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This hike is fantastic - some of the best views I’ve ever seen. The trail is long, but not too difficult in terms of being steep. I found the incline to be gradual. The trail is very doable. Slow and steady wins the race with this one!

It is not the hardest hike, but it is a classic hike with an epic photogenic rock and view. The hike works any time of day as the view is northerly so the sun never gets in the way of your shots. Although it is not that difficult of a hike, when the weather is warm it pays to bring extra water. Parking is plentiful, so no rush to get there early.

I often prefer hikes with more views, but the gorge rock scramble makes this hike worth it. You are along the creek/river on the way up and it makes the climb a blast. Doing the entire loop makes it closer to 8 or 9 miles. The fire road on the way down is a bit boring, but in the summer when there is a lot of green, early on the fire road is the single best location for a view over the valley, plus the fire road leads to a great old cemetery that adds historical context. Parking was not too bad, even showing up around 0900 midsummer. Strongly recommend doing the route counterclockwise.

Great hike! The loop is not quite as loop-like as I was hoping. But the overlook is beautiful! Would do again!

Not very impressed with this hike. For starters, it was VERY crowded on the trail. That’s never particularly fun and takes away from the outdoor experience. Second there wasn’t much to see on the almost 3 mile hike there (and back for that matter) and thirdly, I wasn’t wowed by the viewpoint. There are many better views if your willing to drive an extra 30 minutes. All in all, I doubt i will return.

Great Saturday morning hike. I wouldn’t call the loop a hard hike, maybe a medium hike.

I did this trail at the beginning of March before the leaves came out. It made the views better all the way along the trail.

Nice scenic walk. Lots of people on nice weekend days...

Great trail! Went out on St. Patrick’s day for an overnight trip. Saw a good amount of people. Great hike to get some elevation without super strenuous uphills. Excited to come back and do this again.

4 days ago

Just climbed to the top yesterday (March 17) and it was wonderful! I'm from Michigan where our land is flat, so the sights here were absolutely breathtaking. Good winter hiking- it's not as humid in the mountains. This was an easy, well-maintained trail. View at the top is great and you can climb the rocky part of the Western peak without gear (though I wouldn't recommend it unless you have experience, as it is quite narrow and windy). 100% will return to climb the Eastern peak of the crag

5 days ago

This is a great hike for young children, but calling this anything beyond a walk is a definite stretch.

Started from the Carderock Recreation Area, combined Billy Goat Trail A, B, and C with the Overlook Trail, made a nice 10 mike hike. Carderock has a lot more parking spaces than Anglers.

5 days ago

The day we hiked, 1/3 of this trail was covered of ice, which made it super slippery and dangerous to climb up and down. There were so many people falling. 1/3 of it was super muddy. Bring spikes and hiking boots will help you finish this trail with no pain and effort. It wasn’t that bad in term of elevation but to be honest, the end view was such a joke to me. On the way back, I was able to relax after being so stressed out because of the ice then noticed some beautiful streams along the trail. If you want to challenge your body, go and do this trail. If you want something truly worth your effort, I would recommend doing other trails out there.

Views weren’t great. the waterfall was nice, but wasn’t part of the extended loop

Very hard hike. Great views once you finally make it. It was snowy and icy for a portion of it which was very slick. There was also a lot of mud. If you can make it all the way up, the views are amazing. The way down seems like nothing.

Fun trail! Need decent hiking/water shoes! Do not go when it has rained heavily...when we got there it was the devil's hot tub and you could barely see it :( Opportunities to swim and lots of cool rocks to stop and picnic lunch on :)

just beautiful...watch your ankles...but.just beautiful

The top was still closed from the fire. It was pretty steep and difficult to climb down with the snow and ice

7 days ago

3.15.18: I enjoyed a sunrise hike! I started about an hour before sunrise in the ambient light and was at the viewing platform in time for the colors on the horizon just before the sun came up. It was icy the second half of the trail which was more treacherous coming down than going up.... I was ok in my solomans but would have preferred traction devices. I am a fast hiker and hiked alone, but even in the icy conditions and stopping for a few photos was done in under two hours, so it’s not a super long hike. If you have bad knees maybe avoid, there are lots of stairs as others have said. I didn’t think the stairs were too much, a few stairs then trail, then stairs...not an endless staircase up. The viewing platform at least at sunrise was spectacular, shades of purple and orange. Nice hike even with the end closure!

9 days ago

Great trail with amazing views at the end!

Beautiful from start to finish and the park is always improving it. The views are something you'll wanna keep going back to see. The one and only downfall is it can get crowded sometimes so go on a work day and an odd time and you will get to enjoy it alot more

Kind of a climb but once you’re at the top the view is so spectacular you won’t even remember the climb

Super nice trail hike, beautiful 270 degree view at the top!

I parked at the park headquarters, and instead of doing the whole loop (that would take you along the road for a while) I went to chimney rock then wolf rock and then turned around back to the car. The rocks are so fun to climb on and the views are awesome! Wouldn't rate it as challenging, lots of kids and dogs on this trail.

I would rank the view from Chimney Top the best in the state, hands down. The trail is difficult and you work for the reward, but man, is it one hell of a reward. The trail itself was steep in places, rocky in others, and steep and rocky in some places alltogether, but I would hike this 10 more times given the chance and I don't think I would tire of the view.

11 days ago

Beautiful very worth the short hike the end is beautiful

Some clarification on this hike, which might be helpful. From the small (get there early) parking lot on Pine Grove Road (immediately to the right off of Harry Byrd Memorial Highway), it is 2.5 miles to the most significant overlook, a perfect destination, nice place to take in the view and a snack, and a logical turnaround point for a decent out and back day hike. As tracked here on AllTrails, the Raven Rocks map brings you further along the AT to mile 2.7, and then veers south on an unmarked trail that delivers you at mile 2.9 to a cellular tower and access road (the actual Raven Rocks are to the north, but off trail and not visible from the AT). The tower is not a great destination, and frankly detracts from the hike. It would be much better to turnaround at the 2.5 mile overlook. The overall hike is not really "hard;" moderate plus would be a more apt description to account for the elevation gain, multiple ridges, and rocky trail. "Rocky" is relative, though. New Englanders and thru hikers will tell you that this is nothing compared to the White Mountains in New Hampshire! Plus, what rocks there are here certainly help to counter erosion. Enjoy! This is a nice trail that gets your heart pumping, and the views are nice rewards.

on Chimney Tops Trail

11 days ago

The bridges and river crossing were beautiful. The trail was very muddy and steep the last mile. The view from the overlook was nice but far from the best in the park. Admittedly, clouds and haze may have been obscuring the full effect.

11 days ago

Like J Burt, we did a good portion of this as part of a 9.5 mile Little Devil's, Pole Bridge, Piney Branch, Hogback, Kaiser Run loop. It was nice and serene. Not terribly exciting, but not everything needs to be :)

We did this hike during the winter, and we loved it! The rock scramble on the way up was super fun. We ended up taking the Pole Ridge Trail to Piney Branch to Hull School back down to the fire road. In all, it was about 9.5 miles. Took us 4 hours total, and the only part that required some athleticism was the rock scramble at the beginning! Nice little day trip.

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