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Washington and Lee University

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House Mountain

To the Saddle and the Cliffs of Big House Mountain

Road Map to House Mountain


Take Nelson Street west past the W&L soccer fields (Nelson Street is also US 60) just over 2 miles.  After passing Kelly's Corner, turn left onto Route 641 (Jacktown Road) and drive for approximately 2.5 miles.  Then turn right onto Route 643 (Saddle Ridge Road) which terminates at thesmall  House Mountain parking area.  Do not block any of the driveways or mailboxes to the homes around this parking lot.  If parking is crowded please be aware of where you park and be considerate of the residents at this corner. Try to carpool on busy days.  After "End of State Maintenance" sign bear right and walk up "Trailhead Lane".

House Mountain Saddle

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Drive Time: 15 minutes
  • Hike Time: 1.5 hour
  • Distance: 1.5 miles
  • Views: Wooded
  • Elevation: 2,141' to 2'784'

Trail Description

From the small parking lot the House Mountain Trail follows an old jeep trail to the saddle of Little House Mountain and Big House Mountain.  Upon reaching the saddle there are several apple trees scattered about.  There is a shelter just a hundred feet up the trail toward Big House Mountain on your right and several fire rings for camping can be found around the saddle.  Be sure to bring your own water, because you won't find much up here, especially if it hasn't been raining. 

Saddle to the Cliffs of Big House Mountain

  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Hike Time: 45 minutes
  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Views: Wild
  • Elevation: 2,784' to 3,645'

Trail Description

The climb up to Big House Mountain is quite strenuous with few switchbacks.  At the top of Big House Mountain you have two options.  There is one trail that traverses the ridge to the cliffs.  You'll pass an old building on your left on your way to the cliffs, and then yo'll find the cliffs at the very northern end of the ridge.  The cliffs are on your right as the trail ends and offer great views. The cliffs are over 100 feet high, so great caution should be taken when approaching the edge.  The other trail near the top to the leftoffers outstanding views of Lexington to the South.  There is a trail to the summit of Little House Mountain, it is possible to climb to the summit where great views of Lexington can be found.