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 (Spy Rock Road-formerly known as Fish Hatchery Road)
Montebello is two miles E of Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 27.9) on VA 56. From the heart of downtown 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). You will arrive at a gated road. The AT intersection is one mile from the gate along Spy Rock Road.
The following is a copy-paste from the Appalachian Trail Conservancys Trail Updates:
The USDA Forest Service has closed the parking lot located behind the Montebello Fish Hatchery in Nelson County, and the associated trail that formerly provided access to Spy Rock.
The public can continue to access Spy Rock via an alternative route. Hikers should be aware that this alternative route is approximately 6.5 miles in length round-trip and has fewer trail blazes and other directional signage. All hikers should carry a map of this alternative route and be well-prepared for this longer distance hike.
Parking for this alternative route is located at the end of State Route 826 Meadows Lane. State Route 826 is maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation and is not suitable for some passenger vehicles. The road is recommended for travel only by higher clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles.
Directions to Spy Rock:
From State Route 56, take State Route 826 Meadows Lane for approximately 3.75 miles to its end point at the Crabtree Meadows parking area.
From the Crabtree Meadows parking area, hike back along State Route 826 for 0.5 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 596 Cash Hollow Road.
Hike along Forest Service Road 596 Cash Hollow Road for 0.5 miles to the intersection with the Appalachian Trail.
Turn right (south) on the Appalachian Trail and continue for 2.1 miles to the intersection with Spy Rock Trail, Forest Trail number 732.

Note No parking is allowed on or along Forest Service Road 596 (Cash Hollow Road).
For more information on Spy Rock, please contact the Glenwood and Pedlar Ranger District office at 540-291-2188. 05/20/21


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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