Monday, October 28, 2013

Shenandoah National Park, VA - Hogback Mountain

Shenandoah National Park - National Park Service
Skyline Drive - National Park Service

 GPS Coordinates 38.761435, -78.282524

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Parking lot off of Skyline Drive just south of the Hogback Mountain overlook.

Matthews Arm and Elkwallow Area Trail Map - National Park Service
Shenandoah National Park Map 228 - National Geographic
Shenandoah National Park, VA - Hogback Mountain at EveryTrail

Hogback Mountain -
Little Hogback Mountain -


Sunrise outside our cabin.
A state park resident eating breakfast on our way out.
Stopping to take in a view along Skyline Drive.
Skyline Drive

There is a 5 mile option for this hike and that is what I intended to do to keep the hike shorter for Shawnee since she had hiked 7.5 miles the day before.  I felt two 7-mile days in a row would be too much for her.
We headed south on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail from the parking lot.
About 1/3 of a mile along at this intersection I realized I had started on the 7-mile version, that I should have headed northbound on the AT for the 5-mile version so we turned back.
About half way back to the parking lot...
"Good Morning Bear! Lovely place you have here!" is what I said to make my presence known since we were too close to pretend we weren't there.
The bear looked straight at us ...
... ducked down ...
... and came up munching on whatever he was eating for breakfast.  Not wanting him to think we were trying to swipe his meal, the fact that he was too close to the AT for us to pass and the bear having made it very clear he was NOT moving for us to continue on, we had no choice but to turn back southbound and do the 7-mile version. 
Small overlook off of the AT.
The Appalachian Trail
An interesting old tree.
Directional posts at intersections.
On the Piney Brook Trail.
All hiking trails are blazed in blue (except the Appalachian Trail).  Yellow blazes indicate horse trails.
Crossing Piney Brook.
Piney Brook
Taking a break in the middle of the trail because, well, there was nobody else around.  We had the entire hike to ourselves, except for the bear.
On the Keyser Fire Road, a horse trail.
Back on the AT southbound heading towards Little Hogback Mountain.
Hogback Mountain from Little Hogback Mountain.
View to the west from Little Hogback.
Starting the switchback up Hogback Mountain.
Looking back down at Little Hogback parking.  The trail to the left of the parking lot is the AT where we just came from.
More switchbacks up.
Crossing the top of Hogback Mountain.
View at a power cut with a communications tower to the left.
The AT crosses Skyline Drive where you get the same Hogback Mountain overlook view as those who drive to it but from a level up.
Hogback Mountain view from the AT.

Driving northbound on Skyline Drive.

[  0.00]  Take the trail from the corner of the parking lot a few steps then right on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail
[  0.45]  Turn left on AT at post where the Tuscarora Trail goes right
[  0.95]  Short side trail on right to overlook
[  1.10]  Cross Skyline Drive
[  1.40]  Turn left on the blue-blazed Piney Brook Trail when the AT continues straight
[  2.65]  Rock hop over Piney Brook
[  2.80]  Turn left on the blue-blazed Pole Bridge Trail
[  3.15]  Keep straight on the Pole Bridge Trail when the Sugarloaf Trail comes in at the left
[  3.60]  Turn left on yellow-blazed Keyser Fire Road
[  4.50]  Continue beyond gate, through parking lot and cross Skyline Drive veering slightly right to AT sign; turn left on the Appalachian Trail
[  4.95]  Overlook on the right when the AT makes a left turn
[  5.95]  Keep straight on the AT when a trail to the left goes to a spring
[  6.00]  Rock outcrop in power cut on the right with views
[  6.35]  AT turns left on gravel road briefly then crosses Skyline Drive
[  6.50]  Views on right over Hogback Mountain Overlook
[  6.75]  Cross Skyline Drive back to parking


  1. A bear getting in the way of your hike route... just like being back in Jersey! Nice shots.

    1. Thanks, Dawn! Except the NJ bears never stand still long enough for me to get a picture. The only one that did was at Stokes a few years ago but my camera had broken 15 minutes before I saw him. So these are my first ever bear pictures.

  2. Love the bear photos! We have seen bears twice driving to hikes, but never on a hike. How come Shawnee is on leash so much? Road crossings?