


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Trail Guide By:
Admin user profile picture
9.0 miles / 14.5 km
Trail added
September 06, 2017
Hiked on
September 03, 2017
Updated on
June 18, 2019
9.0 miles / 14.5 km
September 03, 2017

Weather Forecast

In Wilson Creek, VA

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