The Priest

Featured photo of The Priest

The Priest resides in the northern reaches of George Washington National Forest. It appears to be a rather typical peak of the Virginian Appalachians at first glance, but appearances can be deceiving. Most popular perhaps for its gruesome trail up the northern slopes (which just so happens to be the Appalachian Trail), the Priest towers nearly 3000 ft. over the foothills of VA to the immediate east. Many people start from the Tye River parking area to the north and ascend out of the gorge for four miles and 3000 ft. to the Priest's summit. The route is considered by many to be one of the most rigorous climbs along the 2000 mile Appalachian Trail. With dozens of switchbacks and unforgiving grades, this may very well be true. Infact commiting to this route is often refered to as "doing the Priest" and is a considerable accomplishment if one succeeds. Thick vegetation eliminates most of the views from the top, but there is a rock outcropping close to a mile from the summit that provides an expansive vista to the east (and a good place to take a water break). For bonus points, try running up The Priest.

Elevation (feet): 4,063
Elevation (meters): 1,238
Continent: North America
Country: United States
State: Virginia
Latitude: 37.8197
Longitude: -79.0628
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
Nearest major airport: Roanoke/ Washington D.C.
Convenient Center: Lynchburg/Staunton/Charlottesville/Lexington

Thanks to Matt kirk for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 5 trip reports for The Priest.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #20987 - by Michael on Aug 29, 2007
    I grew up in VA, backpacking with my father on the AT near our hometown. Of all the mountains we ever climbed, the Priest was perhaps the most intense from top to bottom. I have never hiked a...
  • Log #20700 - by Mark Carrier on Mar 21, 2007
    During my childhood our family used to camp out on the side of the road by the creek and would go to the top of Crabtree falls and climb down. A few years ago they decided I was ready to "do the...
  • Log #18910 - by David G.Svitek on Feb 14, 2006
    This is a favorite weekend climb for people who live near the central VA Blue Ridge. There is a very nice waterfall (Crabtree Falls) and a primitive camping site near the summit (Crabtree Meadows)....
  • Log #13723 - by Bob Kirchman on Aug 29, 2002
    Tye River on Rte. 56--it's got an almost Bavarian-Austrian Feeling. A bit of blooming Trillium softened the otherwise rugged 3000' trail from the river to the top. I went up from Tye River on the AT...
  • Log #13724 - by Jeff Lonard on Feb 14, 2001
    Climbed The Priest from Crabtree Falls parking lot and connected with the AT at Crabtree Meadows. Crabtree Falls, the highest in VA, are spectacular and are a must-see if you are visiting the area....