Virginia’s Five Highest Peaks

by Casey Higgins | Posted: Oct 20, 2014 | Updated: Feb 18, 2020

Comments: 6 Comments

Mount Rogers

Perfect peaks for photography, proposals, or maybe picnics! Whatever your purpose for a perfect peak, these are those. Set out on an adventure during any season and be rewarded with panoramic, breathtaking views.

Elevations Exceeding 5,000 Feet

There’s an area in Virginia that sits head-and-shoulders above the rest when it comes to peaks. Grayson and Smyth Counties in southwest Virginia have five summits exceeding 5,000 feet.


Mount Rogers – 5,729 feet
36.660ºN  -81.545ºW

Mount Rogers

  • 200,000 acres
  • Four wilderness areas; two national forests
  • 500 miles of trails that include the Appalachian Trail, the Virginia Creeper Trail and Virginia Highland Horse Trail
  • Virginia’s highest road; leads to the summit of Whitetop Mountain
  • Campgrounds available


Whitetop Mountain – 5,525 feet
36.639ºN  -81.605ºW

Whitetop Mountain

Whitetop is the beginning (or the end) of the Virginia Creeper Trail, a 35-mile rail-to-trail with points in Abingdon and Damascus as well. It’s also part of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.

National Geographic Map


Pine Mountain / Wilburn Ridge – 5,525 feet
36.657ºN  -81.521ºW

Pine Mountain

Wilburn Ridge is the highest peak on Pine Mountain and is part of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. The best access point is through Grayson Highlands State Park at Massie Gap.

Hiking Upward Trail Map
Grayson Highlands State Park Trail Map

Click to Enlarge. View from Buzzard Rock, courtesy Eric Thiessen,

Click to Enlarge. View from Buzzard Rock, courtesy Eric Thiessen,


Buzzard Rock – 5,095 feet
36.635ºN  -81.617ºW

Buzzard Rock is a summit of Whitetop Mountain. Indeed, the two can be experienced in the same trip. The distance between them is just shy of seven miles.


Haw Orchard Mountain – 5,007 feet
36.630ºN  -81.510ºW

Haw Orchard Mountain is within Grayson Highlands State Park. Access the trailhead at Massie Gap. Overview

See Virginia’s other mountain destinations at



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Avatar Pauline Brin says:

Where is the photo taken on the main page – at the lake? Thanks!

Avatar Tom Kirk says:

That’s Peaks of Otter in Bedford, Virginia. You can find out more here:

Avatar Rashad Lamonte Mattox XIV says:

It would be interesting to see some of the highest outside of that immediate geographic area. Highland County, for instance; or Nelson County – would love to see the high points along the way from Lee County to Winchester.

Yes….I am biased. I grew up in the area, moved away….but I always come back for the peace and beauty. Whitetop is easily accessible via a dirt road. This road is maintained very well, but be warned, there are a few rough patches. Once out of the tree line, you are rewarded with wonderful vistas and colors.

The Appalachian Trail crosses the mountain and I recommend waking to “Buzzard Rock” which is down the slope. A huge rock outcropping with great views and bouldering opportunities.

Although this review is more my most recent visit in December, I recommend ANY time of year of for a visit.