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We started this hike under a light drizzle. Not a problem as there is plenty of tree cover. It starts out straight uphill over roots, rocks and stairs. Gradual incline up to the fire trail and then straight up. Cannot comment on the view at all as Mother Nature opened the flood gates at the precise moment that we reached the peak. Our view consisted of a big fluffy cloud that blocked out everything. Nothing but fast moving water back to the fire trail. In the end the rain did not bother us and we met some great people on the trail. This one, although not the trail for a novice, will go in the record books for me.

hiked this trail last new years and it even snowed. loved the views from up there, a must hike

i enjoyed the view!

This is a great hike. My partner and I have done it twice. Once in the winter and once in the late summer. My goal is to do this during the fall to see the leaves! The dog loves this place! Through hikers are always so pleasent... WATCH OUT FOR THE SNAKES!

worth every step

beautiful hike. glad we dove the extra 2 hours to get there. one of the best views on the AT.

Challenging in spots with an amazing view for a payoff. Can get a bit crowded at the top.

Did this with my daughter on my back. She weighs 34 lbs so it was a little more difficult. the trail is rocky at times. very steady incline untill you cross the fire road towards the end. this is where the trail begins to be more of an incline. i believe this is where most of the challenge is. the air gets thinner a little bit. the scenery at this point is amazing. once you get to the top there are multiple ledges to grab a great view from. on the way back if you take the fire road it is much simpler and easy. very wide path and still some great scenery. not to crowded if you hit it in the early am.

Very confusing

Nice trail, well maintained, and nice views at the top. It was a bit crowded with multi-day hikers, experienced Day hikers, and tourists who don’t hike regularly. I was a little disappointed with the “iconic” aspect of this view — for me it didn’t quite live up to the hype.

trail running
17 days ago

Get spot right off the interstate for a quick run. Be sure to include the paved woods trail. That plus the lake portion is almost 3 miles.

I have hiked the trail numerous times, there is more to Mcafee's knob than the ledge. Hell's kitchen is fun to wonder around, and if you follow through hell's kitchen to the power line, there is a pointed rock that is fun to climb at the power line clearing. I spent more time away from the overhang and enjoy what's around the whole area.

horseback riding
23 days ago

Great for riding horses. Great short day trail!

I agree with the moderate designation. There were a good amount of inclines towards the end which could be challenging for those not physically fit. There were some beautiful views, a lot of it was wooded, and a few streams. We never came across the wading pool that’s mentioned in some of the other reviews. I don’t know if it was due to low water levels or if it just doesn’t exist. All in all a great hike. Would recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Well maintained trail. Swimming hole is pretty. But otherwise it's a pretty uneventful hike.

Excellent hike! I was initially intimidated but pleasantly surprised with the level of ease I was able to do this. Straight up, straight down. The weather was lovely (low 80s) and all of the other hikers were very friendly. The overlook is completely worth the hike.

I loved this hike! The southern portion of this trail is probably the most taxing- I had the most water breaks here as the grade gets a little steep. Overall there were some amazing views and a great swimming hole I want to enjoy when I’m better prepared next time! Didn’t see any bears but there were some fresh Poo-berries all up and down the trail, so I know they are around!

Heavily traveled, iconic photo spot. Parking can be difficult. If you want an easier option, hike up the trail and down the fire road. I have done this on sunset hikes.

Quiet. Peaceful. You can fish, camp, walk the trails or relax and enjoy the picnic area.

We got out by 7am to beat the crowd. Great hike but kinda did it in reverse taking the fire trail up and came back all the way on the AT. The view is worth the hike which I rate as moderate, not hard. Amazing view!

It was awesome view up there. trail was not that hard. you can finish in around 4 hours if you are doing hiking once in a month or 2.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Lovely hike with lots of variety. Deep, dark, and cool forest glenns with magnificent ferns. Hillsides full of native rhododendron, azaleas, and mountain laurel (I’d love to take this walk in June). Hot, sunny passages through sandy terrain where blueberries were ripening along the path. Stands of pine trees with needle-covered paths (so comfortable for walking). Stream crossings, a swimming hole, and several spectacular views. It wasn’t terribly busy on a beautiful July day. There were some strenuous sections—we took the Wildcat Ridge trail uphill at the end to our car, which we parked in the lot at mile marker 92, and I was pretty tired. There’s also a fair amount of uneven, rocky trail that requires careful attention.

hiking
1 month ago

Started at Riprap trailhead and went clockwise because I like hitting all the good spots near the end of the hike. It was good to get the AT section out of the way first.
Riprap completely lived up to my expectations. Absolutely loved this hike, and I’m already thinking about when to go again. Perfect distance, hearty elevation change that isn’t draining, refreshing water (bring a bathing suit!!), and gorgeous views. I can’t recommend this trail enough!

Absolutely breathtaking

hiking
1 month ago

Very boring not much too see.

Nice little hike with my brothers during a family reunion in Salem in June 2015. Great weather and view in addition to a little geocaching.

hiking
1 month ago

Riprap loop, with a bit of it done twice thanks to a brief thunderstorm that had me retreating from the ridge line to backtrack and start again going clockwise. Great hike, and requires far less time than stated here (and certainly less than the 8.25hrs the Park Service clocks it at). If it hadn’t been for the extra three miles, I could’ve come in right around the 3hr mark.

Incredible view at the top. Parking lot fills up quickly. Make sure to bring water, theres not any along the trail.

Fantastic hike and awesome view! Quite heavily trafficked (crowded) on a Friday. Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club member staffed the parking lot with trail info and water.

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