Features: Fall Colors — Views — Wildflowers
Be ready for some rough and rocky sections of trail.
This is a tough run; near the summit, the trail is steep and rough and there is a lot of elevation change. But if you are looking for a trail that gives you some good exercise and rewards you with solitude and a great view, this is the trail for you!
The Rocky Mount Trail starts by descending rather steeply then more gradually. From a low point at about 0.6 mile from the start, the trail skirts the left side of a low knob. During the winter, there are views to your left, toward Two Mile Ridge. In the summer, the views tend to be obscured by foliage. (In spring, look for the pink flowers of fringed Polygala and in the summer for the purple flowers of the Go
Rue beside the trail.)
Don't be fooled by this initial descent as the trail then starts to climb in earnest. The trail ascends, passing to the right of a knob and then descending for 0.9 mile to a gap, where the Gap Run Trail
(named for a different gap, not this one) comes in on the right, about 2.2 miles from the trailhead.
From the gap, the trail climbs nearly a thousand feet in 1.2 miles, with switchbacks, up the south side of Rocky Mount. In winter, but not in summer, there are occasional good views across Two Mile Run to Two Mile Ridge. A few yards short of the summit is your destination. From there you can climb to a rock with a fine view of Two Mile Ridge to Rocky Mountain and, farther left, to the Blue Ridge and a part of Skyline Drive and enjoy your well-earned views.
From the summit, the trail continues on a steady descent along the ridge to its junction with the Gap Run Trail
near Gap Run. This section is through the trees so don't expect the same quality of views as you enjoyed at the summit of Rocky Mount.
Thanks to Larry W. Brown, for sharing this trail description. If you’re interested in learning more details about great runs, weather, camping / lodging, wildlife, and scenic drives, check out the comprehensive Guide to Shenandoah National Park