Ramble On

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hawksbill Mountain Day Hike

Looking south from the Hawksbill Summit.
It’s something of a ritual, whether it occurs in the spring, summer, or fall – but Mary and I find our way to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain in Shenandoah National Park at least once a year.   Most recently, that was during our vacation in late May. 

Lately, another part of the ritual for me is a stop at the Pinnacles overlook, where you can get a nice view of Old Rag, site of one of the most popular hikes in the park – for more on that, check out Bob Look’s blog in the blog roll on the right.  He’s a volunteer steward on the mountain, and is a source of a wealth of information about the trails, the wild life, and other goings on up on Old Rag.
Old Rag, from the Pinnacles Overlook.

We chose the route from the Upper Hawksbill Parking, at mile 46.7.  My Heatwole guide describes the hike: “Round trip 2.1 miles, total climb about 520 feet…A fairly easy hike on a graded trail and a fire road.  Good views from the summit.”
Page Valley below, from Hawksbill Summit.

I’m sharing a few photos from the summit with this post – the views are one of the reasons we go there so often.  But sometimes we go for the breeze, especially during the summer, because Hawksbill is highest peak in the park and it’s usually a few degrees cooler up there.

This hike will take you anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, depending on how much time you spend at the summit enjoying the 360-degree views or watching the hawks and buzzards gliding by.  There are often deer along the path, and there are always chipmunks and squirrels scavenging away in the underbrush just out of site. 

Since we can see Hawksbill Mountain from the cabin during the winter, I guess you could call this easy day hike a favorite.

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