Section 18 - Spy Rock Road to Salt Log Gap (USFS 63) Displayed from North to South

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  Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club hammerhike @ Tye River at VA 56 to Black Horse Gap

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Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles  Map   &  
Spy Rock Road
   Poor           Great

GPS: 37.8419111,-79.1311578
Montebello is two miles E of Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 27.9) on VA 56. From the heart of downtow Montebello (general store and post office) go E on VA 56 1.2 miles to VA 690 and sign for state fish hatchery. Go right on VA 690 for 0.3 miles to Fish Hatchery. Road bears right and becomes dirt (it is single lane, so drive slowly). An AT parking lot is on the left in a few hundred feet.
Spy Rock Road (formerly known as Fish Hatchery Road) is gated across from the parking lot area. It is a very forbidding metal gate with signs that warn of no trespassing. Please understand that CURRENTLY foot travel IS allowed (see below for AT Conservancy wording and check their site for any updates). Some of the landowners along the road have attempted to block access and have posted signs. Others have fought this and currently the road is open to hikers. Simply walk around the gate on the pathway that is provided. Keep to the road and give vehicles the right of way. The road ascends steeply (about 700ft gain) for about a mile to the AT crossing. Southbound to Section 18 is right, northbound towards Spy Rock and Section 17 is left. GPS at AT crossing: N 37.8292, W 79.1288

AT Conservancy site wording: The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has been notified that questions have arisen regarding the right of access over a portion of the side trail to the A.T. near Spy Rock in Nelson County. This trail leads from a public parking area on Fish Hatchery Road to the A.T. at northbound mile 825.4. This hiking trail is co-located with a road which travels through private property until the road/trail crosses onto National Forest System lands.  Private landowners within the Spy Rock Subdivision have placed no trespassing signage along the road. Hikers wishing to use an alternate route to reach Spy Rock can use Crabtree Meadows Parking Area. 10/25/20


WardandDA @
Salt Log Gap (USFS 63)
   Poor           Great

GPS: 37.7799483,-79.1818461
Coming off the Blue Ridge Parkway through the town of Alto, all but the last 2.5 miles of the road was paved. The last 2.5 miles was gravel and was in decent shape. No problems accessing in our minivan and sedan.
FYI, when coming from Spy Rock parking, our GPS wanted to take us down gravel roads to get to Salt Log Gap. I suggest you aim to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway without taking any of the gravel roads until the said last 2.5 miles mentioned above. It only adds about 5 minutes of travel time. Once on the Blue Ridge Parkway, your GPS should take you along paved roads for the most part.
The AT crosses VA 634 right at this location. NOBO goes North towards Spy Rock and SOBO goes South towards Hog Camp Gap. While only about 6 cars can park where the GPS coordinates bring you to, I noticed, within view, that there were parked cars not far off directly in front of this location on Wiggins Spring Road. You will see an obviously vehicle trail that takes you to that location for additional parking. 10/25/20 6


WardandDA @

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Page last updated: 12/8/2020 4:37:05 PM