I plan to be in Washington DC mid August and would like any recommendations on summits that are within easy reach.
Have you used the “range” feature on www.sotamaps.org? There are 10 summits within 50miles of Washinton DC, 4 of which have not yet been activated.
The best summits in vicinity of Washington DC are in the Shenandoah Range, W4V/SH-xxx. They are 90-120 minutes from DC, depending on where exactly you’re starting from. Most of them are short hikes off of Skyline Drive.
You will have to get a pass from the visitors center for Shenandoah National Park for access.
Some of the peaks can be busy with park visitors, particularly on weekends and holidays.
I will second N0PCL’s recommendation. While there are a number of peaks within 50 miles of DC, your best option in terms of points, convenience, and scenery are those numbered W4V/SH-XXX along Skyline Drive. Hogback Mountain, W4V/SH-007, was recommended to me as the best option for a single-peak activation, and it worked out great.
Keep in mind that DC and its environs are extremely hot and muggy in mid-August, and you might want to provide a buffer for fast-passing afternoon thunderstorms, which are common that time of year. Also plan to pack bug spray…
Thanks Andy / Nate / Clayton.
The range feature is great, hadn’t come across it before and the local knowledge is a great help. I will probably choose a weekday to avoid any crowds on the summits.
The mapping site has a huge number of interesting and useful features. I tend to use it simply to visualise a whole region or regions of summits and forget there are so many other features. It’s well worth exploring as Rob does lots of tweaks and updates to the site.