After parking our car in the parking lot, we crossed the Skyline Drive and entered the trailhead. After climbing for less than 1 minute, the trail separates into two paths. You can turn the path to your right, and you will be on the Appalachian Trail. This path is parallel to the drive so it doesn't involve climbing up and down. We took the one that goes straight. This trail took us to the rocks. While scrambling we stopped and watched the scenery. There are various places on the trail where you can stop and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. As it was late March, the trees were bare when we did the hike, which gave us an advantage of seeing deep into the valleys. The climb is approximately 360 feet. The rocks (Catoctin Basalt) at the summit were formed by ancient lava flows nearly 600 million years ago.
The trail connects to the Appalachian Trail and makes a circuit hike. Instead of making the loop we chose to return from the same path.
Final note: this hike is absolutely not for little children or pets.
, Virginia, Turkey
March 24, 2003
From journal Camping and Hiking in Shenandoah N.P.