Elliott Knob

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Elliott Knob
Elliott Knob SE.JPG
Elliott Knob (summit on right)
Highest point
Elevation 4,463 ft (1,360 m) [1]
Prominence 2,423 ft (739 m) [1]
Coordinates 38°09′59″N79°18′52″W / 38.16639°N 79.31444°W / 38.16639; -79.31444 Coordinates: 38°09′59″N79°18′52″W / 38.16639°N 79.31444°W / 38.16639; -79.31444 [2]
USA Virginia location map.svg
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Elliott Knob
Location in Virginia
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Elliott Knob
Location in the United States
Location Augusta County, Virginia, U.S.
Parent range Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians
Shenandoah Mountain
Topo map USGS Elliott Knob
First ascent Prehistoric
Easiest route Hike

Elliott Knob is one of the highest mountains in the northern portions of the U.S. state of Virginia. At 4,463 ft (1,360 m), the peak is located on the ridge known as Great North Mountain. [3] A subpeak known simply as "Hogback" (4,447 ft (1,355 m)) is located .50 mi (0.80 km) to the southwest. A small, naturally growing stand of red spruce trees is on the summit, and the upper slopes also have yellow birch and sugar maple, indicating that the altitude is just high enough to support tree species normally found hundreds of miles to the north. Otherwise oak and hickory trees are the most common types found on the mountain. The mountain is entirely within George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

Mountain A large landform that rises fairly steeply above the surrounding land over a limited area

A mountain is a large landform that rises above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak. A mountain is generally steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism. These forces can locally raise the surface of the earth. Mountains erode slowly through the action of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers. A few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in huge mountain ranges.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders.

Virginia State in the United States

Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million.


The area around the mountain is inhabited by a wide array of fauna including black bears, white-tailed deer and the elusive bobcat.

Fauna set of animal species in any particular region and time

Fauna is all of the animal life present in a particular region or time. The corresponding term for plants is flora. Flora, fauna and other forms of life such as fungi are collectively referred to as biota. Zoologists and paleontologists use fauna to refer to a typical collection of animals found in a specific time or place, e.g. the "Sonoran Desert fauna" or the "Burgess Shale fauna". Paleontologists sometimes refer to a sequence of faunal stages, which is a series of rocks all containing similar fossils. The study of animals of a particular region is called faunistics.

American black bear species of bear

The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most widely distributed bear species. American black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food. Sometimes they become attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food. The American black bear is the world's most common bear species.

White-tailed deer species of mammal

The white-tailed deer, also known as the whitetail or Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer native to North America, Central America, Ecuador, and South America as far south as Peru and Bolivia. It has also been introduced to New Zealand, Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, the Bahamas, the Lesser Antilles, and some countries in Europe, such as the Czech Republic, Finland, Romania, Serbia, Germany, France. In the Americas, it is the most widely distributed wild ungulate.

View looking west from the summit of Elliott Knob Elliott Knob Augusta County Virginia USA.jpg
View looking west from the summit of Elliott Knob

A primitive jeep trail ascends the mountain from the east but it is also closed to public vehicles. The jeep trail is used by the Forest Service to gain access to a (closed) fire lookout on the summit and is very steep, rising over 2,000 ft (610 m) in less than 2.5 mi (4.0 km). Just 4 mi (6.4 km) to the south of the mountain lies the town of Augusta Springs, Virginia, which is 2,800 ft (850 m) below the summit. The only access for the public is on foot and along with the jeep trail, several other trails can be used to ascend to the top, each averaging 5 mi (8.0 km) in length and climbing up to 2,400 ft (730 m) from the trailheads. A small grassy cove is on the top and there is a spring .40 mi (0.64 km) below the summit which flows year round as well as a small man made pond not far from the spring.

Trail Path with a rough beaten or dirt/stone surface used for travel

A trail is usually a path, track or unpaved lane or road. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland path or footpath is the preferred term for a walking trail. The term is also applied, in North America, to routes along rivers, and sometimes to highways. In the US, the term was historically used for a route into or through wild territory used by emigrants. In the USA "trace" is a synonym for trail, as in Natchez Trace. Some trails are single use and can only be used for walking, cycling, horse riding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing; others, as in the case of a bridleway in the UK, are multi-use, and can be used by walkers, cyclists and equestrians. There are also unpaved trails used by dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles and in some places, like the Alps, trails are used for moving cattle and other livestock.

United States Forest Service Federal forest and grassland administrators

The United States Forest Service (USFS) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass 193 million acres (780,000 km2). Major divisions of the agency include the National Forest System, State and Private Forestry, Business Operations, and the Research and Development branch. Managing approximately 25% of federal lands, it is the only major national land agency that is outside the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Fire lookout

A fire lookout is a person assigned the duty to look for fire from atop a building known as a fire lookout tower. These towers are used in remote areas, normally on mountain tops with high elevation and a good view of the surrounding terrain, to spot smoke caused by a wildfire.

Right beside the base of the fire tower there is a National Geodetic Survey triangulation station disk. The entire firetower structure is enclosed within a fence with barbed wire at the top. However, there is evidence of people gaining entry in the form of holes under the fence and loose sections where the fence can be pulled up high enough for a person to crawl under, since the ground is only covered with grass in that area of the summit.

Benchmark (surveying) point with known height used in surveying when levelling

The term benchmark, or bench mark, originates from the chiseled horizontal marks that surveyors made in stone structures, into which an angle-iron could be placed to form a "bench" for a leveling rod, thus ensuring that a leveling rod could be accurately repositioned in the same place in the future. These marks were usually indicated with a chiseled arrow below the horizontal line.


Elliott Knob is a popular day hike of 14 mi (23 km) for Boy Scouts who attend Camp Shenandoah. The route for the Grindstone 100 Miler ultramarathon includes the summit of Elliot Knob.

Grindstone 100 miler is an annual 100 mile long ultramarathon that takes place on trails in Virginia's Allegheny Mountains, usually the first weekend of October. The race starts at Camp Shenandoah, a local camp of the Boy Scouts of America. Beginning at Camp Shenandoah, this out-n-back course ascends and descends Little North Mountain before climbing over 2400 ft (740m) in 4 miles (6.4km) to the summit of Elliott Knob. The course then proceeds north following the ridgeline of the Great North Mountain range, crossing over to and following the Wild Oak Trail before continuing north to the summit of Reddish Knob. Runners continue north to Briery Branch Gap before retracing their steps back along the course to Camp Shenandoah. Runners climb a cumulative total of 23,200 feet (7,140m) and descend a total of 23,200 feet (7,140m) on mountain trails before reaching the finish.

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  1. 1 2 "Elliott Knob, Virginia,". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  2. "Elliott Knob". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  3. Elliott Knob, VA (Map). TopoQwest (United States Geological Survey Maps). Retrieved June 12, 2013.