Right across the street from Big Schloss is the sister hike, Tibbet Knob trail, which rivals its stunning views looking over into West Virginia. It is not as popular as its counterpart across the street but that doesn’t mean you should overlook it. If you are wanting to get away from the crowds but still love this area, then this hike is for you.
The Tibbet Knob trail doesn’t have as steep of inclines as Big Schloss but it makes up for that with the two rock scrambles near the top. The distance is roughly the same as Big Schloss. Once at the peak, you will enjoy a breathtaking panorama that in my opinion, is better than the one across the street. The best time of the year to go is in late October/early November during the middle of the week. This helps with the crowds, while still enjoying the fall foliage.
Tibbet Knob Hike Details
- Distance: 3.3 miles out & back
- Time: 2-3 hours
- Elevation: 971 feet
- Difficulty: This is a moderately graded hike. It can be even more difficult if you have a hard time climbing up a couple of rock inclines.
- TrailBlazer: yellow
Wolf Gap Campground
Where is Tibbet Knob Trail Located?
Tibbet Knob Trail is on the border of Virginia and West Virginia. This unique hike offers views from both sides of the state. It sits in the George Washington National Forest.
The hike is located by the wolf gap campground. On the main side is more for small vehicles and tents. The side of the Tibbet Knob trail is a better place for campers/larger setups. This area is perfect for families to have a weekend getaway. If you want more information about this campground you can visit their website here.
How to Get to Tibbet Knob Trail
There are two areas in which you can start the Tibbet Knob trail. One of the trailheads is located off highway 691. I personally have not done this route but it is shorter than the more common route that I took. Park in the same lot as you did for Big Schloss (Wolf Gap Campground) and walk across the street. You will see a wooden sign that states “Tibbet Knob: 1.6”. Follow the trail and the yellow blazers from here. If you have any trouble finding it, there are usually a lot of people camping around this area that you can ask for directions. If you would like more information about the campground and surrounding area, you can visit this page.
My Suggested Hiking Gear
Below is a list of some of my favorite hiking/travel gear I bring everywhere. Everything below is something I currently use and never leave my house without.
- KEEN Durand II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots: I finally upgraded my hiking boots in 2022 and these are fantastic. They have top-notch ankle support and are super durable.
- Petzl Tikka Headlamp: A headlamp for hiking is a must if you’re like me and love sunrise hikes. This is a great price for a quality headlamp and also has a good red light to not disturb others in the morning.
- Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks: I originally got these as a present but I had to buy more because these are the most comfortable hiking socks I’ve ever tried on.
- Grayl GeoPress Water Filter Bottle: You will never have to rebuy plastic water bottles. This is the best water filtering device on the market. It is excellent for hikers and travelers alike.
My Experience Hiking Tibbet Knob Trail
Tibbet Knob Trail is one of my favorite trails in Virginia/West Virginia as you get to look out at different areas of each state along the way. The trail is extremely well-marked by yellow blazers. It was uphill the majority of the time but not as steep as its sister hike. The trail was scattered with rocks, leaves, and roots throughout.
When I was driving up this way from Virginia Beach, it was raining the whole time. It was looking extremely gloomy when I picked up my friend in Harrisonburg but alas, we headed out around noon. After arriving at the campground, it seemed to have cleared up. The ground and leaves were still very wet from the constant rain but that was the only negative about today. It was looking up from here, up to Tibbet Knob.
Keep following the yellow blazers as you walk over rocks that are covered in moss and many different leaf colors. As you walk through the first mile of the hike, there will be a few sections that go off to your left. These areas have some great viewpoints of Virginia. This is a great area to have some snacks and take some photos. We were on a time crunch because we were trying to beat the rain clouds coming in or we would have stayed here longer.
It ended up being a great day to hike but was very muggy. The forest was starting to lighten up and not be as thick. The sun was beaming in and our moods became increasingly better. We knew we didn’t have much time to make it to the top if we wanted to get some good pictures.
After taking a break at the viewpoints, we followed the yellow blazers once again. The trail starts to go downhill a little bit at this point. A perk of going when the weather isn’t perfect is that we only saw 1 person along this trail the entire time. We also hiked this on a weekend too, so that makes it even more surprising. The trail starts to level out and you begin to walk along the ridgeline to then only start more of an incline again. It is getting to that point where the jackets come off as we are sweating more than we’d like. Around 1.3 miles in is when you start to get to some of the more fun rock climb sections.
Other Hikes You’d Love in Virginia
The forest starts to get thick again as we get increasingly closer to the next rock scramble. Some of the rock formations look like caves and it makes you feel like it’s something from a book. Keep climbing up these rocks and over some more. Keep following the yellow blazers if you have trouble finding your way. After the third rock scramble, it starts to flatten out and open up. You are now at the peak of the Tibbet Knob trail.
Final Thoughts on the Tibbet Knob Trail
Even though the weather wasn’t perfect, I am still very glad we went out on this day. Sometimes you have to not look at your phone and just go out for an adventure. Unfortunately, it was too windy at the top to fly the drone out. From the peak of Tibbet Knob, you can see Mill Mountain as well as West Virginia. There is a perfect campsite at the top that is right off the viewpoint but also surrounded by trees. Overall this is a hike I highly recommend and depending on the day, it may be better to do than Big Schloss.