The Blue Ridge Mountain Range, part of the Appalachians, runs through the beautiful state of Virginia. There are many peaks in the state that hikers love to explore. But which one is the highest?
Mount Rogers: The Highest Peak in Virginia
While there are many beautiful peaks, Mount Rogers takes the number one place as the highest. It is 5729 feet high. While it is not that high compared to states like Colorado which have multiple 14,000-foot peaks to scale, it is still an accomplishment to bag this peak and results in beautiful views from afar.
Mount Rogers is a part of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. The mountain and the surrounding area make up the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. There are more than 500 miles of hiking trails in the area, including more than 75 miles of the Appalachian Trail in the area.
The nickname for the area is “The Rooftop of Virginia” because it contains not only the first-highest peak but the second-highest as well. Whitetop Mountain is the state’s second-place peak at 5520 feet high.
How to Get There
Want to see Mount Rogers up close? The area is a great place to enjoy nature. If you’re driving from the south or east you can access the area from US Route 58. From the north, you can use VA 16, and from the east, VA 94. There is a visitor’s center on route 16.
How to Hike to the Top of Mount Rogers
If you want to take an intrepid journey to Virginia’s highest peak, your journey will start in Grayson Highlands State Park. The hike is nine miles in total and is an out-and-back hike, meaning you will hike in and out along the same trails. Along the way, you may see wild ponies. Like any wild animals, you should not feed them, even though they are friendly.
After starting your hike in the state park, you’ll join the section of the Appalachian Trail that leads to a different trail to summit the mountain. The weather can change quickly here. You may encounter all sorts of terrain including muddy spots and slippery rock scrambles so it’s important to be prepared for anything with a rain jacket, proper shoes, and some snacks. Some hikers say that the views on the way up to the peak are just as impressive as those at the top!
Other Things to Do In The Area
If hiking to the peak of Mount Rogers is not enough adventure for you, there are plenty of other activities in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. There are shorter or easier hikes that highlight different aspects of the park. For example, the Comers Creek Falls hike is only 1.2 miles and leads to a waterfall.
If hiking is not your thing, mountain biking is also an option. There are more flat options for beginners and hillier options for those who want more of a challenge. The park has two rail trails, which are great for road bikes or hybrid bikes. The Virginia Creeper Trail is mostly downhill and can even be enjoyed by kids.
The park also has several lakes and streams for fishing. Brown trout and rainbow trout are popular catches here.
While you’re not allowed to feed the wild ponies, you can ride your own horse here on the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail – an 80-mile stretch of trail open to horseback riders. Many of the other trails in the park are also open to horseback riders.
If you want to stay the night, camping is available for tent and RV campers in 8 different campgrounds in the park. Be sure to check out the specific campground that interests you to find out if they take reservations and any requirements they have for bookings.
Other High Points in Virginia
After Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, there are several other peaks between 4000 and 5000 feet high in the same mountain range in Virginia.
3. Haw Orchard Mountain: 5080 feet
4. Stone Mountain: 4940 feet
5. Bluff Mountain: 4840 feet
6. Balsalm Beartown Mountain: 4710 feet
7. Beartown Mountain: 4689 feet
8. Buck Mountain: 4670 feet
9. Grave Mountain: 4640 feet
10. Round Top: 4626 feet
Intrepid hikers in the state love to see how many of the tallest peaks they can get under their belt!
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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the tallest peak in Virginia?
Mount Rogers is the highest peak in Virginia.
How tall is Mount Rogers in Virginia?
Mount Rogers in Virginia is 5729 feet high.
What is the second highest peak in Virginia?
The second-highest peak in Virginia is Whitetop Mountain.
How tall is Whitetop Mountain in Virginia?
Whitetop Mountain in Virginia is 5520 feet high.
Where is Mount Rogers?
Mount Rogers is in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. It is also part of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. It can be accessed from the south via US Route 58, from the north via VA 16, and from the east via VA 94.
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- Virginia Tourism Corporation, Available here: https://www.virginia.org/things-to-do/outdoors/national-forests-and-recreation-areas/mount-rogers-national-recreation-area/
- Peakbagger, Available here: https://www.peakbagger.com/List.aspx?lid=-927778&cid=2851
- Virginia Trail Guide, Available here: https://virginiatrailguide.com/2009/10/17/mount-rogers/#:~:text=The%20summit%20of%20Mount%20Rogers,crosses%20into%20Jefferson%20National%20Forest.