January 4


McAfee Knob Hike – [2024 Update] Unofficial Trail Guide

Written by Brian Bailey

January 4, 2021

McAfee Knob 



Distance in Miles


Elevation Gain in Feet


Hike Time in Hours


Iconic Picture Spots

Mcafee Knob Fire Road Yoanoke

McAfee Knob Hike - Unofficial Trail Guide

 Iconic       Popular        Nature  

McAfee Knob Hike Via Appalachian Trail is the most photographed section of the 2,190 stretch of the Appalachian Trail and is said to have an average of 100 people at a time on the trail during busy season (Source: Wikipedia). This portion of the Appalachian Trail is managed by the National Park Service.

McAfee Knob is about a 20 minute drive from downtown Roanoke Va which is also known for such outdoor attractions as the Blue Ridge Parkway and Carvins Cove.

Editor's Note: We try hard to be accurate in our reporting but please always use multiple references before driving to a trailhead as trail amenities and conditions can always change.

McAfee Knob Trailhead

McAfee Knob Best Picture Locations

McAfee Knob won't disappoint as the best picture spot on the hike.

Mcafee Knob Hike Yonoke

McAfee Knob Parking - Is Strict

McAfee Knob Parking is a small lot and tow trucks frequent the area. Please park within designated parking at all times I've personally witnessed several cars getting towed over the course of my visits. Link to more information at WSLS.

McAfee Knob Camping

While there is no camping allowed on McAfee Knob, there are several shelter areas both north and south of the knob on Appalachian Trail to choose from. It's important to note that on this section of the Appalachian Trail camping is permitted in designated areas only.

How Long Does it Take to Hike McAfee Knob?

About four hours. There's a couple factors this number will depend on such as if you were to take the Appalachian Trail or use the McAfee Knob fire road. 

McAfee Knob Fire Road

The McAfee Knob Fire road might be the heaviest-trekked of fire roads I've experienced in my hiking career. I can see alot of reasons for this as a hiker, for one it gives a loop feel to the trail giving more variety to the experience. The fire trail is a more even, steady going trail which fits a more casual trail experience.

McAfee Knob Channels

Located about 200 yards past McAfee Knob on the Appalachian Trail, you can't miss the formations if you're going north. The massive channel rocks tower over you as you walk between the walls. The rocks are broken off perfectly symmetrical, some slide a couple feet to the left or right.

Mcafee Knob Hike Yonoke

Photo: Mcafee Knob Channels from Below

You can follow the channels all the way back to the cliff overlooking Catawba Valley. This gives you a slightly different perspective of Catawba Valley than you'd see at the knob.

Mcafee Knob Hike Yonoke

McAfee Knob Channels From Above

You might also like: 20 Best Hikes Near Roanoke Va

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