Standard (Tent/RV)
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
About Spruce Knob and Spruce Knob Observation Tower

At 4,863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob is West Virginia's highest peak. From this rugged alpine peak, you can view grassy openings and pastures or look down on forested ridges as far as the eye can see. The vegetation here has adapted to a harsh environment. One-sided red spruce deformed by constant exposure to strong westerly winds cling to the high rocky ridges. Blueberry and huckleberry plants hug the ground. Spruce Knob Tower - A stone and steel observation tower sits atop the Knob, providing visitors with a vantage point from which to enjoy a 360 degree view. The half-mile Whispering Spruce Trail circles the knob and provides panoramic views. Interpretive signs along the gentle, graveled trail describe the high country vegetation, geology and animal life. Vault toilets, picnic tables, grills and vehicle parking complete the facilities available at the tower.

USDA Forest Service
Drive In
Walk In
Hike In
Boat In
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Picnic Table
Trash Available
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Spruce Knob and Spruce Knob Observation Tower is located in West Virginia
38.7072 N
-79.5894 W
Get Directions
From the north: Take Whitmer Road (CO-29) south from US-33 (one mile west of Harman) to Whitmer for 8.3 miles. From Whitmer continue south on Whitmer Road for 10.3 miles and turn left on Forest Road 1 for 2.5 miles to the campground and lake. From the south: Turn left onto Forest Road 112 for approximately 11 miles to the lake. From the east: Take Briery Gap Road (CO-33/4 at Gateway General Store) 2 miles south of Riverton off US-33 for 2.5 miles to Forest Road 112 and follow the signs to Spruce Knob. Click here for map.
6 Reviews of Spruce Knob and Spruce Knob Observation Tower
Peak Bagging Coolness!

Spruce Knob is West Virginia's highest peak and on a clear day offers breathtaking 360 degree views from the Observation Tower.

Because of the thick conifer growth, long mountain views don't occur till nearly to the top and that only along the western roadway…but once you climb the observation tower…(as mentioned, on a clear day) you are rewarded with wonderful views of WV and VA mountains.  Watching storm clouds or simple clouds roll in and envelope the Knob offers a wonderful experience.

I've taken the opportunity to camp on Spruce Knob on several occasions, once to the NE of the parking lot just into the pines, once a couple hundred yards down the Seneca Backcountry trail to the right and once directly south of the Tower in the pines.  Each offered a differ experience.  There is no cost, which is a huge plus!

In the pines, just below the summit, it is eerily quiet and muffled.  I've never seen another camper when I've stayed, so the solitude is glorious.

If you want shelter and a picnic table for cooking/eating…they are available, but only along the parking lot.  Pit latrines are nearly on the summit in the parking lot near the trailhead for the Observation Tower.  So practice leave no trace when camping and hiking!! No water, so bring enough with you. There are waste receptacles but be wise and take trash with you. 

There are two levels to the concrete Observation Tower…and best views are from the upper level. I've often though about cowboy camping on the second level after the last sightseer has left for the night, but haven't seen, heard or read if its forbidden or permitted…so I haven't…yet.

Obviously, on a clear night, star gazing is incredible as there no ambient light. It is much cooler at this elevation, even in the summer…and the winds on the summit cut through like a knife. 

Note: utilize good camping practices and set camp on a previous location where there is an established fire ring. Again, use caution with campfires because of the wind.

If you desire a more established campground, Spruce Knob Lake Campground is not too far away…down the mountain.

Spruce Knob summit camping is a family highlight!

Breathtaking and Beautiful

Beautiful primative camping,very clean toilets

Backcountry camping in Spruce Knob - Seneca Rock National Rec Area

Awesome views from mountain meadows of the Spruce Knob - Seneca Rock National Recreation Area. Trails at this time of the year are in need of repair (downed trees, missing trail markers) and full of mud, rocks, and roots on sharp/steep descents without switchbacks. Map programs such as AllTrails not accurate at all for the actual trail distances. However, the camping down at the creek was spectacular with plenty of trees to hammock hang from, abundant water, and breathtaking waterfalls. If you plan on starting at the summit of Spruce Knob, make sure your legs are ready for a good burn and your toes are ready to be jammed in the front of your shoes for 9 miles. There is also the wreckage of a small plane crash along the trail, which is very sobering and solemn.

Perfect in All Seasons

Spruce Knob is the highest point in West Virginia and offers great views. You can drive all the way up to the summit and hike around the small loop trail that leads to the observation tower and then to a small wooden look-out on the far side of the loop. The trail is only a ½ mile and well worth the drive. There is a picnic shelter that has picnic tables, no running water, but there is a pit toilet.

We camped off the Huckleberry Trail, which has lots of camping spots off the trail. The forest is silent and beautiful, looks like it belongs out west in the PNW. The moss-covered ground and rocks make it the perfect oasis for a weekend trip. You can even backpack the trail as it leads down the mountain. This is a must see any time of the year!

Rustic and beautiful

This is getting back to nature! I love it here! Campsites are rustic and not on top of each other. It gets darker than dark and the stars go on forever….

First to Review
Peaceful, secluded and rustic

Quiet, secluded. Campground has drinking water and accessible vault toilets (spotless). No electric hook-ups. Sites are clean. Grounds are well-maintained.

Campground is less than 1 mile from Spruce Knob Lake. Lake has boat ramp for small boats and kayaks and a pier for fishing.

Several mile drive to highest point and observation deck - part paved, mostly gravel road. Beautiful trails surrounding that area.

2 access roads to Spruce Knob. Road from Rt. 33 near Harman will be gravel and windy after the first few miles. The other (better) choice is from Rt.33/28 between Seneca Rocks and Circleville. This road to Spruce Knob is paced -although steep and windy.