Priest Wilderness

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Priest Wilderness
Part of George Washington National Forest
Wilderness Area
Country United States
State Virginia
County Nelson
Elevation 3,400 ft (1,036.3 m)
Coordinates 37°49′04″N 79°04′13″W / 37.81778°N 79.07028°W / 37.81778; -79.07028Coordinates: 37°49′04″N 79°04′13″W / 37.81778°N 79.07028°W / 37.81778; -79.07028
Highest point Summit of The Priest
 - elevation 4,063 ft (1,238.4 m)
Lowest point
 - location Northern Boundary at State Route 56.
 - elevation 1,300 ft (396.2 m)
Area 5,726 acres (2,317.2 ha) [1]
Established 2000
Management George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
Owner USDA Forest Service
IUCN category Ib - Wilderness Area
Nearest city Massies Mill, Virginia
Location of Priest Wilderness in Virginia
Website: George Washington and Jefferson National Forests – Priest Wilderness Area

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.


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]

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