Compton Gap Road

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia 22835

Elevation Gain284ft
Trailhead Elevation2,026ft
Elevation Min/Max2026/2309ft
Elevation Start/End2026/2026ft

Compton Gap Road

Compton Gap Road is a hiking and horse trail in Warren County and Rappahannock County, Virginia. It is within Shenandoah National Park. It is 0.5 miles long and begins at 2,026 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is a mile with a total elevation gain of 284 feet. This trail connects with the following: Appalachian Trail.

Compton Gap Road Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

AMC's Best Day Hikes in The Shenandoah Valley (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Jennifer Adach and Michael R. Martin
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"A short hike along the Appalachian Trail brings you to western views and a geology lesson. The trail up to Compton Gap is short, but the rocky path may demand a slower pace as you ascend nearly 500 feet to gain views of the surrounding area. From the parking lot, cross Skyline Drive and start to follow the white-blazed Appalachian Trail (AT). The trail climbs steadily as it makes its way up to the peak. While it is a well-defined path, the trail can be rocky at times. Keep an eye out for a tricky left turn at just 0.5 mile. The trail ascends up the ridge and eventually levels out as it closes in on the summit."
Hiking Shenandoah National Park (Falcon Guides)
Bert & Jane Gildart
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"This out-and-back hike follows the Appalachian Trail and climbs 835 feet to the summit of Compton Peak, where the views are expansive and the geology intriguing."
Best of the Appalachian Trail Day Hikes (Menasha Ridge Press)
Leonard M. Adkins & Victoria and Frank Logue
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"From Compton Gap at Skyline Drive milepost 10.4 (elevation 2,415'), head south on the A.T. and climb via switchbacks. In mid-May, you may see yellow lady’s slippers blooming; in early June, white clintonia and speckled wood lily. At mile 0.8, reach a signpost at the junction of a blue-blazed trail that heads left and right to viewpoints (these trails are ungraded and rough but are worth the short trips to the viewpoints)."

Compton Gap Road Trip Reports

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This is a very nice, quick hike. The trail is well-maintained and has log or rock stairs during the steep sections.

The trail follows the AT until the last .2 miles, when you can chose from two peaks, west or east. This is a little misleading as the only view is to the right (West peak). The left “peak” (East) leads down the mountain to geologic formations that are unique to this hike.

The west peak would be a wonderful place to have lunch or enjoy nice weather.
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Convenient to park, hike in and out for an afternoon. It is a good hike to prepare for something more strenuous in the future. 1.2 miles each way along the App. trail. The views were great, and traffic was very light. My wife and dog were able to keep up very easily.
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Very easy uphill hike. Very enjoyable, and quiet.

Compton Gap Road Photos

Trail Information

Shenandoah National Park
Nearby City
Shenandoah National Park
Skill Level
Shenandoah National Park (, 540-999-3500, 800-732-0911 [for emergencies]
Local Contacts
PATC, Map 9, Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park, North District, 2009
Local Maps