Priest Wilderness

The Priest Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area in the Glenwood/Pedlar Ranger District of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. The wilderness area is located just south of the Tye River, the Three Ridges Wilderness, and Virginia State Route 56. The wilderness consists of 5,726 acres (23.17 km2) and ranges in elevation from 1,000 feet (305 m) at the Tye River to 4,063 feet (1,238 m) at the summit of The Priest.

Priest Wilderness
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Location of Priest Wilderness in Virginia
LocationNelson, Virginia, United States
Coordinates37°49′04″N 79°04′13″W
Area5,726 acres (23.17 km2)[1]
Elevation3,400 ft (1,000 m)
OperatorGeorge Washington and Jefferson National Forests
WebsiteGeorge Washington and Jefferson National Forests – Priest Wilderness Area


The Appalachian Trail is the only major trail within the boundaries of this wilderness area. The AT here is maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club,[2] a trail maintenance club affiliated with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The AT southbound from Virginia State Route 56 to the summit of the Priest Mountain offers a 3,100 foot elevation gain over 4.3 miles. There is one Appalachian Trail shelter within the wilderness, the Priest Shelter, near the summit of The Priest.[3]

See also


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