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.
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.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
(No official title, designates Virginia wildernesses) - Public law 106-471 (11/9/2000) To designate certain National Forest System lands within the boundaries of the State of Virginia as wilderness areas