State Highpoints – Virginia - 5,729-foot Mount Rogers
Virginia’s highest peak and the 19th highest US state summit, 5,729-foot Mount Rogers is located in southwest Virginia near Grayson Highlands State Park, approximately 40 miles east of Abingdon Virginia. With 2,469 feet of prominence, Mount Rogers is only the second most prominent peak in Virginia. The most prominent peak in Virginia is 4,225-foot Apple Orchard Mountain that has 2,835 feet of prominence. If approaching from the west, take exit 19 from I-81 at Abingdon, VA. go east on US 58 for 40 miles to the entrance for Grayson Highlands State Park. If approaching from the east, get on US 58 from US 21 at Independence, VA. Go west on US 58 for 17 miles to State Road 362, which is the entrance to Grayson Highlands State Park. From the state Park entrance, go 3.7 miles north to the Massie Gap Parking area. The park fee station is before the parking area.
Mount Rogers requires an 8.6 mile round trip hike with about 1,200 feet of elevation gain. The hike is famous for views of wild ponies along the way. These ponies are used to hikers and will likely ignore you. From the Massie Gap parking lot, head north on the trail to the gate at the start of the Rhododendron Trail, and follow this trail for 0.5 mile up the hill to where it intersects the Appalachian Trail. Turn left on the AT, and follow it to the boundary of the Grayson Highlands State Park, that is marked by a split rail fence with a dandy ladder over it. Shortly above the fence is a trail junction. Stay right on the AT, and follow it uphill to Rhododendron Gap that has great views. Stay on the AT as it winds gradualy dowhill to the Thomas Knob Shelter on the left side of the trail. Approximately five minutes past the shelter at 5,380 feet, leave the AT and turn right on the Mount Roegrs summit trail. Follow this trail for about 15 minutes to the highpoint that has a large rock that holds the USGS summit benchmark. While you have had some nice views on your hike, the view from the summit is blocked by trees. Dogs are allowed on Mount Rogers, but they must be leashed. Mount Rogers is the highest Eastern US state highpoint that requires a hike. Enjoy!