Fairfax County High Point Trip Report

Date: December 20, 1997
Author: Fred Lobdell

There are three small 520-foot contours to be found on the Tysons Corner topographic map. The first of these says, "Radio Tower", which doesn't do justice to the large, fenced facility on this site. It is a military communications site, and signs warn passers-by against taking photographs.

The second site is just a few hundred feet southwest of the radio tower, inside a cloverleaf access ramp.

Gantt Hill, the third site, is located about 0.6 miles north-northwest of the radio tower. However, a large condominium complex has now been built on this site, and it appears that where there was once a hill there is now a depression inside the sidewalk of the condominium. Gantt Hill no longer exists. Progress!

Both the radio tower and the cloverleaf are at the intersection of Chain Bridge Road (VA 123), a 4-lane divided highway, and Leesburg Pike (VA 7), a 2-lane road. This point is about a half mile west of I-495, and about 2 miles north of I-66. Perhaps the best way to approach this is to exit I-495 onto westbound Leesburg Pike (VA 7) and take the latter for about a mile. Just past the intersection with Chain Bridge Rd. (VA 123) get off VA 7 at the first right turn and follow local streets to the radio tower. There is a small shopping area just northeast of the tower on VA 123; this is a good place to park.

Walk to the fence surrounding the tower. The ground inside doesn't seem much, if any, higher than the ground outside. The area is guarded by armed military personnel, so don't even think about trying to get inside the fence. Besides, the area inside the fence has probably been altered by the construction activities connected with the erection of the tower.

From the tower, walk southwest and cross the two ramps connecting VA 7 and VA 123. Climb the obvious hill inside the second ramp. However, personal observation suggests that the area around the radio tower is somewhat higher than the hill inside the cloverleaf.

Gantt Hill is not worth visiting, as the summit area no longer exists.