Wilburn Ridge/Pine Mountain

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 36.65730°N / 81.5215°W
Additional Information Elevation: 5526 ft / 1684 m
Sign the Climber's Log


What s that I hear?<br />
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.

Wilburn Ridge in Autumn

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  
The trail through the meadows...
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.

Getting 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.

Wilburn Ridge

Red Tape

None of which I am aware.

Pine Mountain
Pine Mountain

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.

The top of Wilburn Ridge....


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.

Mountain Conditions

Check weather condition for Damascus, VA and subtract five to ten degrees.

External Links

Grayson Highlands State Park.

Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Redwic - May 21, 2009 12:32 pm - Voted 10/10

This name should be partially revised...

If a person tries researching "Wilburn Ridge", very limited information is found. However, if a person searches "Pine Mountain", which is the true highpoint of this ridgeline, plenty of information can be found. You really need to include "Pine Mountain" in the Name & Query... I had been planning to climb this mountain ("Pine Mountain") soon, because it was not already on SummitPost. Thank goodness I found your "Wilburn Ridge" page first, so there wasn't a semi-double posting of the same peak. If you click on the GPS coordinates on the page, "Pine Mountain" is even shown as the point on the map (and Wilburn Ridge is not even written). Putting both names in the Mountain Name/Query will help eliminate any confusion by future SPers, or double-posts of mountains.


BobSmith - May 25, 2009 11:48 am - Hasn't voted

Re: This name should be partially revised...

I added both names into the query and made some other changes to the post. Changes were overdue, as it was one of my first posts here and I'd done very little to improve it. I need to plan a new trip there for my data.


Redwic - May 26, 2009 2:03 am - Voted 10/10

Re: This name should be partially revised...

I just got back from an East Coast trip this weekend. This was one of my stops, and I was determined to find out which was accurate in the Pine Mountain vs. Wilburn Ridge controversy. The Result: Now even the rangers there are disputing with each other over the actual location and height of Pine Mountain, as they found multiple maps showing different pieces of information. And then some other hikers gave differing ideas, as well. Basically, I got more confusion than answers... but I am determined to get to the bottom of this. :-) Thanks for the add to the page.


Redwic - May 21, 2009 12:35 pm - Voted 10/10

One other Pine Mountain fact...

Your "Whitetop Mountain" page says it is the second-highest peak in Virginia. It is actually the second-highest COUNTY HIGHPOINT in Virginia. Pine Mountain is the second-highest peak in the state, although by only 5'-6' elevation.


BobSmith - May 22, 2009 4:22 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: One other Pine Mountain fact...

You should go ahead and do the Pine Mountain summitpost. It's a pretty extensive peak. I don't think anyone would mind. It wouldn't diminish the Wilburn Ridge post at all.


Redwic - May 22, 2009 6:44 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: One other Pine Mountain fact...

Considering the GPS coordinates and elevation would be identical, that seems strange. Are there any other such scenarios on SummitPost, where two separate Mountain pages are created with identical coordinates and elevation? I guess if one page is for the ridgeline and one is for the highest point on the ridgeline, it might be OK. I was not certain of the protocol, and I certainly don't want to infringe upon your already-created pages (which I like). I'll figure it out.


BobSmith - May 23, 2009 2:28 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: One other Pine Mountain fact...

I could give you co-edit privilige on my Wilburn Ridge post. How's that? We could retitle it Pine Mountain/Wilburn Ridge. Let me know and I'll give you access to the post.

chugach mtn boy

chugach mtn boy - Apr 26, 2023 10:34 am - Voted 10/10

New elevation

I believe there is a new elevation of 5541, confirming this as the second highest peak in Virginia. To reach the true summit--one of the finest in the southern Appalachians--take blue-blazed trail 4597 from either north or south of the peak on the Appalachian Trail. Or, go to the AT's high point on a granite outcrop due west of the summit, and do a fun scramble up the low angle rock face above.

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Grayson HighlandsMountains & Rocks