Tibbet Knob

  • Highlights: Great views, rocky summit, rock scramble
  • Distance: 3.3 miles out and back
  • Elevation Change: 865 feet
  • Trail Surface: Very rocky
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate (rocky surface, rock scramble) 
  • Trailhead Parking: Wolf Gap Recreation Area, VA state route 675
  • Website: AllTrails
  • Beer Pairings: Woodstock Brewhouse—North Fork Golden Ale & Beckford Parish Pale Ale

The Hike:

This hike is located across the road from the trailhead to Big Schloss. https://thehoppyhikers.com/big-schloss/ If you want to combine two hikes, this is a great double header. Tibbet Knob isn’t as popular (i.e. less crowded) than Big Schloss, but the views are just as good. Tibbet Knob has an added bonus of a small rock scramble to reach the summit. The trail is well marked and well maintained.

From the Wolf Gap parking area, cross the road and follow signs to the yellow-blazed Tibbet Knob Trail. The trail passes through a picnic area and soon the elevation increases and so do the rocks. There may be a few trails in the Gorge Washington National Forest which are not rocky, but we have yet to find them.

In late May/early June mountain laurel are in bloom along much of the trail. In autumn the colorful fall foliage is spectacular. At .5 miles is the first of several partial views to the east. Massanutten Mountain and Shenandoah National Park loom in the distance. Several spur trails lead to other viewpoints as you continue south on the trail. The climb becomes a little steeper and several switchbacks aid the ascent.

At 1.5 miles the first scramble begins. Put your trekking poles in your pack as you will need to use your hands to climb through this 60 foot section. In a few hundred yards, the second scramble is steeper than the previous one, although we were able to climb through it without much difficulty. Make sure you can see where you are putting your hands (snakes like rocks in the sun) and have three points in contact with the rock before moving the fourth.

After the 2nd scramble, you will be at the summit of Tibbet Knob at 2,930 feet. 180° vistas open up to the west. Much of what you see before you is West Virginia. To the north is the rocky summit of Big Schloss, which translates to “big castle” in German. From this vantage point, it is easy to see why it resembled a castle to early German settlers. Retrace your steps to descend and return to the parking area.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing: 

Woodstock Brewhouse is located less than 30 minutes from the trailhead in nearby Woodstock VA. They have indoor and outdoor seating and a variety of in-house food options are available. The brewery has 12 taps and they serve wine from local wineries.

Kathy really liked Beckford Parish (8.1% ABV 59 IBU), an extra pale ale brewed with Simcoe and Chinook hops. This beer is nicely hopped and slightly bitter—the Hoppy Hikers are pleased. Pete liked North Fork (6.5% ABV 35 IBU) a medium bodied pale ale  brewed with Mosaic hops. The brewery donates $1 from every pint sold to Friends of the North Fork to aid their conservation efforts for the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

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