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Definitely challenging but worth it for the workout. Bad knees not a good idea as pretty much of trail is a significant incline with no shade. Totally ignore closure signs for rocky ridge if you hike trails were fine, I’ve hiked worse. About 2 hours up with snack breaks and pics at 2 miles and 50 min down at 1.92 miles.

hiking
blowdown
washed out
1 day ago

Hiked on 12/31. Agree with the below poster. Due to lack of government funding, there were a lot of blow downs. It took significant time and patience (barely had any left after this loop) to get through the trail. I had bloody legs after from all the scrambling through blow downs. It was worth it and is definitely a great loop, but the blow downs weren’t fun. I did see about twenty elk while hiking in the woods though. They’ve retreated from the fields and into the backcountry this time of year.

I usually do this loop with the Dismal climb at the end. I take my 45lb dog and he loves it. Yes, I have to help him up and down the ladders, but it’s worth it to have him with me. We’ve never had any major trouble. It’s a great workout with a variety of scenery, suspension bridge, & plenty of technical aspects to keep it interesting. Don’t forget to take the spur on Raven Cliff trail to the overlook at the end. It’s cool to see where you just were.

Absolutely love this hike! One of my favorites.

A little late but we went June 2017.A great hike and really refreshing after getting to the channels on a hot day.

I love this hike. I’ve probably done it 100 times over the years. I noticed a couple of the reviews mentioned shoes, specifically wearing hiking shoes, which I wholeheartedly agree with for both safety and comfort. Also, the weather can vary greatly from the back side to the front rocky ridge.

Such a unique hike! The trail leading to the channels is very straight forward and easy to follow. It is pretty much all uphill there and downhill on the way back. The channels themself feel like something out of a fantasy novel! BE SURE TO REMEMBER WHERE YOU CAME FROM! You can easily get lost down in the channels while exploring the amazing rock formations. I recommend following the lead of Hansel and Gretel and leave a trail of nuts or candy so you know how to find your way out, but be sure to clean up after yourself! You don’t want to end up alone trying to find your way out for almost an hour. If you find yourself in the area and have a few hours check this out!

Awesome trail! Challenging but not super difficult.
Be careful... the trail is washed out in a few spots creating some hazardous stretches.
One of the best creeks I have ever seen. The bridges were a pleasant surprise.

hiking
13 days ago

Awesome hike!! We went during January so Roaring Fork motor nature trail was closed and we did the whole loop around. It is definitely moderate to difficult at times. Very lightly traveled trail with very nice rewards of mountain overlooks, creek bottoms and waterfalls.

alas... every good trail has a proposal point... this one trumps all else on coastal views... just like in marriage things start kinda..well..peaceful & easy.. then begins the climb... sometimes you pass where you one should not go (I'm talking about heading past the trail closed sign)... but..let's all agree the effort is worth the climb... summiting affords a reward of panoramic views of the world class rocky cliffs... God himself carved out this trail in all its glory... dream of the perfect love...the kind that bows its knee and offers eternal-like love at a perfectly placed bench on the edge of the world..should this world be flat I would certainly fall off... please some share your proposal moment... and after the mountain high life will no doubt circle you back on the challenging path... you will follow a trail that was crafted by the harshness of wind and water.. (quite literally you will follow a wash) cared for by only mother nature herself... but worth the challenge in every way...ending where the beginning began... peaceful & easy...

This was an excellent hike! Strenuous in some areas with some very rewarding pic and scenery opportunities. Considerstion for trail use: check forecast for rain or snow. In some areas potential for slipping and washouts are high.

One of the best hikes in SWVA. Go when the leaves are down and you'll get long range views the entire hike.

I love this hike. It is moderate. The views are stunning. The Channels are like a mystical maze. Great for dogs and children if you want to bring them along.

Hiked on 12/30.

First, I want to acknowledge that this was after many weeks of rains and in the middle of a government shutdown. I certainly don't fault the NPS for the trail conditions.

That said, this trail is barely hikeable in current conditions. There are hundreds of limbs and trees blocking the trail. Around twenty trees required significant manuevering (going off trail to go around, using a second person to help mount and dismount, etc). There are also four creek crossings that require creativity (read: creek at least one foot deep but no bridge) if you want to stay dry. Definitely not moderate in current conditions. More like a parkour course.

hiking
24 days ago

Great loop. It is a good climb, but anyone that actually looks at the map before they go can figure that out. Part of the loop is ‘closed’ because it simply hasn’t been maintained for a while, unfortunately. The trailhead is usually a little crowded, but very few of those cars are actually on the trail, most are on the west side of the highway looking at the water. As far as the trail being dangerous, the most dangerous part of the hike is parking and crossing Highway 1!!

hiking
25 days ago

Short couple hr long walk. There and back trail. Nice waterfall near the end. Lot of burn damage still very evident but adds a unique scenic view. Few downed trees over trail but nothing too bad. Few creek crossings so wear a dry boot.

Enjoyed this hiked. Started on the canyon side and enjoyed the ocean view on the way down. I recommend walking sticks on the way down because the incline is hard on your knees. This trail is beautiful!

hiking
1 month ago

Parking: Easy parking on both sides of hwy 1. We started early but I imagine it gets quite busy during the spring and summer.

Bathrooms: 2 porta pottys near the trailhead. Both were very clean.

Hike: Great hike. Headed counterclockwise through a pretty diverse landscape including cacti and then redwoods and a nicely flowing creek. Ignored the closed sign as many people were.. a bit of an uphill right after the closure sign but smooth sailing after that. Uphill and pretty tough but great views of the surrounding mountains and ocean await you at the top. Descending down rocky ridge wasn't too bad with poles but might be a little tough for some. Watch your footing and be careful of ticks, found one crawling up my shirt!

For the people who hiked it in the last week, is it muddy from all the rain?

Love this trail and my kids have grown up hiking this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Road was washed out today when we drove all the way from athens. bummer.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike from either end but for me it is a little harder than moderate but well worth the hike.

By far one of my all time favorite trails. The diversity you get on this hike is amazing. Whether you choose left or right to take the loop, you’re going to get a workout/be challenged. There are waterfall views, mountainside views, a suspension bridge, ladders and creek crossings. By the time I got to the end of my hike (the Dismal trail) I was definitely beat and the mountain seemed to go on forever but it was so worth it. I went late November .... most of the leaves were gone but the ones left made for some beautiful scenery and lighting as the sun goes down a lot earlier in the late fall/winter. A must do trail hike with plenty of challenge. Very well marked trail heads and a trail guide/map at each intersection or beginning of the next trail to avoid getting lost or confused.

Great trail! The view was amazing and it was a nice place to sit and eat lunch. Make sure you have a map or GPS and be prepared to walk through some water!

nice walk in December fall running good small parking lot very challenging steps but worth it

Very pretty trail. Beautiful views of the water. stairs leading to fall are very steep and slippery when covered in leaves. Definitely a return hike

Great views. Relatively easy trail.

on Soberanes Canyon Trail

1 month ago

Stunning views from the peak. Not sure why the trail is marked as closed, I would encourage you to continue onwards as long as you are in shape and stable on your feet, you will be just fine!

hiking
1 month ago

This has to he one of my favorites! Short little walk, some wide steps to take, and then your there! I took my Mom who has back problems and then steps were a little bit of an issue, but she did it and loved this one as well! My only downfall to it is that it is overly crowded.

At the parking lot you go to the right to go to the falls. If you go to the left, you see the higher views! You are literally standing on the side if a cliff so be careful with dogs. That part was very easy but easy to miss the path too so be careful.

The road driving to the parking lot is gravel and bumpy. My little car did okay but I dont think I will stress it like that again.

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