Neighbor Mountain is a "knob" along an Appalachian ridge located in Shenandoah National Park. There are some nice trail views (obstructed, though, so don't expect chances for great pictures) north across the hollow of Jeremys Run towards Knob Mountain. Neighbor's wooded summit is easily accessed from Skyline Drive and is about 2.5 miles from the road by its shortest route. However, backpackers or people who go for long day hikes will find that Neighbor pairs very nicely with a loop including Knob Mountain or Jeremys Run, the latter of which is one of the most scenic streams in the park. The Neighbor-Knob route is a serious day hike, though, coming in at about 16.5 miles.
From the parking area, follow signpost directions to the Neighbor Mountain Trail, from which it is about 2.3 miles to the summit. About a mile before the summit, there are some rock formations with some interesting colors and textures on the right side of the trail. These formations are called the Gendarmes, and even though they're not challenging to scramble on, they make good photographic subjects, especially if you like closeups showing details.
To take the shortest route to the summit from Skyline Drive, locate a parking area less than half a mile south of the Jeremys Run Overlook. This is in the park's North District between Mileposts 26 and 27.
From outside the park (west side), use the following directions, courtesy of SP member Buz Groshong:
US-340 about 15 miles south of Front Royal (1.9 miles south of Compton) turn left (east) on 662 and immediately turn right on 611. Follow 611 for about 3 miles and look for sign for Jeremy's Run Trail. Park alongside the road and stay on the trail as it crosses private property.
Hike up Jeremys Run Trail to the intersection with Neighbor Mountain Trail.
It costs $15 to enter the park, and that provides access for a week. Annual passes cost $30. The interagency pass, good for yearlong entry to areas managed by NPS, USDA Forest Service, USFWS, BLM, and the Bureau of Reclamation, costs $80.
The park is open all year, but Skyline Drive does sometimes close after snow or ice storms. The park site does not give current road conditions, so call ahead (540-999-3500).
To reduce poaching, Skyline Drive is subject to nighttime closures during hunting season (mid-November through early January). Specific information about the dates, times, and sections for the current year is available on the park's website.
Camping and Lodging
The closest campground is Mathews Arm (MP 22), which has water and flush toilets but no showers or a store (there is a seasonally open snack bar at Elkwallow, a short drive south on Skyline Drive). The campground is open from late May through October. It will usually fill on holiday and October weekends. The fee for a campsite is $15 per night (as of 2007, higher if you reserve).
Backcountry camping is allowed throughout the park. Free backcountry camping permits can be obtained by mail or or at any of the park entrances, visitor centers, and at park headquarters.
Overnight lodging is available at Skyland (Mileposts 44.3) and at Big Meadows (Milepost 51.2).
Cottages can be rented at Lewis Mountain (Milepost 57.5).
Be sure to check in advance on availability and openings for facilities. All facilities are open during the summer months, some are open in the spring and fall, and all are closed from December through February.
Links and Mountain Conditions
Official park site
Emergency number to be used in the park for help is 800-732-0911.
Information number to access a recording is 540-999-3500.