Rocky Mount Trail

  • Highlights: Views, rocky summit
  • Distance: 6.6 miles out and back
  • Elevation Change 1,870 feet
  • Trail Surface: Dirt with numerous rocky sections
  • Difficulty Level: Strenuous
  • Trailhead Parking: Two Mile Run parking area, Skyline Drive milepost 76.5, Shenandoah National Park, park entry fee required 
  • Trail Markings: blue blazes, posts at trail junctions
  • Website: AllTrails (note: AllTrails describes a longer version of this hike)
  • Beer Pairings: Brewhaha Brewing Co.—Sail the Ocean Blue IPA & F4U DIPA

Trail Map:

The Hike:

AllTrails lists this hike as part of a 10-mile hike which loops around the summit of Rocky Mount and returns on the Gap Run Trail.  We decided to shorten the hike to an out and back on the Rocky Mount Trail. It has all the great views and while still a good workout, it avoids the “brutal and boring” Gap Run Trail. The trail was well marked and well maintained.

From the Two Mile Run parking area, the rocky summit of Rocky Mount looms before you with Massanutten and Elton beyond to the west. To reach the trailhead, head north on Skyline Drive for a few hundred yards.

A cement post on the left marks the trailhead for the blue-blazed Rocky Mount Trail. The trail descends, steeply at times, for 2.2 miles before reaching a junction with the Gap Run Trail. Stay straight here continuing on the Rocky Mount Trail.

The climb begins and the trail becomes rocky as you work your way up to the summit. Partial views open up to the south and west as you hike by several interesting rock formations. The trail  has several switchbacks and crosses rocky talus slopes.

Reach the summit at 3.3 miles. There is a large rock formation to the right and the trail turns sharply right. For the best summit views, retrace your steps about 100 yards and on the right is a very short unmarked spur leading to a rock ledge. 180° views open up to the south and west and into the valley below. 

On a clear day, to the south (on your left) you can see the vehicles parked at Two Mile Run on Skyline Drive. Take in the great views and then continue down the Rocky Mount Trail to the trail junction and then stay straight as you begin the climb back up to Two Mile Gap and your vehicle.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing: 

Brewhaha Brewing Co. in nearby Elkton is about 20 miles from the trailhead. This small craft brewery has six taps, indoor and outdoor seating, and a variety of food options are available next door. Brouhaha is Virginia’s first comedy brewhouse and owner Pete serves up a cold beer along with a healthy dose of good and bad jokes.

Kathy enjoyed a cold pint of F4U (9.1% ABV), named after the aircraft brewer Pete’s father flew in WW II. F4U is brewed with Amarillo, El Dorado, Columbus, and Motueka hops. It’s a little maltier than other DIPAs with a nice kick at the finish. Hiker Pete really liked Sail the Ocean Blue (6.5%), a single hop IPA brewed with Columbus hops. 

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe, be responsible, and leave no trace.