Thing to Do

Hightop Summit

Snow covered rocks lie in the foreground of a view into a blue valley below.

Wind your way up a ridge on this hike to a rocky viewpoint that stands at 3,296 feet.

Distance: 3-mile round trip hike
Difficulty: Moderate (explanation of our hiking difficulty scale)
Hiking Time: 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 935 feet

Hike Description

  1. From the Hightop Mountain Parking Area (mile 66.7), cross Skyline Drive and take the white-blazed Appalachian Trail (A.T.)
  2. As you climb, the trail winds its way up the ridge.
  3. You’ll swing left around the summit, then look for a side trail on your right that leads to a rocky viewpoint.
  4. Turn around and retrace your steps to return to the parking area. 

The average hike duration does not take into consideration fitness, exploration, rest, contemplation, etc.


Pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times.

An entrance fee is required to get into Shenandoah National Park.

The trailhead for this hike is located at the Hightop Mountain parking area.

Year Round
Accessibility Information

This trail does not meet ADA accessibility guidelines.

Shenandoah National Park

Map of South River area with notable roads and trails marked.

Download the trail map
Click the image to download the trail map. Print it out at home or save it to your phone to take with you on your hike.

Last updated: February 19, 2021