CONQUER VIRGINIA'S TRIPLE CROWN
Head off to great places, today is the day. The mountains are calling, so get on your way!
The stunning scenic peaks are comprised of what many consider to be the state’s three best hiking destinations: McAfee Knob, Tinker Cliffs and Dragon’s Tooth. All are conveniently located within a few miles of each other, and just a short drive from your home base at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.
Come be a trailsetter and cross Virginia's Triple Crown off your hiking bucket list!
The first of the three legs in the hallowed Triple Crown hike, Dragon’s Tooth offers an excellent introduction to the region’s terrain. A unique geologic feature consisting of spires projecting up to 35 feet from the surrounding rock, the hike is a 4.6-mile round trip to the top and back to the parking lot on Route 311, with the first 1.5 miles of well-marked trail wandering along bubbling streams and thick forest. The remaining 0.8 miles to the summit kicks things up a notch. This ascent includes bouldering and a portion with iron bars to climb, but at the end you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Of the three hikes in the Triple Crown, Tinker Cliffs is often considered an overlooked gem. The hike is accessed via the Andy Layne Trail, which begins off of Catawba Road/Route 779. It’s a 7.7-mile round-trip with a 2000-foot elevation, so be sure to get a good night’s sleep before this taking on this hike. The cliffs themselves stand at 3000 feet and give you an unparalleled view of the sprawling Blue Ridge Mountains, including Catawba Mountain and McAfee Knob. Be sure to take a close look at these natural beauties as you go—they’re composed of limestone that dates back over 250 million years. - Backpacker.com
Amazing for a sunrise hike, McAfee Knob affords a 270-degree view of the Catawba Valley far below and has been called the most photographed spot along the Appalachian Trail. The trailhead for McAfee Knob is just four miles from Dragon’s Tooth on Route 311 and leads hikers to one of the most iconic and well-photographed points along the Appalachian Trail. The 4.4-mile trail winds up Catawba Mountain to an elevation of 3,197 feet, making it a rewarding but challenging 8.8-mile round trip. The knob itself, with its recognizable rock lip jutting out into the air, boasts expansive views of the Catawba Valley and the mountains that surround it. This broad rock slab is a popular spot to break for a picnic, so feel free to spend some time at the summit and enjoy the view. - Backpacker.com
PARKING AT TRAILHEADS
Schedule and plan your hikes responsibly. The Triple Crown features three of the most popular hikes in Virginia, which can lead to issues with overcrowding in the parking lots. Remember to park only in designated parking lots - cars parked along the side of the road and in undesignated areas will be towed.
Download this Triple Crown Trail PDF Map that was created by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club.
LEAVE NO TRACE
Please adhere to Leave No Trace principles to help ensure the Virginia Triple Crown remains an enjoyable hiking experience for locals and visitors for years to come.
Plan Ahead & Prepare
Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
Dispose of Waste Properly
Leave What You Find
Minimize Campfire Impacts
ADVENTURES THEN COCKTAILS
After time spent on the trails, return back to base camp and unwind! Dining is essential to making travel memorable and The Grand Old Lady has cultivated its restaurants to become an integral part of the unique Virginia Blue Ridge Experience.
Just What You'll Need!
At The Salt Foot Sanctuary, our foot soaks are mindfully prepared by our therapists upon your arrival. They are presented to you in a large hand-hammered copper bowl and are made with ancient natural minerals combined with wonderfully aromatic essential oils, and other nourishing ingredients, including a bit of Blue Ridge Mountain salt.
After a day on the trails, a foot soak is just the relaxation treatment you'll need and cherish to get back out there and conquer Virginia's Triple Crown! Learn more.