SOTA W4V/SH-016: Compton Peak

Back to Shenandoah National Park for this 6 point peak that lies alongside the Appalachian Trail. I entered the park from the Front Royal entrance to the north and drove down to the Compton Gap parking lot at 38.823907N, 78.170463W. On the same day, I activated W4V/SH-009 North Marshall and W4V/SH-007, Hogback Mountain, and the three made a nice day-long package, with decreasing effort from first to last.

From the parking lot, it’s a matter of walking across Skyline Drive and picking up the AT southward. The rise is only about 150m to the summit, but maybe because it was the first peak of the day and we needed to warm up, it seemed like more of a climb. There is a side trail that goes to the peak, although relatively flat activation zone extends to the trail prior to that branch point.

The only trick to keep in mind is that the AT trail is almost directly across the road from the parking area. Looking at the map, I had thought it was some distance further south alongside the trail, but some natural steps at the bottom of the trail can be seen right from the parking lot.

View from the parking lot towards Skyline Drive. The stairs are seen across the road from the left corner.

There is a sign and map in the parking lot, near the start of the trail heading in the wrong direction. One feature it mentions is the basaltic green rock (olivine) that you will come across frequently on the hike up to the peak. There are also some good boulders for casual climbing along the way.

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