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Climbing the Priest

Difficult
 4.3 (21) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An eight-mile, out-and-back run following the Appalachian Trail as it climbs over 3,000 ft to the summit of the Priest.


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Map Key

8.2

Miles

13.1

KM

63%

Runnable

4,090' 1,247 m

High

997' 304 m

Low

3,092' 942 m

Up

3,093' 943 m

Down

14%

Avg Grade (8°)

41%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views

Overview

Strong runners will enjoy the challenge of this climb and the views from the rock outcrops. Families or groups with slower members can set the first overview as a goal for the day.

Runner Notes

Local hardcore runners combine this section with the section of the AT climbing north from the Tye River to Maupin Field.

Description

This trail is likely the most strenuous outing on the section of the AT maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club ( AT: Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club). The run starts from the parking area on VA-56 beside the Tye River.

Sustained steep climbs and descents combined with the rocky and rooted nature of the trail make this route a bit difficult to negotiate. The challenges are well-rewarded however! There are rocky overlooks on the southeast down into the Tye River Valley and northwest from the summit of the Priest.

If making the return journey in the same day sounds like a bit much, there is a shelter located near the summit of the Priest.

Contacts

Shared By:

John Phillips

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 21 votes

#600

Overall
  4.3 from 21 votes
5 Star
52%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
19%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#22

in Virginia

#600

Overall
102 Views Last Month
9,779 Since Jan 27, 2017
Difficult

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Photos

This rock overlook offers great views of the Tye River Valley to the southeast.
Jan 28, 2017 near Nellysford, VA
A beautiful bridge crosses the Tye River along the AT.
Jun 27, 2017 near Nellysford, VA

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Jun 28, 2020
Erick Kuhlmann