Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Dolly Sods Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

GREAT views!! Very quiet once you get away from the parking lot. Way overcrowded at the parking lot at Bear Rocks. People parking in the grass alongside the road, not picking up their trash and dog crap. So much for a wilderness area. Won't be long til its permit only. Otherwise, even though VERY wet and muddy, it was great hiking! Wear some shoes with ankle support. Most of the trail is very uneven and rocky. Two stream crossings on this route. Neither very hard. First one you need to step rock to rock to avoid shin deep water. Take something to help balance if you have it.

This trail has everything. Cool views, awesome ridgelines, open meadows, rock cliffs, wooded pine forests, jungley forests, gushing rivers, huge waterfalls, and much more.
This was our groups first backpacking experience it took us 3 days and 2 nights to do the whole loop. On our way in we probably passed 40 or so people on their way out. Everything was a little muddy because of recent rain and it even rained the first day out. Overall everything was great any trail names with the word rocky in them are just that super rocky. Pack plenty of socks. Water is easy to find and if it’s wet dry wood is hard to come by. I also hiked in teva sandals and although it wasn’t terrible I’d definitely bring another option next time.

Was planning to do 10 miles on day 1 and then finish up the loop on day 2 but the rain set in at about mile 5. We set up camp and decided to stay there for the night due to the continuous rain. The next day we hiked the 5 miles back to the trailhead. From what we were able to see during those first 5 miles, it was beautiful. The only downside was that it is VERY wet (even before the rain came). Make sure your boots are waterproof and bring extra pairs of socks. I will be making a trip back soon to complete the hike.

very fun and challenging hike. has a lot of great views. Dobbin Grade was extremely marshy but it does have a nice camp site just south of Beaver Dam intersection. I would not recommended this trail for someone that is just starting.

Just got back from my 10th trip to Dolly Sods. Bear Rocks, Raven Ridge, Rocky Ridge are still my favorite trails to be on. I actually like Dobbin's Grade too, including the swamp area! I consider it the mark of a successful trip if I get through the swamp without having water get in my boots. This was a successful trip, and my advice to anyone is make sure you have a walking stick, and each time you get to a tough spot, start poking in the water for hard spots. Almost always you can pick your way right through the middle by looking for firm spots an inch or two below the water.

Did a 3 day backpacking trip starting at Bear Rocks and going as far as Lion’s Head and back. Great trip! Amazing views! Kinda rocky so make sure you’re wearing some good socks and you tie you shoes up tight!

The Northern part of the hike was really easy going and open. As you descend down to the southern part of the trail you lose a lot of the views but the forest is very cool. the scenery is quite interesting. I will Say this Rocky Ridge Trail is almost 2 miles of no fun, hard on your feet, and at times will make you want to quit. We did 15 miles in one day and I was glad to have knocked out the southern part before making camp. All in all the blue berries, views, and toughness were what we signed up for. I was a little disappointed in not seeing much wildlife but I did get to see the Sage Grouse so that was something.

Bear Rocks and Rocky Ridge are very nice. A few areas with tree coverage, mostly wide-open flats. Only one or two areas with steep uphill. I’d consider it between easy and moderate. Avoid the Dobbin area if it has rained at all the day of or days prior... it was literally a swamp when we went through. Mud up to your knees in areas and no way of avoiding most puddles.

Bear Rocks and Rocky Ridge were beautiful. Lots of open meadows and valley views from those trails. there were quite a few campsites along the entire hike. I saw maybe 5 or 6 campsites that were being used,but even more that were not. At all costs, avoid the portion of the Dobbin Grade that connects Raven Ridge to Bear Rocks. A decent amount of that "trail" is literally a swamp. Unless you've got rain boots that go up to your knees, you'll regret taking it. All-in-all, a great hike.

Went on a wet weekend and tried to pick a hike where mud wouldn’t be too much of an issue. This hike was a great choice. Recommend doing loop to the right for a steeper ascent and more gradual descent. Had to take shoes off multiple times to cross Red Creek. The waterfall was beautiful. Hike was definitely more than 7 miles (guessing maybe 8 miles). On the 2nd half of the loop, we were slowed down by lots of muddy parts but we had a lot of fun with it! No views or overlooks but the forest was magical and we really enjoyed the hike!

backpacking
3 months ago

As others have said, this loop offers a diverse selection of terrain. The trail is evenly split between forest and open fields, which is exactly what we had hoped for. We opted to stretch this hike into three days/two nights, which was easy as there were plenty of campsites to choose from along the way. We had hiked after a period of much rain for the area so the ground was thoroughly wet in some parts, but dry in most. The muddier areas were not too challenging to pass through. We did however struggle to find good firewood due to the wet conditions.

Unfortunately we were not able to reach Lions Head as the trail is unmarked and even with direction of a written trail guide we still were not able to find it. (We bumped into a couple on the trail who mentioned they were able to reach it without problems, so perhaps we just didn't look hard enough!)

Overall we enjoyed our hike, it was not too strenuous and our division of 9/6/6 miles made for a leisurely weekend.

We took a shorter loop, starting at Bear Rocks, then going on Dobbin Grade, and back on Beaver Dam. This particular loop is not difficult though very wet in the spring and requires going off the trail at several points to get around the high water. This trail is probably better for bigger dogs though we did take our bichon out once, we had to carry him a lot through mud. Views are beautiful, especially in the spring when everything is a lush green with flowers blooming. Weather has always been cool, sunny, low humidity and just perfect. This loop is also not bad if you have a child in a carrier.

hiking
3 months ago

Not a hard trail, but can be very wet and muddy, which in my opinion makes it more fun. The views are gorgeous!

great ttrail for a day hike

beautiful views on this trail

Rocky trails with poor markings. The views and solitude make it well worth the effort.

Very beautiful and serene. The campground is about two miles from the parking lot. It was the perfect place to camp as it was private and we didn’t have to drive back down the mountain to get to it. Beautiful views and lots of wild blueberries

Beautiful scenery and very desolate. For most of the hike I was completely alone. The trails are rocky but not too bad. Wear waterproof boots and bring extra socks. Dobbin Grade Trail is a muddy bog. You can easily be knee deep in mud if you’re not careful! Avoid if possible. Overall the views and experience were well worth it.

backpacking
4 months ago

Lots a different terrain. Had to be careful a few times to not get lost, but plenty of people hiking in July to ask for directions. I would not go if it's supposed to rain as most trails get extremely muddy fast. Lots of blueberries blooming in the higher elevations/open plains. Definitely recommend for an overnight backpacking trip!

We did Bear Rocks -> Raven Ridge - > Rocky Ridge - > Dobbin Grade - > Beaver Dam - >back to raven ridge and re-traced Bear Rocks

The section of this trail was moderate with lots of ferns, berries, and meadows. Sweeping views and some good camping spots.

I def recommend continuing on to Rocky ridge from this loop for some even more unique views and cool rocks that have been shaped by the wind.

hiking
4 months ago

We did Bear Rocks -> Raven Ridge - > Rocky Ridge - > Dobbin Grade - > Beaver Dam - >back to raven ridge and re-traced Bear Rocks.

Beaver Dam was a nice change of pace and scenery. We chose not to do red River as it was a steeper cut through and Dobbin Grade was supposedly very wet! Beaver dam is short and basically a nice trot on a narrow trail through gaping meadows. We saw some wildlife and enjoyed the breeze and ripe berries!

We took this with friends and loved every minute of it. It was harder than we expected especially with a 6 year old, and longer than it stated, but it was a great hike. Beautiful day and the waterfall was fantastic! We are excited to come and camp out for one night saw several great sites along the way.

It was our first time to Dolly Sods. Really unexpected, beautiful scenery. We arrived on Friday afternoon and hiked in about 3 miles before setting up camp for the first night. On the second day, one of the dogs got loose after catching a scent and caused a minor detour... luckily she found her way back to us! We hiked through to the forks where there were lots of swimming holes to explore, and a lot of fun.

Everything was very wet, very very muddy. Gaiters are highly recommended. We took our dogs and they loved it, not overly difficult for them. There were lots of other people on the trail but we still got a lot of alone time, especially on the breathed mountain trail. There was a lot of water available at random springs, but I can imagine things would be different if it hadn’t been raining so much lately. I would fill up every chance you get.

On the last day, we hiked out through the lower and upper creek trails. The lower creek trail was basically a swamp!

Overall, we had a great time and really enjoyed our hike. We will definitely be back!

hike down the hill is nice. Then left at the crossroads... tons of water, and spongy places, mucky and muddy. Went after rain which was not a great choice. Other side of the creek was beautiful. Go expecting to get wet and take extra shoes/clothes.

Great hike! Follow Forest Service Route 80; don’t be deterred by narrow gravel road. Keep driving until you hit last day-parking lot. No cars past this point. Short 0.3 mile walk to Dolly Sods wilderness and trailhead.

Most of the trail is well-marked by signs. But, need to be vigilant in a few places, or you’ll miss the turn-offs. Look for stick- or rock-obstructions on ground to indicate correct path (that is, don’t go down the paths that the rocks or sticks block off).

Ground was wet and muddy. Wear waterproof, hightop hiking boots or be prepared to get your shoes soaked.

Fairly easy grade—no crazy hard climbs or descents. Long parts of the trail are covered by small- to medium-size rocks. The soles of my feet are hurting right now, but I wore running shoes and not hiking boots today.

Interesting ecosystem. Biggest wetland in West Virginia. Lots of neat trees, plants, and bugs. Not desolate—we came across 3 groups of people (2 groups of day-hikers like us and 1 group of back-packers). We did the 11 miles in about 4 hours, averaging 22-minute miles.

took this trail and did the 21 mile lions head loop.. missed lions head but great trail.. essentially the same trail as this plus two more

beautiful place. allloooottt of water on the trails. pretty much hike Creek beds. trail markers are few and far between, lots of trails to circumvent the actual trail because of water. alot of random campsites already established with fire rings . overall had a great time. just wish for more trail markers or blaze marks.

hiking
6 months ago

Water level was high enough that crossing red creek requires taking shoes off or getting wet socks. We did just the red creek portion and will come back later in summer when water levels are lower. Cool trail otherwise.

Loved it was a great day so many different eco areas bogs, open plains, spruce forrest, oak forrest, rock sprees,creek filled hollers.....two thumbs and a smile on my face.....

Be prepared to get your feet wet. Trails pretty much consist of walking somewhat dried up creek beds. Nov conditions this weekend, icy the first day, wet and muddy the next day. Wasn’t prepared to get knee deep in mud! Trails were not well marked until they intersected, then there were wooden signs with distance between each trail. Nice and quiet trail, great for dogs. Lots of great camping sites along the way with fire pits made by others

Load More