Appalachian Trail: Damascus, VA to Summit Cut, VA

Tackle a rigorous 1,000-foot climb, traverse fields, and cross an impressive gorge on this 15.8-mile section.
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Tackle a rigorous 1,000-foot climb, traverse fields, and cross an impressive gorge on this 15.8-mile section.

If you’re lucky enough to cruise through Damascus—dubbed the "friendliest town on the AT"—during Trail Days (usually mid-May), check out this popular festival. Highlights include a talent show, trout rodeo, hiker parade, and free gear repairs. Shelters: Saunders Shelter; sleeps 8. Lost Mountain Shelter; sleeps 8.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 25.7

Waypoints

WPT001

Location: 36.6378174, -81.7132034

Saunders Shelter

WPT002

Location: 36.6350327, -81.7890701

Mt. Rogers Outfitters: AT passes by Mount Rogers Outfitters (many thru-hikers change gear here). Trail also goes through town on Laurel Ave. The sidewalk is inlayed with personalized bricks from hikers. The Virginia Creeper Trail, a major crushed gravel bike path, and other cross-America bike routes also go through town

WPT002

Location: 36.6352501, -81.7160797

Side trail leads to shelter

WPT003

Location: 36.6348343, -81.7885513

Shady Ave.

WPT003

Location: 36.6369514, -81.7116165

Side trail leads to shelter (2 ways into shelter)

WPT004

Location: 36.634449, -81.7873535

Legion St.

WPT004

Location: 36.6387329, -81.7100983

Old double track

WPT005

Location: 36.6431007, -81.7036667

Views to the SE

WPT005

Location: 36.6340179, -81.7873535

The Place: House converted to Hostel. Run by the nearby church

WPT006

Location: 36.6341019, -81.7856674

Bridge crossing

WPT007

Location: 36.6339149, -81.7847824

Railroad Ave.

WPT007

Location: 36.6511497, -81.6892853

Bear Tree Gap Train to W

WPT008

Location: 36.6516151, -81.6883698

AT turns W

WPT008

Location: 36.6339493, -81.7837524

AT turns R onto Damascus Dr.; VA 91

WPT009

Location: 36.6522331, -81.6880341

Pond and water

WPT010

Location: 36.6306152, -81.783287

AT turns L onto Douglas Dr. Trail passes Sundog Outfitter (long-term parking for section hikers is available here. Also, the Sundog is a designated letter and package drop and official contact point for AT thru-hikers)

WPT010

Location: 36.6521339, -81.6878967

Campsite

WPT011

Location: 36.629715, -81.7795029

AT passes "Leaving Damascus" sign

WPT012

Location: 36.6286163, -81.7768021

AT turns W across road; piped spring is located next to stairway. Trail heads into woods from gravel path along road

WPT012

Location: 36.6535149, -81.683403

Campsite

WPT013

Location: 36.6298332, -81.7712326

Campsite

WPT014

Location: 36.6353493, -81.767601

AT turns E

WPT014

Location: 36.6541672, -81.6783142

Cross two streams

WPT015

Location: 36.638134, -81.7627182

Views to SE

WPT016

Location: 36.6403656, -81.7601166

Campsite

WPT016

Location: 36.6484489, -81.6792526

VA Creeper Trail; AT turns W; AT joins VA Creeper Trail while it runs adjacent to Whitetop Laurel Creek

WPT017

Location: 36.6420822, -81.7582855

Iron Mtn. Trail W; yellow blazes

WPT017

Location: 36.6473656, -81.6764145

Pass a good swimming spot along Whitetop Laurel Creek

WPT019

Location: 36.6472511, -81.6722336

Huge bridge trestle

WPT020

Location: 36.646965, -81.6722183

AT turns W off VA Creeper Trail on N side of the trestle

WPT021

Location: 36.6473846, -81.7405319

Multiple streams

WPT021

Location: 36.6474495, -81.6701813

Small stream crossing

WPT022

Location: 36.6459007, -81.7360535

AT turns E @ jct. with blue-blazed Feathercamp Branch Trail and Feathercamp Branch stream

WPT022

Location: 36.6492004, -81.6681976

Small stream crossing

WPT023

Location: 36.6450844, -81.7365799

US 58

WPT023

Location: 36.6494331, -81.6651001

Small stream crossing

WPT024

Location: 36.6497345, -81.6637802

VA 859. Grassy Ridge Rd.

WPT024

Location: 36.6447334, -81.7363815

Straight Branch

WPT025

Location: 36.6444511, -81.7363968

Register; Mt. Rogers Park

WPT025

Location: 36.6485481, -81.6628342

Stream; small falls

WPT026

Location: 36.6481018, -81.6634521

Small stream crossing

WPT026

Location: 36.6426163, -81.7378464

Better campground

WPT027

Location: 36.6444016, -81.6564178

Side trail leads to shelter

WPT028

Location: 36.6442833, -81.6559982

Lost Mtn. Shelter

WPT029

Location: 36.6391182, -81.7330475

Small stream crossing

WPT030

Location: 36.6330986, -81.728653

Campsite and picnic table

WPT030

Location: 36.6401482, -81.6489182

US 58; Summit Cut, VA; stream

WPT031

Location: 36.6331673, -81.7266998

Stream

WPT032

Location: 36.6305351, -81.7186661

Trail leads .5 mi. to VA Creeper Trail; AT turns E @ jct. with Taylors Valley Trail

WPT035

Location: 36.6380157, -81.7127151

Water pipe

WPT001

Location: 36.625145, -81.7909927

Tent City: This point is off the AT. This is the center of "tent city" at Trail Days, a huge event for the AT community with vendors and presentations and also a big party

Welcome to Damascus

Location: 36.6314011, -81.7916641

Damascus Sign

Location: 36.6316037, -81.7913675

'Go In Peace' Sign

Location: 36.6312828, -81.7925797

Trail Blaze

Location: 36.6352997, -81.7897339

The Place

Location: 36.6339836, -81.787384

Small Waterfall

Location: 36.6486015, -81.6628342