Weaver Mountain is among the many summits that are along the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. While under 3,000 feet, Weaver Mountain clearly stands above Skyline Drive in the southernmost section of the Park. The southernmost section of Skyline Drive is at a lower elevation than the central section where you find Hawksbill
, and Stony Man
The Appalachian Trail meanders through the Shenandoah National Park, and reaches Weaver Mountain in this relatively low-elevated section of the trail. There are decent views through the trees on the way up the mountain, but primarily the trek to Weaver Mountain is a quaint walk through the woods.
While Weaver Mountain can be climbed all year, winter is a better time to hike in this part of the park to avoid insects and overgrowth on the trail. When visiting Weaver, you should consider hiking it's higher, nearby neighbor, Hightop Mountain
. Hightop has far better views and can be hiked in connection with Weaver via a longer trek on the Appalachian Trail (the hike would be over 10 miles round trip).
From Washington DC follow I-66 West and exit onto US 29 at Gainesville, then take US 29 all the way down past Culpepper to route 230 West, until you hit Route 33, which you take West for 8 miles until you reach Skyline Drive at the Swift Run Gap Entrance. Take Skyline Drive south to either Simmons Gap or Pinefield Gap.
There is a parking area on the other side of the road, with space for about 3-4 cars. Do not drive down to the Ranger Station. From Simmons Gap to Weaver Mountain about 1 mile and 600'. There are nice views through the trees. The hike takes about 20-30 minutes.
There is a small parking area with space for about two cars. From Pinefield Gap to Weaver Mountain about 1 mile and 300'. The hike is basically a nice walk in the woods. The hike takes about 20-25 minutes.
Weaver Mountain from Skyline Drive
Weaver Peak is also accessible from the valley floor. From Harrisonburg, take US 33 east past Elkton until you reach SR 628. Turn right, and follow SR 628 to the park boundary. Park here, and hike 1.2 miles on the Beldor Fire Road until reaching Skyline Drive. Turn right up the Appalachian Trail, and follow it to the summit. Total elevation gain is about 1,100 feet.
If you hike from this route, you can also reach Rocky Mount, which rises west of the Fire Road.
Shenandoah National Park cost $30 for an annual pass. If you do not live in the DC area, you can pay the $15 fee to enter Skyline Drive ($10 from December through February). The park, or sections of the park, may be closed if road conditions are poor. Check with the park at 540-999-3500.
The Pinefield Shelter is nearby. However, obey all Shenandoah Park camping rules. Campsites are not always open during the winter and spring. Backcountry Camping Permits are required and are available free from park headquarters, visitor centers, and entrance stations. Appalachian Trail hikers may self-register for permits on the AT near Rockfish Gap (south) and Chester Gap (north).
Campfires are not permitted (except at pre-constructed fireplaces at backcountry huts and day-use shelters). Groups may not exceed 10 people. For more info consult the park website.