Turk Mountain trail is another hike in the Shenandoah National Park that has great views from the top. Covered with huge rocks, there is a lot to see and do here. These rocks stretch all the way down the mountain, which makes it seem like there are thousands of them. Be careful though, as there are many gaps in between these rocks, making it difficult to climb over them. If you want more official information regarding this hike before going out, you can visit Shenandoah’s website for this here.
Turk Mountain Hike Details
- Distance: 2.5 miles out & back
- Time: 2-3 hours
- Elevation: 702 ft. gain
- Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult depending on fitness level. Once you get closer to the peak of Turk Mountain, it will become more difficult because of the rocks you must climb over and around
- TrailBlazer: You will be following a white blazer marked on the trees
Turk Mountain Map
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.
Where is Turk Mountain Located?
Turk Mountain is located in the Shenandoah National Park. This park is huge and with minimal cell service at some points, it is good for you to know your way around. Below I will give more details on how to get there from the southern region of the park.
How to Get to Turk Mountain Trailhead
Getting to the Turk Mountain trailhead is very straightforward. If you are coming from the south entrance, the parking lot will be on your right. It is located in the Southern District of the Shenandoah National Park at mile 94.1. The parking lot will look like the photo shown above. You can also use the app AllTrails, search Turk Mountain Traill and click directions. It’ll take you right to the parking lot. Once there, cross over the skyline drive to where the Turk Gap sign is, and start the hike!
Turk Mountain Trailhead
Other Hikes You’d Love in Virginia
- Mount Pleasant Trail
- Tibbet Knob Trail
- Big Schloss
- Grayson Highlands
- Bearfence Mountain
- Stony Man Trail
My Experience Hiking Turk Mountain
It was another one of those weekends where I really wanted to go hiking and the only day it rains all week is the day I go. That is quite alright though because the rain ended up getting pushed back. I went with one of my friends who live in Richmond and this was 1 of 2 hikes for the day. The rain didn’t start coming down until the second hike. If you want to see the other hike we did, you should go check it out here.
We hiked Turk Mountain during December, so there were a ton of dead leaves covering the trail throughout. Other than that, it is pretty well marked with the white blazers on the trees. Keep following this path for a while until you get to a trail marker. Hang a right here following the directions located on the trail marker pointing to the peak.
After you hook a right at the trail marker, you want to keep hiking and following the white blazers. Turk Mountain trail has a unique feeling to it as you start to make your way up to the ridgeline. The forest begins to open up as the tree density starts to lighten. You start to spot other mountains in the distance. As you move further up Turk Mountain, the trail becomes filled with more rocks and you start to realize why.
After hiking for a little bit over a mile on the Turk Mountain Trail, you will get to more rock formations as seen above. This is a neat place to explore some as there are great views to the east (left). These rock formations are a smaller version of what you will see and get to climb over at the peak of the hike. Be careful if you are coming when it has been wet, the rocks will be very slippery and you will easily fall on them. After you are done exploring you can make a sharp right and go up a steep incline to the peak. The top of Turk Mountain is around .1 miles up this path.
After reaching the top of Turk Mountain Trail, you will see that it is almost like a rock cemetery up there. It’s possible to mess around on these formations for hours, as we did. This is normally where I like to find a good rock that has back support in it, eat some food and take in the view. Like I said previously, be careful going from rock to rock as there are some steep drops, and can be slippery. Other than that, take in this great view and enjoy your day! We didn’t see many people at all on the weekend up here in December but it can get crowded during peak season.
Final Thoughts on Hiking Turk Mountain Trail
Thank you for reading my guide on the Turk Mountain hike! Even in the off-season, it never gets old visiting this area. You start to realize how many hikes there are in this park and how so little of them you have done. Now go out there and get hiking!