Montebello Fish Hatchery to VA-56

9.5 miles, moderate terrain
65 miles from Daleville + 5.5-mile shuttle, $7 carpool fee

Take the I-81 Exit 202/Raphine-Steeles Tavern and head east on VA-606 for 1.5 miles to US-11. Turn left onto US-11 and an immediate right onto VA-56.

A 9.1 mile drive on this narrow, twisting road will bring you across the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains and to VA-690 and the Montebello Fish Hatchery sign.

Continue approximately 5.5 more miles and leave the shuttle cars at the AT trailhead. Then return to the Montebello Fish hatchery on VA-690 to start the hike.

The hike starts with a steady climb up an old fire road. At 1.0 miles it intersects the AT. The hike will then head north on the AT. After a half mile we will reach Spy Rock. Spy Rock is a granite dome with great, 360 degree, views of the Priest Mountain and other surrounding mountains. It requires some rock scrambling to get to the top. The hike will continue on the AT, passing the Priest Mountain shelter, before starting a 3,000 foot descent to route VA-56. There are outstanding views from the summit of Priest Mountain. Because this hike is through a designated wilderness area it will be limited to 10 hikers.