CNY Hiking HOME PAGE Appalachian Trail AT in Northern Virginia Shenandoah National Park
AT in Shenandoah National Park

Swift Run Gap
to Milam Gap

Bearfence Mountain, Hazletop


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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 14.4 mile section of the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park features the rock scramble and then spectacular views from Bearfence Mountain.  The trail also skirts Lewis Mountain Campground as well as the PATC Pocosin Cabin.  The Bearfence Hut is also along this stretch of trail.

This section begins as the AT follows Skyline Drive on the bridge over US 33 in Swift Run Gap.  The trail turns right off road near the park entrance road from US 33, enters the woods and climbs. At 0.2 miles pass a side trail on the right that leads 300 feet to a cemetery.  At 0.3 miles the trail travels under a power line.

At 0.7 miles the AT turns right and follows an old road, which takes the trail over Saddleback Mountain, passing just to the west of the main summit.  At 1.5 miles the AT reaches the junction on the right of the blue blazed Saddleback Mountain Trail.  At 1.9 miles the trail (still on old road) reaches the top of the rise just west of the main 3296 foot summit of Saddleback Mountain.  You may find a profusion of trillium blooming here in early May.

At 2.5 miles there us a junction of old roads and the AT takes the left fork.  The right fork is the Saddleback Mountain Trail that leads 0.3 miles to the South River Maintenance Building, which shows up as the South River Shelter on many topo maps.  At 2.7 miles the AT turns right off old road and now skirts South River Picnic Area.  The old road bears left and leads 0.1 miles to MP 63.1 of Skyline Drive.

At 3.0 miles the trail crosses the South River Falls Trail, a very popular day hike destination for park visitors.  To the left the trail travels 0.1 miles to the South River Picnic Area and to the right the trail descends steeply 1.5 miles to the beautiful waterfalls. 

At 3.5 miles the AT crosses the yellow blazed South River Fire Road.  To the left in 0.2 mile is MP 62.7 of Skyline Drive.  The AT begins a long but gentle ascent of Baldface Mountain.  At 4.4 miles cross an old road that on the right goes to an old quarry and to the left passes an old CCC camp on the way to MP 61.8 of Skyline Drive, which is reached in just 0.1 mile.

At 4.8 miles there are nice views off to the left of the trail.  At 5.0 miles reach the 3600 foot summit of Baldface Mountain.  At 6.0 miles there is a view north of Lewis Mountain, Hazletop, Jones Mountain and Fork Mountain.  The trail descends steeply.

At 6.3 miles reach a side trail on the right that leads 250 feet to the Pocosin Cabin.  The Pocosin Cabin is a locked cabin requiring advance reservations from the PATC headquarters.  There is a nice view east from the cabin of the Conway River Valley. At 6.4 miles cross the Pocosin Fire Road.  To the left the road leads 0.1 mile to MP 59.5 of Skyline Drive and to the right the road leads to Pocosin Cabin.

At 8.2 miles the AT crosses a trail intersection.  To the left the trail leads to Lewis Mountain Campground, to the right is the blue blazed Lewis Mountain East Trail.  At 8.3 miles there is another side trail on the left that leads 300 feet to Lewis Mountain Campground as well as the camp store plus a water fountain.

At 9.0 miles reach a spur trail on the right that descends 0.1 mile to Bearfence Hut.  Built in 1940, Bearfence Hut sleeps six with designated campsites and a privy located nearby.  A piped spring located in front of shelter is not reliable.  At 11.6 miles reach Skyline Drive at Bootens Gap.  Now ascend nearly 600 feet to reach Hazeltop (3812 feet) at 12.5 miles.

The trail descends and reaches the end of this section when the trail crosses Skyline Drive at 14.4 miles.  You are at MP 52.8 of Skyline Drive at Milam Gap.

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)

CNY Hiking HOME PAGE AT in Northern Virginia Shenandoah National Park

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