Roanoke: Pine Mountain Loop

Scattered along this 11.3-mile dayhike (or overnighter) is a bumper crop of mountain views, considered some of the best in southern Virginia.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 17.5


Hikers crossing field

Location: 36.6338768005371, -81.5089340209961

Hikers departing from trailhead toward Massey Gap. © Collins Chew

Distant mountain

Location: 36.6394233703613, -81.5091934204102

Wilburn Ridge from Massey Gap. ©Collins Chew

Tree with red berries

Location: 36.6505126953125, -81.5172500610352

American Mountain Ash with red berries after the leaves have fallen. © Collins Chew

Climbing Wilburn Ridge

Location: 36.6520729064941, -81.5176010131836

Carol and Matt lead the way up one peak of Wilburn Ridge. © Collins Chew

Balds of Wilburn Ridge

Location: 36.6531982421875, -81.5178604125976

Open land and distant valley along Wilburn Ridge. © Collins Chew

North Carolina from Wilburn Ridge

Location: 36.6538047790527, -81.5184631347656

Far-off mountain skyline of North Carolina from rocky tops of Wilburn Ridge. © Collins Chew

Large Rock

Location: 36.6580505371094, -81.5219345092774

A large rock (meta-volcanic ash) at Rhododendron Gap. Take the Pine Mountain Trail which turns right just in front of the rock. © Collins Chew

Rcoks and fields

Location: 36.6688766479492, -81.5127487182617

Large rock and view of Stone Mountain from Pine Mountain Trail before you reach Lewis Fork Trail. © Collins Chew


Location: 36.6700897216797, -81.5120544433594

October huckleberries on a big bush just loaded. © Collins Chew

Corral at The Scales

Location: 36.6702651977539, -81.486930847168

© Collins Chew

Wilburn Ridge from AT on Stone Mountain

Location: 36.6700057983398, -81.4861526489258

More mountain skylines. © Collins Chew

Rushing cascades

Location: 36.6551895141602, -81.497673034668

Big Wilson Creek from AT bridge. © Collins Chew

Wise Shelter

Location: 36.6541519165039, -81.4978485107422

Ken inspects the friendly confines of Wise Shelter. © Collins Chew


Location: 36.63330078125, -81.5088119506836

Climb N on blue-blazed Rhododendron Trail


Location: 36.6375312805176, -81.5081787109375

Straight @ T


Location: 36.63916015625, -81.5093231201172

Massey Gap: L @ T onto white-blazed Appalachian Trail. Free-roaming but semi-tame ponies graze the grassy balds


Location: 36.6424713134766, -81.5158920288086

Continue N (white blazes). Breezy plateau viewpoints look over the very photogenic, popular Lewis Fork Wilderness


Location: 36.6454811096191, -81.5163192749024

R onto Wilburn Ridge Trail (light-blue blazes) and a rolling ridgeline


Location: 36.6478805541992, -81.5164337158203

Rejoin the Appalachian Trail; continue N


Location: 36.6579284667969, -81.5221862792969

Rhododendron Gap is saddle between Mt. Rogers (VA's tallest; no views) and Pine Mtn. (better views). R onto Pine Mtn. Trail


Location: 36.6692695617676, -81.5124664306641

Cross Lewis Fork Trail; clouds roll in and out, briefly unveiling the famous Blue Ridge 70+ mi. away


Location: 36.6763496398926, -81.5012893676758

R onto Appalachian Trail


Location: 36.6698989868164, -81.4871520996094

Open gate and cross bald contours of Scales Corral and Stone Mtn.


Location: 36.6557197570801, -81.4794769287109

Straight @ 4-way, swing W, and briefly enter Little Wilson Creek Wilderness


Location: 36.654899597168, -81.4945373535156

Straight @ 4-way


Location: 36.6551818847656, -81.498046875

Cross Big Wilson Creek, pass Wise Shelter, and follow Quebec Branch


Location: 36.6433486938477, -81.500617980957

Continue W, ending loop @ WPT 3. Return to car