Bearfence Mountain Trail

MODERATE 254 reviews
#3 of 145 trails in

Bearfence Mountain Trail is a 1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Shenandoah, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

DISTANCE
1.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
236 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

After parking in the Bearfence Mountain parking lot, cross Skyline Drive and follow the blue blazes of the Bearfence Trail. The Bearfence Trail leads up a steep slope that eventually turns into a scramble climb to the summit of Bearfence Mountain. Blazes mark the best scramble climbing route. The view from the summit is well worth the climb as it is one of only three summits in the park that has a 360-degree view. Getting down from the summit requires a short scramble climb, after which the Bearfence Trail returns to a normal hiking surface. The Appalachian trail can be accessed from either one of two right turns from the Bearfence Trail. The second right turn should be followed to complete the one-mile loop. The Appalachian Trail leads back down the mountain to Skyline Drive. The scramble climb makes this trail a unique hike to a great view. Anyone who is reasonably fit and flexible should be able to handle the scramble climb, but hikers who have issues with heights may want to skip this trail. Near the summit, the climbing path occasionally passes within eighteen inches or so of sheer drops. This is also definitely not the trail for families with kids small enough that they have to be carried, and older children may also find the climb difficult.

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.

hiking
6 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!

15 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

hiking
16 days ago

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!!!

17 days ago

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!

22 days ago

Quintessential SNP hike!

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

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!

1 month ago

great scramble, even when cloudy

1 month ago

We loved this trail as a family. Park, cross over the street, then take the trail up. Enjoy a rock scramble, then run right onto the AT to loop back around. Very short, but awesome!

1 month ago

Great rock scramble going up. Take the trail back down... Great view at the top.

2 months ago

beautiful view with moderate short hike.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a fun short hike. The scramble was really really fun to do. It would be a difficult hike if you have bad knees as you have to climb some semi large rocks to get to the 360 view of the park. We saw a baby snake during the hike. The view is amazing from the top.
Good preview for Old Rag.

2 months ago

Awesome hike! This was the first time I did a rock scramble and it was so much fun! I didn’t get the chance to go all the way to the top because there was a large rattlesnake which I was afraid to wake up, but it was still really fun!

2 months ago

Great hike! The rock scramble was lots of fun.

hiking
3 months ago

Good hike! A lot of rocks to climb

3 months ago

Quick fun hike

3 months ago

Great for little people. My 4 year old does this with no trouble. Nice rock scramble and great views.

hiking
3 months ago

This is one my favorite trails at Shenandoah! It is short, 1 mile, 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!

hiking
4 months 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.

hiking
4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

SPECTACULAR trail. Fun, challenging (but not too much) and good to warm you up in the winter. Beautiful views, good climbing, and so much fun. A must do!

5 months ago

Would love to go back during sunset or sunrise. Great views and quiet this time of year.

hiking
5 months ago

A really short hike with great views and a cool scramble.

5 months ago

Gorgeous view of the Shenandoah Valley!!! We did it carrying a 25lbs backpack on a 30 degree weather and made it all the way to the “v” point and had a little picnic right on the top with a 360 degree view. Ready for our next trail adventure!

6 months ago

This is a nice trail with a short scramble. The second time I did it, I hung out at the scramble did some bouldering. It is a very busy trail on nice days in the afternoon.

hiking
6 months ago

My favorite trail at Shenandoah.

6 months ago

No fishing spot but a fun hike

Great trail, lots of rock scrambling. Great views too. Not terribly long, so very good for teenagers.

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