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Virginia Triple Crown

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

The Virginia Triple Crown is some of the best hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains. You must conquer Dragon's Tooth, McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs to be awarded the Triple Crown. You can do the 32 mile loop or do the three hikes all separately. I chose the latter option. All three are easy to find, especially if you have the All Trails app. Mc Afee Knob had the least amount of parking, I suggest you go early. Bring plenty of water and snacks, especially for Tinker Cliffs.

I started with Tinker Cliffs. This hike wiped me out. I did it early in the season and hadn't really built up my endurance yet. It's about 8 miles and I felt the first 4 was all uphill. It wasn't but I struggled. I took frequent breaks, and the good thing was I didn't have to worry about what other hikers thought because they were few and far between. The trail was basically empty. I drank a lot of water on this hike. I usually fill my camel back with water but don't drink much of it. Not that day, it was almost all gone. I was surprised at how much water I went through. The views at the end were so worth it but my legs were not happy! I actually laid down on the rock when I got to the top for a little while. That's not like me. If I would do this again as part of repeating the Triple Crown this hike would be last.

Dragon's Tooth

This was a shorter hike and not so uphill but there were rock scrambles and a lot more people. The rock scrambles were fun. I enjoyed this hike more because I didn't find is as physically taxing. I was thrilled when I saw the Lady Slipper flower in the middle picture below. These are hard to find and it reminded me of my home growing up. There were a lot of them in the woods behind my house. I haven't seen one in years! This hike also had quite a few Appalachian Trail through hikers. If you don't know what a through hiker is it's a hiker that starts at one end of the trail and hikes through the whole trail at once or section hikes. If you meet any of them ask what their trail name is (a nick name on the trail) and not their real name so you sound like you know what you're talking about!

Mc Afee Knob

This was the third leg of the Triple Crown! I think this one was my favorite of the three. The trail wove through some beautiful forest. There was an area with very large rocks. I didn't feel it was too difficult. It was enjoyable. There were less people on this trail than the Dragon's Tooth but definitely more than Tinker Cliffs.

That's me in the first picture! Finishing all three hikes at 58 years old was quite an accomplishment. I don't think I know anyone else who has done this!

Have you done the Virginia Triple Crown? Share your experience below in the comments!

What I'm drinking today:

Today I'm drinking Kickass from Kicking Horse Coffee because I did a kickass job hiking these three trails! It's a bold coffee, just like I had to be bold to hike these three trails by myself! Order a pound and kick some ass today!

You can find it here on Amazon. (This is an affiliate link. I'll earn a small commission but it won't cost you any extra.)


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