sw virginia hikes: Big and Little House Mountains, April 2 2016



  • Big and Little House Mountain
  • type: in and out
  • distance: 9.4 miles
  • elevation change: 3329 ft
  • time: 4.5 hours
  • location: near Lexington, VA
  • There are 2 possible overviews on this hike, Little House Mountain and Big House Mountain. If you are looking for a shorter hike, you can do only one of the peaks.


We were trying to time this hike in the spring for the wild flowers that bloom in the area. Unfortunately while the flowers were full bloom in the valleys, they were only starting to bud as we gained elevation. Our friends Brittany and Will joined us for this sunny and windy day.

The parking area is about .5 miles from the actual trailhead and there isn’t a lot of room.


From the car, it’s a steady up all the way up to the saddle on a wide trail. At the saddle, there is plenty of room to camp including a shelter. This is where the trail splits to go up to Little House Mountain or Big House Mountain. There is an additional trail that heads down from the saddle to the north.


The Little House Trail has recently been worked on and it is a trail that switches back until you the top. There are some nice views along the way. Once at the top, you transverse the top with a little scrambling around some rocks.


There is a little downhill until you reach the vista toward the east. Retrace your steps back to the saddle afterwards.


The Big House Trail is wide fire road, but a constant uphill that’s a bit steeper than both the Little House Trail and the Trail leading up to the saddle. After about a mile, you reach a split in the trail. Take the left trail (not the fire road that curve right). There is apparently a goat here that will visit with hikers, but we didn’t see her this day. Once you reach the ridge, you are at the little goat overlook with a view to the west (picture at the top of the page). Here at the ridge you there is space for a few camp spots and a fire ring. Continue along the ridge until you reach a cool table rock.


It’s then downhills the entire way back to the car. This would be a nice trail running route as the trail is wide and not a lot of large rocks.


ratings (1-5)

  • views: 2. This is a very typical hike in SW Virginia with nice valley vistas at the top.
  • difficulty: 2.5 The trail is pretty much straight up and down, but not very steep. The hardest part was from the saddle up Big House Mountain. If you were to only do one of mountain, I’d say the rating would be 2.
  • technical: 1. Well marked trail.


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  1. I love both of those hikes! I have camped at the shelter in the saddle twice, there is also a pit toilet and spring of water there. The goat ended up being pretty obnoxious and trying to steal our food, so watch out for that. We found a geocache by the West overlook on big house mountain. These are two of my favorite hikes in the area, good job on the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Keith. I can imagine that the goat’s pretty fearless in regards to people’s food since everyone probably feed it. Good tip for those that camp at the saddle.

      I didn’t explore much at the top of Big House, but it looked like there could be some bouldering possibilities around there.


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