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Priest Wilderness

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The United States Congress designated the Priest Wilderness (map) in 2000 and it now has a total of 5,994 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Virginia and is managed by the Forest Service.


Priest Wilderness is generally very steep and rugged, consisting of undulating ridges with deep V-shaped hollows. Elevations range from 1000 feet at the Tye River to 4000 feet at the summit of the Priest. Large rock outcrops are common, and there is spectacular scenery.

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T., FT #1) runs through this very rugged terrain for about 5.7 miles. Trail information is available on National Geographic-Trails Illustrated Map #789 (Lexington-Blue Ridge Mts).

Priest Wilderness is located east of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Nelson County, in west central Virginia. The "Priest" is managed by the U.S. Forest Service as a part of the Glenwood-Pedlar Ranger Districts of the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests.

Planning to Visit the Priest Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Priest Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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