Perfect peaks for photography, proposals, or maybe picnics! Whatever your purpose for a perfect peak, these are those. Set out on an adventure during any season and be rewarded with panoramic, breathtaking views.
When it comes to sky-high peaks, there’s an area in Virginia that sits head-and-shoulders above the rest. Grayson and Smyth Counties in southwest Virginia have five summits exceeding 5,000 feet that’ll impress every hiker.
Elevation: 5,729 feet
Photo Credit: Kyle LaFerriere, @laferriere.photography
- 200,000 acres
- Four wilderness areas; two national forests
- 500 miles of trails that include the Appalachian Trail, the Virginia Creeper Trail and Virginia Highland Horse Trail
- Virginia’s highest road; leads to the summit of Whitetop Mountain
- Campgrounds available
- Hurricane Campground
- Grindstone Campground – closest to the summit
- Beartree Campground
Elevation: 5,525 feet
Photo Credit: Nicholas Moore, @nicholasmoorephoto
Whitetop is the beginning (or the end) of the Virginia Creeper Trail, a 35-mile rail-to-trail with points in Abingdon and Damascus as well. It’s also part of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.
National Geographic Map
Pine Mountain / Wilburn Ridge
Elevation: 5,525 feet
Photo Credit: Brad Deel, @brad.deel
Wilburn Ridge is the highest peak on Pine Mountain and is part of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. The best access point is through Grayson Highlands State Park at Massie Gap.
Hiking Upward Trail Map
Grayson Highlands State Park Trail Map
Elevation: 5,095 feet
Buzzard Rock is a summit of Whitetop Mountain. Indeed, the two can be experienced in the same trip. The distance between them is just shy of seven miles.
Haw Orchard Mountain
Elevation: 5,007 feet
Haw Orchard Mountain is within Grayson Highlands State Park. Access the trailhead at Massie Gap.
See Virginia’s other mountain destinations at Virginia.org/Mountains.
Is it a day possible? I could just drive through the mountain.
Buzzard Rock is part of Whitetop Mountain and should not be considered a separate high point. It’s just the spot with the best views. Furthermore, it’s not seven miles away, more like half a mile.
Whitetop mountain is not the end of the VA Creeper trail. It would make the trail *much* more exciting! 🙂 The trail ends at Whitetop Station.
Lol. Yes! That would make it much more interesting indeed!! 😂😂😂
Where is the photo taken on the main page – at the lake? Thanks!
That’s Peaks of Otter in Bedford, Virginia. You can find out more here: https://www.virginia.org/Listings/OutdoorsAndSports/PeaksofOtter/
Rashad Lamonte Mattox XIV
It would be interesting to see some of the highest outside of that immediate geographic area. Highland County, for instance; or Nelson County – would love to see the high points along the way from Lee County to Winchester.
Yes….I am biased. I grew up in the area, moved away….but I always come back for the peace and beauty. Whitetop is easily accessible via a dirt road. This road is maintained very well, but be warned, there are a few rough patches. Once out of the tree line, you are rewarded with wonderful vistas and colors.
The Appalachian Trail crosses the mountain and I recommend waking to “Buzzard Rock” which is down the slope. A huge rock outcropping with great views and bouldering opportunities.
Although this review is more my most recent visit in December, I recommend ANY time of year of for a visit.