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16 Great Virginia Backpacking Trips – Scientifically Chosen

In honor of Virginia Backpacking’s first anniversary we’ve compiled a list of 16 great backpacking trips right here in our home state! This list wasn’t arbitrarily put together, rather we tried to take a scientific approach by reviewing hundreds of hikes posted on Hiking Upward. We toiled, we sweat, and we stressed extensively in paring down the list using a variety of metrics.caution

If you’re bored by the logic behind the selections feel free to just trust us and skip ahead to the actual trip summaries. Metrics we tracked for each trip on Hiking Upward included:

  • The number of Facebook likes
  • The number of reviews
  • The average review rating
  • The average rating for Views, Solitude, and Camping

We didn’t include any trips with a 1 or 0 for camping. These are backpacking trips after-all! We then ranked each item against the entire list of identified trips and then averaged the four ranks. Finally we began eliminating one by one until we identified 16 finalists.

Click on the name of the hike to visit the link on Hiking Upward for an in depth look. Here you go in no particular order

Tar Jacket Ridge

The deets:

  • 14.9 miles
  • Lasso hike
  • 84 Facebook likes
  • 15 Reviews
  • 4.0 Average review rating
  • 4.3 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Jeremy’s Run

The deets:

  • 14.7 miles
  • Loop hike
  • 122 Facebook likes
  • 49 Reviews
  • 4.5 Average review rating
  • 2.7 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Signal Knob

The deets:

  • 9.9 miles
  • Loop hike
  • 286 Facebook likes
  • 147 Reviews
  • 4.0 Average review rating
  • 4.0 Average for views, solitude, and camping

House Mountain

The deets:

  • 8.2 miles
  • Out and back hike
  • 18 Facebook likes
  • 58 Reviews
  • 4.5 Average review rating
  • 4.0 Average for views, solitude, and camping

The Priest

The deets:

  • 8.6 miles
  • Out and back hike
  • 1,000+ Facebook likes
  • 24 Reviews
  • 4.0 Average review rating
  • 3.7 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Damascus to Massey Gap (listed as Mt Rogers/Grayson Highlands on Hiking Upward)

The deets:

  • 39.6 miles
  • End to end hike
  • 86 Facebook likes
  • 14 Reviews
  • 5.0 Average review rating
  • 4.3 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Indian Grave Ridge

The deets:

  • 8.6 miles
  • Loop hike
  • 783 Facebook likes
  • 35 Reviews
  • 4.0 Average review rating
  • 3.7 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Little Schloss

The deets:

  • 13.2 miles
  • Loop hike
  • 163 Facebook likes
  • 51 Reviews
  • 4.0 Average review rating
  • 4.7 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Mill Mountain

  • 11.6 miles
  • Loop hike
  • 33 Facebook likes
  • 33 Reviews
  • 4.5 Average review rating
  • 4.0 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Ramsey’s Draft

The deets:

  • 16.8 miles
  • Loop hike
  • 320 Facebook likes
  • 75 Reviews
  • 4.0 Average review rating
  • 4.0 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Mount Rogers/Wilburn Ridge

The deets:

  • 21.5 miles
  • Loop hike
  • 57 Facebook likes
  • 10 Reviews
  • 4.5 Average review rating
  • 4.7 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Grayson Highlands/Mount Rogers (listed as Wiburn Ridge/Pine Mountain on Hiking Upward)

The deets:

  • 14.2 miles
  • Loop hike
  • 58 Facebook likes
  • 5 Reviews
  • 5.0 Average review rating
  • 4.7 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Veach Gap

The deets:

  • 7.0 miles
  • Out and back hike
  • 509 Facebook likes
  • 64 Reviews
  • 4.0 Average review rating
  • 3.0 Average for views, solitude, and camping

False Cape State Park (see link below)

The deets:

  • 10.0 miles
  • Out and back hike
  • Surprisingly this isn’t listed on Hiking Upward but this is a must do trip if you live in Virginia. I highly recommend you visit in the fall or spring. If you’d like to learn more read one of our past blogs about the trip.

Devil’s Marbleyard

The deets:

  • 11.3 miles
  • Loop hike
  • 455 Facebook likes
  • 56 Reviews
  • 4.0 Average review rating
  • 4.0 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Three Ridges

The deets:

  • 14.4 miles
  • Lasso hike
  • 37 Facebook likes
  • 116 Reviews
  • 4.5 Average review rating
  • 4.0 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Now that I’ve gotten through the top 16 (again, in no particular order), here are four more hikes that were on the outside looking in but should be considered honorable mentions.

Lake Moomaw

The deets:

  • 6.4 miles
  • Out and back hike
  • 95 Facebook likes
  • 9 Reviews
  • 4.0 Average review rating
  • 4.0 Average for views, solitude, and camping

Trayfoot Mountain

The deets:

  • 9.2 miles
  • Loop hike
  • 45 Facebook likes
  • 8 Reviews
  • 4.0 Average review rating
  • 4.3 Average for views, solitude, and camping

North River Gorge

The deets:

  • 12.5 miles
  • Loop hike
  • 55 Facebook likes
  • 11 Reviews
  • 4.5 Average review rating
  • 3.0 Average for views, solitude, and camping

James River Face Wilderness

The deets:

  • 16.9 miles
  • End to end hike
  • 59 Facebook likes
  • 7 Reviews
  • 4.0 Average review rating
  • 3.67 Average for views, solitude, and camping

And there you have it! 16 great hikes scientifically chosen for your review (and 4 honorable mentions). Hiking Upward is a fantastic resource for hiking and is entirely run by volunteers. If you’d like to donate to Hiking Upward please visit their GoFundMe page.

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