The Highpointers – Virginia (Part 3 of 3)

By Branndon Bargo
December 23, 2019
Advices Highpointers Travel Stories Travel Tips

Day 3 – Summit Day

Mt. Rogers – Highpoint of Virginia – 5,729 ft.

Rogers, like the state it represents, packs in a lot in a relatively condensed area. There are great opportunities for unique animal encounters including endangered species and hiking among the rare Fraser Fir. One of our favorite things about Mt. Rogers is getting the chance to hike among the wild ponies of the Virginia Highlands. There are nearly 100 in the area and they often are found grazing in the open fields as you ascend up the mountain.

“There is no such thing as bad weather only bad preparation” We would like to thank our sponsors, Pilot Pen and Gossamer Gear for providing the gear to make our highpoints a success. 


To help you prepare for your hike here is The Highpointers 5 STEP SHUN LIST: 


See if you can remember this when at your next party describing where Mt. Rogers is located: First it is part of the Appalachian Mountains, which is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains which is part of Mt Rogers National Recreation Area which is part of the Lewis Fork Wilderness Area, which is accessed by Grayson Highlands State Park and the Appalachian Trail…piece of cake right? The most important thing to know is your hike begins at Grayson Highlands State Park at the Massie Gap Trail Head.


Mt. Rogers is 5,729 feet. The starting elevation is about 4,200 feet, with a moderate climb of 1,500 feet. Round trip is about 8 miles depending on which trails you pick to ascend and descend.

For the most straight forward way to the summit take the Massie Gap Trail Head and follow the Appalachian Trail which is also called the Rhododendron Trail. Continue left on the Appalachian Trail passing the Thomas Knob shelter. When you reach the summit trail junction, follow it for a a half mile to the summit of Mt. Rogers. The summit is enclosed by Fir trees so don’t expect much of a view. 


Wind, rain and cold are all a possibility year-round. Rogers is known for abrupt weather changes so be prepared.

Gear Identification:

  • Rain Jacket – Mountain Hardware Cloud Bank

  • Day Pack – Gossamer Gear Lone Star

  • Trekking Poles – Gossamer Gear LT5

  • Journal and Acroball Pilot Pen

  • Snacks/Water – Bearded Bros

  • Headlamp – Petzl ReactiK

  • Sun Block

  • Mt. Rogers Map


Entrance/parking fee for a one day hike at Grayson Highlands State Park is $5 for Virginia residents and $7 for out of state hikers. No permits are required but due to the high volume of hikers and the endangered species in the wilderness area it is really important to practice Leave No Trace Principles. 

The Highpointers Trip Notes:

Places we stayed:

  • Virginia Beach Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott

  • 1901 Atlantic Ave. Virginia Beach, VA

  • Wytheville TRU by Hilton

  • 245 Boyd Ave. Wytheville, VA 

Cost of Activities:

  • Board Walk – FREE

  • Mt. Trashmore – FREE

  • The American Civil War Museum – $8 for children, $16 for adults (discounts if purchased online)

  • Big Walker Lookout - $4 for children, $6 for adults

  • Mt. Rogers -  Parking fee is $5 for Virginia residents and $7 for non residents.