Fall Colors · Views
This great run is a short, but scenic out and back to the top of Turk Mountain where some amazing views await!
The climb to the summit will get your lungs pumping and your legs burning, but it's a relatively short climb with a big reward at the top.
This is a pleasant, short run that can easily be done in an afternoon. The trail is mostly shaded so you won't work up too much of a sweat even though you'll be climbing to the summit of Turk Mountain.
Starting from the Turk Gap Trailhead, follow the white-blazed AT south (across Skyline Drive from the parking area). Go
0.1 mile to the marker post and turn right. The Turk Mountain Trail
descends into the saddle between Turk Mountain and the main ridge, then climbs easily to the summit, from where there's an outstanding view to west at the top of rock talus slope.
Once you are done taking in the scenery, return back to your car the way you came.
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
History & Background
Turk Mountain is capped by Erwin quartzite; you can see cliffs and talus slopes that slice across it near the top. Be on the lookout for intermittent exposures of phyllite of the lower Hampton formation. In a fresh break, its color varies from silvery gray to very pale tan – some of it banded, some with veins of pebbly quartzite. The weathered surfaces are mostly stained with iron.