The Challenge

Did you know there is an area right here in Southwest Virginia that sits head-and-shoulders above the rest? Grayson County and Smyth County have five summits exceeding 5,000 feet and we are challenging you to take The Hike! The Five over 5000 Challenge will be an adventure full of breath taking views, wild ponies and the bragging rights of hiking all five summits over 5000 feet. Complete the Challenge by hiking all five peaks and taking a picture at each summit to prove it! There are no time constraints on the Challenge, complete The Hike in a weekend, over the course of a month, or a year! Challengers who complete the Five over 5000 Challenge will receive stickers and a pin from the Chamber of Commerce office and will be added to our Wall of Fame. 

Mount Rogers | 5729'

At 5729 feet Mount Rogers is the highest natural point in Virginia The peak is the 19th highest state point in the United States and the 4th highest state point east of the Mississippi River.

Coordinates
36.6598°N, -81.5446°W

Whitetop Mnt | 5525'

At 5,525 feet, Whitetop Mountain is the 2nd highest independent mountain in Virginia. Located at the juncture of Grayson, Smyth and Washington Counties, it lies within the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area of the Jefferson National Forest.

Coordinates
36.6387°N, -81.6053°W

Pine Mtn/ Wilburn Ridge | 5525'

Located in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area of the Jefferson National Forest, is the 3rd highest mountain in Virginia at an elevation of 5,525 feet. Its peak is east of Mount Rogers and has excellent views of the surrounding region and Mount Rogers.

Coordinates
36.6570°N, -81.5212°W

Buzzard Rock | 5095'

At an elevation of 5,095 feet Buzzard Rock, located in Smyth County in the Whitetop Mountain area,
is the 4th tallest mountain in the state, and just a quick hike from Whitetop Mountains highest peak.

Coordinates
36.6351°N, -81.6165°W

Haw Orchard Mtn | 5007'

Located in Grayson County, Haw Orchard Mountain, with an elevation of 5,007 feet, is the 5th highest peak in Virginia. One of the lesser peaks of the Grayson Highlands that make up the area near Mount Rogers, the mountain is south of Pine Mountain and southeast of Mount Rogers.

Coordinates
36.6295°N, -81.5095°W

The Five over 5000 Challenge was featured in December 2023 – January 2024 edition of the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine! Check out the feature under the Peak Pursuits – The 2024 Bucket List. Click here to read the article.

Mary Beth Sheets
Jerry Sheets
Susan Guthrie
Andrew Livingston
Kile Kirk
Lynne Stroud
Steve Stroud
Mark Archibald
Sally Archibald
Hayley Gorham
Max Gorham
Cian Gorham (Dog)

Roger Peake
JoAnn Peake
Kennedy Williams
Bob Fuller
Sharon Posniak
Jesse Dalton
Antonina Marino
Hannah Reeves

Have you completed the Five over 5000 Challenge? Let us know! Click the link below to submit your Five over 5000 Challenge!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Five over 5000 Challenge?
The Five over 5000 Challenge is a unique hiking challenge featuring Virginia’s five highest peaks. Challenges will hike each peak in order to complete the Challenge. Make sure a take a picture of you at each summit to claim your completion prize!

What peaks are included in the Five over 5000 Challenge?
The Five over 5000 Challenge features Mount Rogers at 5729′ feet, Whitetop Mountain at 5525′ feet, Pine Mountain at 5525′ feet, Buzzard Rock at 5095′ feet, and Haw Orchard Mountain at 5007′ feet.

What trails do I take to complete the Five over 5000 Challenge?
The Five over 5000 Challenge can be completed in two loops, with the first loop encompassing Whitetop Mountain and Buzzard Rock, and the second loop including Mount Rogers, Haw Orchard Mountain, and Pine Mountain/Wilburn Ridge. Each summit is also accessible through independent trails. Although there are loops to complete the trails, they can also be completed individually, to lengthen the Challenge. To view a list of recommended trails, click here.

Are pets allowed while hiking the Five over 5000 Challenge?
Yes! Pets are allowed on the trails used by hikers to complete the Five over 5000 Challenge. However, all pets must remain on their leash, per trail guidelines.

What do I do once I have completed the Five over 5000 Challenge?
Once you have completed the Five over 5000 Challenge, you will need to let us know! To submit your completion, you can stop by the Chamber office (located in Chilhowie, Virginia), email us, or submit your completion using the link found under the Wall of Fame section. Please make sure to include your full mailing address if you need your completion items shipped.

What do I get for completing the Five over 5000 Challenge?
Challengers will receive free Five over 5000 stickers and completion pins. Challengers who successfully complete the Challenge will be featured on our social medias, website, and Five over 5000 Facebook group for their completion. Your name will also be featured on the Five over 5000 Wall of Fame!
Join the Five over 5000 Facebook group here.

Where should I stay while completing the Five over 5000 Challenge?
Smyth County has plenty of wonderful lodging options! For the high-scale, downtown experience, visit the General Francis Marion Hotel. The historic hotel is located in Downtown Marion and offers rooms ranging from king suites to traditional junior rooms. The Merry Inn, a hiker hostel, is also located in Downtown Marion, offering a more affordable option, without sacrificing comfort. Right outside of Marion is the Haven at Willow Springs and Iris’ Place, surrounded by pastureland and mountains. The Farmhouse Market, located in Sugar Grove, hosts two AirBnBs above the store, the Lucille and the Houston. Enjoy the country-side AirBnB, the Cottage at Lick Creek, offering beautiful views and a quite stay. Rich Valley boasts several quaint lodging options, including Old Rich Valley Farm, which offers a picturesque cabin, and the Mountain Farmhouse located at Spenceville Farms. Camping can be found at both Hungry Mother State Park and Grayson Highlands State Park, or for extremists, along the trails in designated locations.

Have additional questions? Let us know! Submit your questions here.

Five over 5000 Store

Photo Gallery