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Absolute, hands down, favorite hike to date. It's more about the scenery on the way to the top of Mt.Rogers that makes this trail worthwhile. We started at the Massie Gap parking area, went along the Rhododendron Trail to the AT trail (I believe). Every part of the trail getting to Mt.Rogers is stunning. We saw tons of the wild ponies and cattle along the trail which made this an amazing unique experience. We may have gotten rained on the first half of the trip but it didn't make it any less awesome. The view from the peak of Mt.Rogers is all wooded but it is beautiful nonetheless. Worth it to say you've been on the peak of the highest mountain in VA! I believe the hike is marked hard for how long it is because it really isn't challenging otherwise. Just make sure to wear good shoes and bring lots of snacks/water.

Great scenes, hard to find for us though. GPS took us to 3 wrong places before we stopped and asked a county worker for directions. We’ll definitely visit again though

Thoroughly enjoyed this hike! The waterfall is stunning and has two great access points. You will see the water holes after about 5.6 miles of hiking to the left of the trail. There is a noticeable side trail that leads to them that is mostly rock. Two were particularly great for swimming! We set up camp near the first swimming hole, there was a second great spot across a path above the first hole as well. The descent is tough on the legs when carrying 30+ lb overnight packs. I would consider the hike strenuous when you include the weight.

Bears are common on the trail, but usually scare off if you’re making plenty of noise on your way! I’d suggest bringing bear mace just in case, especially right before hibernation and after. Also, bring a bear bag for the night to hide all wrappers from food and uneaten food.

We took a different route on the way back for a portion of the hike to avoid the steep ascent on our second day in the rain. It took us onto Trace Trail and through a campground which gave a good boost to our moral when the temps dropped 20 degrees after being wet for 24 hours!

Even in the rain it was a stunning hike and a great test of strength with packs! I plan to do it again. Great hike to swim and cool off in the summer.

Enjoyed a nice, wet, quiet hike with the significant other. Unfortunately couldn't camp in the Highlands area due to bear activity. Always properly handle your food folks. Trail can be a little slippery in some spots but pretty much impossible to get lost. Definitely a lot longer than the listed 10.8.

The trail needs some work put into it. A few parts need guardrails and steps. The falls are pretty though.

hiking
15 days ago

Great views loved the swimming pond

Great trail, nothing too technical, elevation changes and length make the challenge. Just take your time, enjoy the views, rest occasionally, and you’ll have a great time.

great hike going counter clockwise from rt 56. finished the loop in about 8 hrs with stops to eat and enjoy the scenery. very challenging with excellent views. used this as a training hike for a more difficult climb coming up and definitely got my money's worth. my only gripe if i had to find one is the distance signage is a little off. mau hur section is closer to 4 miles than 3 and total rt56 loop is closer to 16 miles.

Good hike. Started from Massie Gap. Three hours up via Wilburn Ridge and stopping for the ponies. Two hours down at a pretty steady pace. Recommend skipping Wilburn. Two markers at the summit. One is an error. They're on two boulders, about 30 feet apart. No view there, and notably cooler.

hiking
25 days ago

Fun hike with at least one cool swimming hole. Just make sure you know the route if you are doing the full loop or you may end up outside of the park.

This is a beautiful challenging trail and I say that after having hiked it in a pretty heavy rainstorm so couldn't even
see all the views!! The flora is great and you MUST start at the Massie Gap parking lot so you can come up through Rhododendron Trail to Appalachian Trail to the spur at the Thomas Knob shelter. This way you pass the wild ponies which is a wonderful experience.

enjoyed the loop last month starting at rt.56, camping at Maupin. going tomorrow for the loop in opposite direction. Beautiful section of Virginia and enough ups and downs to feel it.

First off you have to pay to park at the spot that close to the bridge it’s only $4 but still. They have a gift shop at the trail as well so make sure you bring some cash. They also have bag stations for if your dog decides to go to the bathroom. Now on to the trail. I went to the bridge gives you a nice view but that’s that. When I walked back to my truck I saw a cannon and behind that there is a trail that leads down to under the bridge. It is at a decline so if you have trouble going up and down inclines and declines I wouldn’t recommend it. However when you get down there you head to the right and when you are under it you can see a little beach that you can go and play in the rapids. It was because of this I gave it 5 stars. Feel free to walk or bike the entire trail, but this was exciting to me. The walk is about .5 miles. Well worth it.

This humbled me! Totally worth it though. Rose River Falls was the hardest in my opinion. Definitely take advantage of the oppurtunity to rest at the bottom of Dark Hollow.

The entrance at Jeremies run is closed

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.

didnt think it was that difficult to hike to the bathtub , some slippery rock and mud, but that is to be expected hiking along a creek , the water was a bit chilly but crystal clear definitely will do again

Amazing wildlife! We saw 3 small wolves scampering around, deer, and accidentally walked a few feet from a rattlesnake! We went counterclockwise around the loop, reaching the bathtub at mile 5. The first 1.5 miles were super steep, but all pretty easy after that. The bathtub was gorgeous. We went on a weekday and saw no one on the trail until we got past the bathtub and saw people doing the 4 mile out and back hike. You have to hop over rocks but it had been dry for a week or so and I didn't feel like I ever had to put on the water shoes I brought. definitely go on a weekday- I can see it being kinda cramped and miserable with a whole bunch of people.

I’ve biked this beautiful trail many times, some going up from Damascus to White Top and back, but most just down after taking the shuttle up. When taking visitors to this region, most say it’s the highlight of their visit. Even on the hottest summer day, at altitude, you’ll encounter a comfortable shaded cooler trek down, so bring a windbreaker. Lots of photo opportunities on the rocky stream. Enjoy!!

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.

very good hiking. not as much traffic as dark hollow fall.

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

It’s a beautiful a trail as I have seen, bar none. Watch out for the bulls though.

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.

backpacking
1 month ago

I saw 2 Black Cubs. Overall good trail.

hiking
1 month ago

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

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