Wilburn Ridge is the long, and very high ridgeline that leads up from Massie Gap in the Grayson Highlands State Park and toward Mount Rogers. It is among the very highest terrain in the state of Virginia. While not as high as Mount Rogers, the peak of Wilburn Ridge is rocky, treeless, and offers unobstructed views in every direction.
In fact, the mountains in this vicinity have been likened more to western land than Virginia high country. As with Charlies Bunion in the Smokies, this area was heavily logged, flooded, and subsequently burned. The fires were so intense that they burned right down to the mineral soil. Thus, trees have had a long, slow battle to recover here, and we are left with what amounts to big sky country here in the corner of Virgnia.
Wilburn Ridge is actually a part of Pine Mountain, which is one of the
highest mountains in Virginia. All of this high country is incorporated into the Mount Rogers Recreation Area and is easily one of the finest high mountain spots in the eastern USA. The recreational opportunities are quite astounding. On a personal note, I've been visiting the Mount Rogers area for years and I could do so for many more years and still never see everything that's on my list to accomplish there.
The trail starts at the Massie Gap parking area in Grayson Highlands State Park and intersects with the Appalachian Trail which runs over the ridge. It begins as "The Rhododendron Trail", but soon intersects with the AT. One can also walk up the "Appalachian Spur Trail" that also starts near the parking lot. Both lead to the AT and then to Wilburn Ridge.
The park is located on Highway 58, about midway between Damascus and Independence. From 58, just take the park road to Massie Gap.
None of which I am aware.
When To Climb
All year long. The weather can become very cold and icy in winter. I go to this area every winter and almost always enounter snow, ice, and stiff winds. And no winter seems to go by that some hiker or group of hikers don't get into life-threatening difficulties due to the harsh conditions that rake the summits in the colder months.
Camping is allowed. I know of no fees outside the state park boundaries. Within Grayson Highlands State Park, camping is only allowed within the official developed campground.
Check weather condition for Damascus, VA and subtract five to ten degrees.
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