Saddleback Mountain Loop via Appalachian Trail

Saddleback Mountain Loop via Appalachian Trail is a moderately challenging 5.9-mile loop that offers a delightful escape into the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Saddleback Mountain Loop is located in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia via the Swift Run Gap Entrance in Elkton, VA. You can park your car at the parking lot near the trailhead. You will want to get there early as that can fill up rather quickly as there is only room for about 5 or 6 cars.

The trail goes up steadily along the Appalachian Trail, leading you through a forest of hardwood. Shortly after starting your hike, you’ll encounter an unmarked path leading to a hidden gem – an old cemetery.

Saddleback Mountain Cemetary

After roughly 1.5 miles on the Appalachian Trail, you’ll reach the junction with the Saddleback Mountain Trail. This delightful path winds through the forest, offering a change of pace before rejoining the AT and leading you back to your starting point.

Planning Your Hike:

Trail Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 5.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,135 feet

Estimated Time: 2 hours 52 minutes

Things to Consider:

  • Entrance Fee: Shenandoah National Park charges an entrance fee. Consider purchasing an annual pass for frequent visits.
  • Leashed Dogs: While well-behaved dogs are welcome on the trail, ensure they remain leashed throughout the hike.
  • Seasonal Conditions: The trail is open year-round, but weather conditions can vary and Skyline Drive will close when there is snow and ice in the forecast. Also on the day we went, there was snow on the ground, so sure to dress appropriately and check the latest forecast before heading out.

The Saddleback Mountain Loop via Appalachian Trail provides a taste of the wonders that await in Shenandoah National Park. Lace up your hiking boots, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and embark on an unforgettable journey through this remarkable natural landscape.

German by birth, living, hiking, and camping in the US. Addicted to Coffee. Enjoys going to concerts. Also, Artist + Author. I love to encourage you to explore beyond your backyard. 

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