Trail Review: Upper Hawksbill Trail, Shenandoah National Park

Upper Hawksbill Trail Shenandoah Skyline Drive

I like to do things that normal people don't like to do. For example, a few months ago I roped one of my best friends into waking up at 4:30 AM and driving two hours to Shenandoah National Park to see the sunrise from the Upper Hawksbill Peak during the work week. Thankfully, I have friends who will join me for the ride and this particular adventure was well worth the early morning wake-up call. Here's my review of the Upper Hawksbill peak in Shenandoah.

The Upper Hawksbill Trail is one of those perfect "I only have a little bit of time but want an awesome view" trails. It's 2.1 miles round-trip with a 520-foot elevation gain, and it's pretty easy because most people could conquer this hike. I will note that there is one steep-ish section that may take less-fit people a little more time, but I promise it's worth it!

The top of the Hawksbill Peak is the tallest point in Shenandoah National Park, which means the view from the top is ahhhh-mazing. It's best to go early in the morning (before 8 AM) because this hike is very popular and attracts lots of crowds. During our hike, we took coffee and breakfast to enjoy with our sunrise. Check out some of my photos below!

Hey, that's me in front of the trail sign bundled in a ton of layers because it was so cold!

Hey, that's me in front of the trail sign bundled in a ton of layers because it was so cold!

Fall trail scene right as the sun was rising

Fall trail scene right as the sun was rising

The breathtaking view from the top of Hawksbill, facing West.

The breathtaking view from the top of Hawksbill, facing West.

The view from the top of Hawksbill at sunrise, facing East.

The view from the top of Hawksbill at sunrise, facing East.

The bottom line? Do this hike if you go to Shenandoah National Park, especially if you can go at sunrise because it's one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen.