Trail Run Project Logo

Sunset Rocks Loop Hike

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.7 (7) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A tough but doable climb providing sweeping views with the option to continue west for a lollipop loop with the AT.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

7.5

Miles

12.1

KM

91%

Runnable

1,405' 428 m

High

882' 269 m

Low

1,009' 307 m

Up

1,009' 308 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Historical Significance · Views · Wildlife

Overview

Follow the AT: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PA/MD/VA/WV) section northwest from 233 before linking up with the steep but stable Sunset Rocks Trail to gorgeous views and fun boulder scrambling along the ridge.

This run continues west to Tom's Run Shelter along flatter grades and returns on the AT for a 7.5-mile journey.

Need to Know

Open to dogs but sections of rock scrambling can be extremely challenging for visitors with four paws. Can be buggy.

Description

Though many visitors head up to the Sunset Rocks viewpoint and back for a short and steep, ~4-mile journey, the ridge to the west of the viewpoint makes for easygoing running with fun boulders to explore and scramble on.

Start from any of the main parking areas at Pine Grove Furnace State Park and follow signage for the AT off 233. Head north into the woods, passing a few cabins that can be booked for overnight stays in the park. As the trail bends to the left (west), the grades increase slightly with a short up-and-over section ending at the junction with the blue-blazed Sunset Rocks Trail.

Turn left (southwest) to begin the climb in earnest as the trail heads basically straight up the slope. Luckily, the tread is relatively stable though some sections have embedded rocks to navigate. Just shy of the two-mile mark, the views start to appear and a sign will mark the Sunset Rocks Spur to the main unobstructed view. For folks short on time or feeling justifiably accomplished, retrace your steps to the starting point.

For this run, continue west along the ridge to explore numerous boulders and rock outcrops, some with more views, though most aren't as wide open as the first. At the 2.3-mile mark, the trail comes to the western nose of the ridge and begins a few large switchbacks as it descends to Michaux Road. Turn right along the road for a brief stretch, staying left/straight at Bunkerhill Road, to find the continuation of the Sunset Rocks Trail to the left (west).

Follow signage for Tom's Run Shelter or look for blue blazes. After 3.8 miles, the Sunset Rocks Trail meets the AT again. Turn right (north) onto the AT to find the shelter, marking a great over-halfway spot for a snack and break. From here on out, the run follows flat grades of the AT for a couple of miles before a short descent and climb near the first junction with the Sunset Rocks Trail back to the starting point.

History & Background

Pine Grove Furnace State Park features the Appalachian Trail Museum, which has some very cool artifacts and photos that outline the history of the AT.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 7 votes

#3712

Overall
  3.7 from 7 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
71%
3 Star
29%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#77

in Pennsylvania

#3,712

Overall
34 Views Last Month
829 Since Feb 21, 2020
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
17%
33%
50%
0%

Photos

Deer sighting.
Feb 21, 2020 near Shippen…, PA
The Ironmaster's Mansion
Feb 21, 2020 near Biglerv…, PA
Hiking Sunset Rocks and the Appalachian Trail - Pine Grove Furnace State Park and Michaux State Forest
Nov 25, 2019 near Shippen…, PA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

none