Explore Shenandoah - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Shenandoah  Map
VIEW FULL MAP

The hike is easy it's just long

hiking
1 day ago

Don't know what defines a great hike. This was fun for someone up for a challenge. A lot of water and considerable bushwacking. We hiked in from Skyline Drive east on the Hazel Mountain Trail. At the intersection with White Rocks Trail we turned northeast so we did the trail somewhat in reverse. Several trees down on the White Rocks Trail before the falls. At the falls spur, I would suggest you leave your packs at the top and take only what you need to the falls (it is a scramble.) Continuing on White Rocks after the falls, there is a great camping site to the left of the trail. Several trees down on this section of White Rocks Trail before you get to the intersection of the Hazel River Trail. Good camping spot at the intersection of the White River Trail and the Hazel River Trail before crossing the Hazel River although the dampness of the spot leads me to believe it gets a little swamped during heavy rains. Hazel River was at Spring levels so we had to ford the river. Hazel River Trail southwest seemed totally blocked. We continue east along the Hazel River. We found a couple of logs to cross over at one point but all others required fording. (Bring sneakers or watershoes to change out of hiking boots.) Intersected the Sam Ridge Trail heading southeast and then turning back to the southwest. Seemed like we were climbing all the way-constant uphill and switchbacks. Piles of fall leaves led me to believe Sam Ridge Trail is not hiked much. Sam Ridge Trail is measured at 2 miles. Both my senses and my fitbit tells me it is a lot longer. We camped on the mountain just .5 miles before the intersection of the Sam Ridge Trail with the Hazel Mountain Trail ( Not optimum but there are several nice flat spots to the right of the trail.) After we rejoined the Hazel Mountain Trail, we had to do a lot of bushwacking as there were big trees down between here and where the Hazel Mountain Trail intersects the Hazel River Trail. As we passed by the Hazel River Trail we looked northeast down the trail and all we could see were downed trees. We continued northwest on the Hazel Mountain Trail. Several downed trees across the trail that we had to climb over or scoot under. Forded the Hazel one more time. Completed the loop where Hazel Mountain Trail and White Rocks Trail once again meet then headed back to Skyline Drive.

This is one my favorite trail at Shenandoah! It is short, 1 miles, but it is loads of fun because of the rock scrambling. The views are incredible, and probably one of my favorites in the park. Awesome for sunsets!

This was a nice afternoon hike on a beautiful day. Falls were low but good challenge making your way back up!

Had a great time last weekend even though it was very crowded. Started the hike around 10 AM on a beautiful Saturday. There was one or two parts when we had to wait 15 minutes in line to get through an obstacle. After the summit, the hike is a little boring, but all in all, one of the best day hikes you can do on the east coast. Elderly and unfit people might have some issues with squeezing between rocks and doing some jumps/scrambles, but most people I saw on the trail seemed to do fine. I recommend wearing long pants that at least cover the knees and climbing gloves, or else you will go home with some scratches.

The first half/two thirds is pretty cool and fun. The last third was uphill torture for me. One of the toughest hikes I’ve done (I usually stick to moderate trails). Bring lots of water and a jet pack if you have one.

Was a good challenge for someone who is not a seasoned joker and slightly out of shape. Little foot traffic which was nice. Cool temperatures as it is mostly shaded. The river and small waterfalls were very pretty. Saw deer but no bear. We did get lost (did not see the trail marker) and ended up doing an additional mile down and back up a very steep climb. Also gets a little confusing when you get to the tourist/camp area. Lots of rocks and narrow paths, highly recommend wearing good hiking boots!! Also, look at the elevation...we started with the uphill climb for the first two miles or so, steady and a good “warm up”. Downhill was hard on my knees as it was fairly steep. There were quite a few spots where we had to climb up again and those required some stops/rests.

My girlfriend and I chose this beast as our third hike in Virginia and it was spectacular! We decided to go clockwise and climb up the most strenuous ridge trail first. It was unlike any hike I've ever done and definitely pushes you on the rock scramble and boulder section, but it was manageable and fun for me (6'2", 260lbs) and her (5'2", 110lbs)...so I'd say as long as you have a strong desire to reach the summit and the ability to "get skinny" on some parts, this hike is a good one for beginner hikers that want to push their skills and endurance!

Visited this lovely hike this morning. The hike starts out easy by the river and then progresses and gets harder as the hike continues. The climb to Bear Church Rock was a heart thumper but the view was beautiful making the pain all worth it! Loved the tree canopy on the way up as well, very beautiful scenery. The hike is almost by the river the entire way! We got there around 0930, lots of parking left but when we left around 1400 the lot was basically full. On the way up it was just my husband and I but as we made the decent we ran into more and more people doing the hike. Definitely one we will visit again!

Decent hike. It can be 1.7 miles or 2.7 depending on wether you make it a loop down the Appalachian Trail. Otherwise, just walk up to the summit and back.

Good short moderate trail for leashed dogs and kids.

I’ll visit again.

Where do I start. This hike is absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking views of many waterfalls! You can even climb a few rocks to get right up close to a few of the falls. Unfortunately we were not prepared for what was to come. The hike up was pretty tough. Once we got up to where you take the fire road to Cedar Run trail we took the wrong path (both have yellow blazes) we ended up hiking about a mile or so in the wrong direction and that’s when the fog rolled in. Temps dropped about 20 degrees and it began to POUR down rain. Needless to say once we started our decent down Cedar Run everything was soaked and muddy and it’s VERY steep. We were slipping and sliding all over the place and much of the trail down is nearly impassable by fallen trees and things. We hiked the trail counterclockwise which under normal weather conditions would’ve been much easier. This loop is definitely not for beginners. You will absolutely be sore the next day and your feet will most definitely get wet because there are several river crossings. Most of the way UP is well.....UP....steep and you will need to take breaks to catch your breath. This loop is a beast. Can’t wait to tackle it again in better weather.

What an absolutely beautiful hike! I expected it to be hard but I had no idea how hard it was really going to be. I’m not sure about the mileage because my phone said 8.4 miles when all is said and done and my watch said 9.6 miles. This is not for a novice hiker! We took this hike counterclockwise. We had met some other people on the hike that said that clockwise disease year. But I believe there is no easy way to do this hike. I really had to keep pushing myself. We got down to the bottom of the canyon and I was starting to feel tired. The hike downhill was strenuous. But the hike up was a test! With an elevation gain of 2200 feet on the way up it really testing me. The fire road itself was difficult as we were exhausted by the time we got to the fire and the fire is completely uphill. But I’m happy to say that I finished it!

This was my first hike and a solo one at that. It was awesome!!! The rock scramble did not disappoint this first timer. I’m short (4’11”) and was able to this. Some review said it might be difficult and they were but other hikers were there to help if needed. I did this counter clockwise. Went up the fire road first then hit the scramble. That helped I’m sure as I was able to slide down a lot of the boulders. So if you’re in decent shape and want an exciting solo hike.....THIS WAS GREAT.

This hike has beautiful views at the top with an amazing breeze to cool down after the uphill. The rock scrambles are very fun and can be easy for some or very difficult depending on your physical shape and comfortability with bouldering/climbing. At a certain point the distance of the hike can definitely be mentally taxing and a motivational killer if fatigued lol. Specially if doing the hike the opposite direction with the weakley hollow fire trail first. Very fun and enjoyable workout. Good luck everyone!

Damn good hike

hiking
15 days ago

Classic Shenandoah must do hike. Spectacular views at the top. Can’t believe this is in Virginia. Definitely more crowded than most others due to its reputation.

My wife and I Loved the views! Only a handful of people on trail, mostly had to ourselves. Easy to follow, big loop like is shown here will show you all the cool views.

My very first hike and I chose this monster. Had a wonderful time and was not disappointed with the views.

Rewarding and intense quick hike. Awesome views anytime of the day. Have seen both the sunrise (in October) & the sunset (in April) here - both experiences invigorating. Would absolutely do it again and again.

hiking
20 days ago

Loved this hike. Is short but offers incredible views and fun scrambles. Is especially great on weekday when it’s not likely to be busy.

My son and I loved this hike. Absolutely lived up to its “hard” rating, this hike has a lot to offer. Waterfalls and elevation change abound on this test, but the rugged terrain was the biggest consistent challenge. If you hike it counterclockwise as most recommend, be sure to stop and look back from time to time to avoid missing all of the amazing views this hike offers.

I’ve hiked this trail a couple of times and love it! It’s a long trail and starts out fairly easy. The fun stuff happens close to the top - lots of rock scrambles!

Love the rock scrambles. That was extremely fun. The fire road is fairly easy. I ran down afterwards because it was kind of boring. Overall I would consider it as moderate and fun if u can climb on boulders and squeeze through small crevices. Love this hike.

What a great hike and the views were spectacular!

Great view! Hike was rocky but not difficult. Will definitely be going back once everything is green.

Unfortunately we had to turn around and go back due to having 3 kids along (and a couple of grownups who aren’t big hikers and had a fear of heights) who the rock scramble was a bit too steep for. It’s a very short hike before you get to the beginning of the rock scramble which starts out easy but gets steep really quickly with big drop offs definitely not for little ones or those afraid of heights. It’s gets very narrow and drops off sharply. Don’t bring trekking poles or little kids

This hike is one of my all time favorites! The rock scramble was challenging and clearly marked. The views were phenomenal and it wasn’t too crowded on the trails/rocks.

Hiked this past weekend. I didn't realize what rock scramble meant.. This was the most fun hike I've done and the ice and snow made it really exhilarating at some points. The view was up there with the best in VA as well.

Usually a 5 star hike, ice from the past week made the higher altitude portion really slippery and challenging. Turned around before the scramble parts and had to slide parts of the way down. Saw others do the same. Just posting this so people know what to expect in the late March 2018 timeframe. Usually a wonderful challenge, we will be back when it gets warmer and the snow and ice has a chance to melt.

Load More