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Fantastic hike with several water crossings and quite a bit of semi-rock scrambling. Lightly trafficked so it’s wonderfully quiet. Definitely better to do after it’s rained recently, as the falls are fairly small. Not great for waterfall views but very strenuous and fun to rock hop across the streams.

Great hike - rocky hike up the side of a waterfall/creek for the first 1.75 mi, with several stream crossings, then about .25 miles of trail until you reach the fire road. Fire road is a little over 3 miles with good tree coverage and an old cemetery near the base. Went on a weekend and saw a total of 8 people on the trail. Took an 1:45 with minimal stops for water. With all the rocks and the stream crossings I was happy I wore my waterproof hiking boots, but I saw others wearing trail shoes and running once they hit the fire road.

You will not find better views off the AT. The most underrated hike out there. Love love love.

The 360 summit was everything. And I will quote my dear friend who went with me, "It's like we're in a picture." We stayed up in the summit and just sunbathe for an hour or so because we had already completed the trail. There was a cute grass clearing perfect for camping up ahead the summit too and the woodland sunflowers blooming everywhere was absolutely magical to me. We turned back around so we could enjoy the 360 view even more. A great trail to do before you take up Old Rag! Also stop by the huge rock that looks like a perfect shade if it's raining! But for me, it was more like a giant natural stone sofa! Will definitely take this trail on again when Autumn is here.

Excellent trail! Definitely difficult and I would not have packed my own water because there are plenty of water spots along the trail if you are camping. Beautiful views and a really awesome camping site at about the halfway mark.

A short trail, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this is an easy hike, it’s a scramble. Awesome views, must do.

Beautiful hike!! You won’t be disappointed in the views. One of my fav.

I drove 4 hours for this hike, and it was worth every one! One of my favorite hikes I’ve done in the States. Stunning views, beautiful vegetation, friendly wild ponies, and a fun trail. I arrived at Massie Gap parking at around 10:30am on a Sunday, and the parking lot wasn’t even full, which surprised me. The theme continued; I passed a handful of hikers, but I felt peacefully alone on the trail. I would highly recommend hiking up the blue-blazed Wilburn Ridge Trail! It includes really fun rock scrambles and some of the best views of the entire hike. It meets back up with the AT at the Rhododendron Gap (where there’s another great view from a large rock outcropping!). There’s lots of ways to approach Mt Rogers, so study a park map to decide your route & mileage and enjoy the beautiful area!

hiking
13 days ago

We did both the Bearfence Trail and the Rock Scramble. We loved the rock scramble and the views from the top were outstanding. Definitely do the scramble. It’s not as hard as you think!

Managed to finish the loop in 2 days, most of the trail is really easy going. there are camp sites all through out the trail and a great water source before north mountain. I brought extra from reading other peoples reviews but had plenty left when we got back on the AT. there are probably half a dozen camp sites on the north mountain trail and honestly I enjoyed that section more than the AT. Saw no one else on that section of trail and you are just walking this beautiful ridge for miles. wouldn't do the whole thing again but it was a fun over nighter.

Me and my husband did this as a day hike on July 27th and fully expected it to be challenging and long based on the reviews we read here, and it was that! We started at Reeds Gap and went clockwise, leaving Mau Har for the end and were happy with that decision as the scenery of the falls made you forget about all the climbing. My Garmin also came in over 16 miles for this loop but I believe that is because in “hiking” mode the miles keep adding even when you’re standing still, I noticed this when we stopped to eat. Regardless, the entire hike took us just under 8 hours to complete. The scenery was beautiful with a couple of gorgeous lookouts and the wildlife a bit scarce; worms, butterflies, squirrels and a snake. I would definitely recommend this trail to others but probably wouldn’t do it again as I’d prefer to see other sections of the AT.

backpacking
22 days ago

Did this over two days as a backpacking trip in January. When the elevation started picking up after the first mile the trail was getting hard to find but then after the summit it was a breeze to stay on. Temps dropped more then i expected and wind chills close if not below 0.

22 days ago

great hike heading up to a terrific viewpoint of the valley. we skipped the rock scramble and got in some of the Apallachian trail. Downhill all the way back so my favorite kind of hike

This is a fun little hike. I brought my dad with me so it went a little slower than normal but wow it was a fun trail. The rock scrambles weren’t hard but were a lot of fun with a full 360 degree view of the park. That was pretty cool. I can’t wait to go back in the fall to see what extra views you can get off this trail during that time of year!!!

A must do! The rock scramble was SO FUN for our 7 and 9 year olds. Fear of heights beware though! There are places that are straight drop offs, and when you get to the very top its got 360 views and it's a little dizzying! The trail on the way down goes quickly. We left in a bit of a hurry because we went for sunset and then didn't want to get stuck in the woods in the dark, but it went really quickly after the scramble. I would definitely recommend this hike!

Did this trail about a week ago during the rain. Definitely some of the best views in the area. Went by myself ignoring the reviews where people said not to go alone, and I’m going to have to reinstate the danger to the people who think just like me. Once you get to the top it’s a likely place for someone to twist an ankle, and as others have said, it is a lightly trafficked. As long as you keep it safe you will have a great time when I got to the top I saw 2 giant Turkey Buzzards blocking my path and scared me half to death, I started making noises to scare them away, because I didn’t know if they were dangerous or not. However after doing my research I found, turkey Vultures in North America are not harmful and only tend to eat dead animals haha. But let me tell you those things are freaky looking. Anyways, safe travels everybody!

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.

Quintessential SNP hike!

Did this hike July 13th with great weather for a rigorous hike. I followed the AT Trail up and then looped back down following the Mau-Har Trail. Took me about 9 hours to complete- stopped for breaks to enjoy the scenery frequently at the stunning lookouts this trail has. It’s predominantly canopied, thickly wooded forest- but has a surprising amount of biodiversity on the ground. This loop definitely earns its “hard” rating- long sections of uphill hiking with 4 distinctly difficult 1/4 mile stretches. But the views on top of the ridges makes for a very rewarding experience. Will have to come back soon and do the opposite direction.

An excellent hike! Your thighs will be burning by the time you reach the top of the waterfall! I did the complete loop -- anticlockwise -- which takes you up the waterfall, and back around to the parking area (at the boundary, not Skyline Drive) via the fire road. Next time I'll take the advice of other reviewers and come back down the waterfall. The fire road did seem to go on for a long time -- still in the beautiful forest, but with nothing much to look at. It was an unusually cool day -- around 70 degrees -- but it was very humid hiking up the waterfall. I can't imagine what it would be like on a sweltering August day! So you might consider a change of shirt for when you get back in your nice vehicle. And maybe a change of pants in case your run into a bear. :)

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite day hikes. On today's trip we left with clouds forming over the mountains. I was hoping to get to the cave before it rained, however, I was a mile and half short. We got drenched. Shared the cave with a group of Americorp volunteers who were out working on the trail. There is an awesome discrete campsite off the trail close to the cave.

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!

This is my absolute favorite trail ANYWHERE! The 360 degree view is worth visiting over and over.

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

Hiked today. I actually missed it first time - kept going on orange blazed trail, and had to come back. Loring S. review down there is the most useful as far as direction goes. Except - there is no pile of rocks any longer indicating where you turn right on purple trail. Anyway, start with yellow blazers trail, then follow trail with orange blazes. If you keep follow orange blazed trail and it descending to overgrown trail down - you have missed the right turn to purple blazed trail to Strickler Knob. Come back. Purple trail is not that hard, just take it slow, find your footing, look for purple blazers on stones (I wish they repainted, and put more of those).

This is an awesome trail! What a unique experience to be able to hike up a waterfall. We decided to do the hike up and back because others suggested that this route was more scenic than the fire road loop. The ascent (2 miles) is a steep incline with a bit of rock scrambling and scattered steps. You cross over the water multiple times, zig zagging your way up. You gain the nearly all of the elevation in the first 1.7 miles up, so get ready to work! When you reach the top there is no view or summit, just an option to continue down other trails. Coming back down is steep, so take your time! For up and back the trail is 4 miles: as an experienced hiker, without stopping, this hike took me 2 hours. It was an awesome opportunity to hike in a bit of different scenery, it was so beautiful! Would definitely suggest!

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!

Wonderful hike!! We saw several different herds of both cattle and ponies!! Gorgeous views and amazing forest at the summit! Allow 6 hours for a relaxed hike with several stops but it can be made in 5 hours at a decent pace

A fun and worthwhile scramble that leads to great views. It's a bit treacherous if you're not used to ridge-line rock climbs, but well worth the thrill. It's not too long and the payoff is spectacular!

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