Long Mountain/Tibbet Knob Shuttle

Description: This is a 13.3 mile strenuous shuttle hike in the George Washington National Forest. If youíve hiked up to either Big Schloss or Halfmoon Lookout youíve seen Long Mountain and Tibbet Knob. After hiking this one youíll have viewed Trout Run Valley and the surrounding mountains from every possible vantage point.

The trek is a mixture of everything a hiker can expect to find on the trail: a small but technically challenging stream crossing at the beginning, a steep climb,(I believe the ďoverallĒ elevation gain is around 2400 feet through the course of the hike), a 350 yard rock field crossing and a fantastic view from the focal point of the hike, Tibbet Knob. This is topped off with a 200 foot four wheel drive descent from the knob before returning to a more conventional tread. Most of the hike is a pleasant mixture of old woods roads and narrow footpaths except for the above mentioned rock field and the rocky access to Tibbet Knob.

Although I classify this one as strenuous my friends and I accomplished it in 6.5 hours including breaks.

Google Custom Directions to the Wolf Gap Campground car drop-off

Google Custom Directions from Wolf Gap to North Terminus of Long Mountain Tr

 

There will be orange blazes on trees going up the forest road and yellow blazes on trees on the left side of Trout Run Rd. This is the Long Mountain Trailhead. Park here.

 

The Tibbet Knob Trail is part of the Great Eastern Trail (GET).

________________________________________

________________________________________

Printable/Downloadable Map 1

Downloadable/Printable Map 2

Printable/Downloadable Map 1

Printable/Downloadable Map 2

View 3-D Map!

Trail Notes: Both Long Mountain Trail and Tibbet Knob Trail are blazed with yellow paint. Follow Long Mt Trail north for a few hundred yards and then turn sharply left (south) onto an old woods road. The trail will leave the road and pass through a grassy area near a campsite. Cross Trout Run on a newly constructed bridge. This is the only significant stream crossing in the hike. Climb steeply up a footpath. The trail eventually becomes a woods road and switchbacks up Cherry Ridge. At about 1.87 miles from the trailhead pass a grassy clearing on the right and an old woods road on the left (the old Crack Whip Furnace trail, I believe) before arriving at yet another large grassy clearing. The continuation of the trail is a grassy woods road on the right side of the clearing.

 

Turn right here and in about 0.3 miles arrive at another clearing and the junction of 4-5 woods roads. Long Mt Trail is the one on the left and is marked with a yellow blaze. In about another 1.2 miles the fun begins as you reach the rock field discussed in the description. There is no trail but the trees are blazed rather frequently. Take your time! Once across youíll return to a relatively smooth footpath. In about another 0.3 miles come to yet another grassy clearing. A woods road goes right and downhill. You want to turn left and follow the blazes.

 

In another 1.78 miles there will be another grassy opening to the right of the trail. This is a great campsite under the shadow of Benís Ridge complete with a fire ring. There is a small spring in the woods behind the clearing (walking towards the ridge) that some one has damned up. A better water source is a stream that crosses the trail less than 100 yards south of the campsite. This stream is not shown on any maps Iíve found but it does exist.

As you travel south from the campsite you will pass one more woods road on the right and begin to ascend Devilís Hole Mt. at 0.69 miles from the campsite come to the intersection of purple blazed Trout Pond Trail. Turn left staying on Long Mt Trail. As you climb you will be following a narrow footpath. As you reach the crest of the mountain the trail will once again become a woods road. Pass several grassy clearings on the left and in 2.27 miles from Trout Pond Trail reach FR 691.

Turn left on FR 691 and walk 2.47 miles to a parking area on the left with a campsite and fire ring. Look for yellow blazes marking the beginning of Tibbet Knob Trail. Follow the blazes (some will be on rocks) along the spine of the ridge until you reach the overlook. Long Mt will be to your left, Halfmoon Lookout straight ahead and Mill Mt with Big Schloss on your right.

 

Follow the yellow blazes and scramble/slide/sush your way down the steep face of the knob. In a hundred yards or so you will regain a more normal trail that descends to the Wolf Gap Campground and your awaiting vehicles (1.50 miles from the top). On the way down you will cross over a small summit which affords nice views of Big Schloss and Little Sluice.

Printable/Downloadable Directions and Trail Notes

Read about a recent trip to Long Mt.

Critique this outing!

 

________________________________________

Name: John                                                                                                                             Hike: Long Mountain/Tibbet Knob Shuttle
Date: April 13-14, 2013                                                                                                        Rating: 4

Critique: I did this as an overnighter this weekend with 5 other people. Overall this is a great hike - although not one I'd recommend for kids, people who are out of shape, or those without adequate hiking boots.

The hike lives up to its "strenuous" rating. We went 10.5 or 11 miles the first day and took about 8.5 hours. This included frequent breaks, but my friends and I ranged from "satisfyingly tired" to "completely exhausted" by the end of the day. While their differences reflected their respective states of physical conditioning, everyone agreed that it was a nice, long, tough day. That said, we were carrying (too much) gear for an overnight.

The campsite near the trailhead looked beautiful and would be easily accessible if you wanted to set up camp after driving out late Friday afternoon/early Friday evening. It's right by the stream, which is rather large - not something that would easily go dry, so you can pretty much rely on there being water at this site.

A few streams that showed up on my PATC map were dry, despite the fact that it had rained heavily the day before we hit the trail. I could have been misreading the map. The first good water source we came to (except for the creek at the very beginning) was not long before the first campsite mentioned in the description above. It was flowing very nicely and had beautiful, clear water.

The last water source came shortly past that campsite  I saw no water for at least the last 5 or 6 miles of the hike. So be sure to take advantage of these streams.

Speaking of the campsite described above, it doesn't take long to reach. Even moving very slowly and taking a long break for coffee and lunch, my group reached it in about 4 hours. The first half of the hike has some uphill in the beginning, but youre on a wide, grassy, relatively flat trail for a long time.

As of this writing, the trail was not blazed spectacularly. The yellow paint had faded and in some spots it was difficult to distinguish it from moss or discoloration on the trees. In other spots, it could be blazed more frequently. This became a problem a little past the first campsite, when my group lost the trail for about 10 minutes. We were focusing on navigating another rock-field-like stretch and completely missed a turn in the trail, which at that point was indistinguishable from the rocks all around us. So be sure to keep an eye out.

As for campsites, the first part of the hike had very few: The one the trailhead, the one described above, and maybe another one. That said, there were several grassy fields where one could easily pitch some tents.

Once you get to FR 691, however, there are a lot more spots to camp: One at the junction of the Long Mountain Trail and FR 691, and a number of them further along FR 691. There are also two nice sites on the Tibbet Knob trail near FR 691: One at the trailhead directly at FR 691, and one just barely past that. My group stayed at the latter spot, which boasted a nice fire pit, room for 3 tents and a hammock, and a large stack of split wood! Given how exhausted we were and how little daylight we had left, we were incredibly grateful to whoever had left that treasure trove  thanks! We didn't burn too much of it.

There is also a beautiful  but small  campsite at Tibbet Knob itself. Its sheltered by trees and has a beautifully built-up fire pit with stone benches.

________________________________________

VA Hikes MD Hikes WV Hikes PA Hikes Contact Us Home