|Sunset on a ridge above Wolf Gap|
Difficulty: Moderate, due to rock scramble
Big Schloss is the best known hike in the Trout Run Valley area, a 4-mile hike that heads north from Wolf Gap. Tibbet Knob is a 3-mile hike that heads south from Wolf Gap to an equally astounding view, but is much less traveled. On a Saturday in which there were about 20 cars parked in the Wolf Gap day use lot, we only saw one other hiking party on the Tibbet Knob trail.
I did this hike on my Wolf Gap camping trip over spring break. My friend and I headed up this trail on the last morning of our trip, after surviving a cold and windy night. The trailhead is across SR 675 from the Wolf Gap parking area and is well signed. Wolf Gap is on the VA/WV line, up SR 675 from Edinburg, which itself is accessible by I-81 and US 11 in Shenandoah Valley.
We headed south along the yellow-blazed trail, which was flat for a short stretch before beginning the hike's first ascent. About a half mile away from the trailhead, the trail flattens out on a small rocky ridgetop, where moss covers the area around the trail and the trees are fairly young. The trail soon comes to a number of viewpoints: one view is directly on the trail, while a wider view is accessible on a short spur trail onto a rocky outcrop. The previous evening, I hiked up to this hill to watch the setting sun paint the ranges to the east with amazing colors. Watching Massanutten and the Blue Ridge glow reminded me how much I loved Virginia. The next morning, when I was finally doing the full Tibbet Knob hike, I could see even farther than the night before: all of Massanutten Mountain was visible and beyond that, the Blue Ridge poked out: the profile of Mary's Rock above Thornton Gap, Stony Man, Hawksbill, Blackrock, all of the peaks of the Blue Ridge down to Saddleback/Hightop could be seen. Although most of the South District peaks weren't visible, to the right of the south end of Massanutten, I could faintly see Humpback Mountain and Devil's Knob- peaks that were over 70 miles away! I was stunned by how far the view stretched here.
|View east from ridge below Tibbet Knob|
|View north of Trout Run Valley from Tibbet Knob|