Bearfence Mountain Trail

MODERATE 456 reviews
#3 of 185 trails in

Bearfence Mountain Trail is a 1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Elkton, 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: 242 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

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.

hiking
1 day ago

Fantastic trail to begin on! Hiked this our first day. Moderate trail with a bunch of rock scrambling that made the hike so much fun... a little preparation for hiking Old Rag! Very worth it to hike

hiking
1 day ago

I loved this hike! It’s fun and quick which made it the PERFECT sunset hike.

hiking
scramble
4 days ago

Loved this trail. Be aware there is some rock scrambling and ridge walking. Worth the Beautiful view. Great trail for kids that are used to scrambles and a little climbing adventure. Meets up with the Appalachian Trail.

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 days ago

Great trail! Definitely NOT a moderate one . If you’re afraid of heights stay away from it.

hiking
8 days ago

Love this little trail! I hiked clockwise so that the scramble was first, which I recommend. Even though the loop trail continues going a bit further after the rock scramble, your best views will be the 360 on top of the rocks there. Well worth doing as a loop trail, with an easy return on the AT.

hiking
rocky
scramble
10 days ago

Had already knocked out Old Rag the day before so I was prepped for another rock scramble. This ones a bit dicey since the scramble doesn’t leave much room for mistakes. We did it after a heavy rainfall too so it was nice and slow climb. Would have been better if it wasn’t so foggy.

hiking
12 days ago

The rock scramble has one of the best views in the park!!

hiking
13 days ago

**This review is for the loop WITHOUT the rock scramble.** We chose to skip the rock scramble because my elderly mom and 4 year old was tagging along. The viewpoint at the top of this loop was disappointing. Much of it was covered by trees. Next time we will do the scramble for sure and I’m certain that would make it 5 stars!

hiking
18 days ago

Such an incredible hike!! Not at all scary. You reach the summit so quickly. A little hard work for an incredible view.

hiking
rocky
18 days ago

Amazing views but very short

hiking
rocky
scramble
25 days ago

Short rail to great view, BUT there is a short scramble with some verticals drops within 1-2 feet of trail making it daunting for the novices or anyone afraid of heights! For those that make the effort it is well worth it!

hiking
rocky
scramble
25 days ago

super fun scramble

hiking
rocky
scramble
29 days ago

We took this trail because it seemed like a short trail to get to the top of a mountain, but don’t let the 1 mile length or “moderate” rating fool you. The trail contained A LOT of fairly intense rock scrambles that went on for a long way (at least for a casual hiker with three teenagers). There was at least one scramble that if you fell backwards you’d fall down the mountain, so avoid this trail if you’re scared of heights. Overall, it was a great trail for family “team building” in helping each other through the scrambles. You get almost 360 degrees of truly amazing unobstructed views at the top, and you’re at the top for a good portion of the hike.

great short hike if you need something else to do after other trails in the area.

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

Great steep quick hike. Rocky part is fun!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

A lot of bang for your buck on this short hike!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

1 month ago

Release your inner child and have fun! I try to do Bearfence everytime I'm at Shenandoah. It's a great time!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Hiked 6/1/19: Although short in length, the trail for me was challenging because of the rock scrambling, which is something I'm just beginning to learn. Very enjoyable! We took the loop up to the left (just go straight at the AT cross-trail), which is steeper, but easier coming back down. Almost all scrambling to the summit. Once you're at the summit, some light scrambling continues downward, until you meet up with the AT and follow it down a simple walking trail back to the cross-trail. The view at the summit is 360deg, and simply breathtaking!

hiking
1 month ago

Really great 360 view! Short and easy with a quick rock scramble

hiking
1 month ago

Nice little hike. Took us about 40 minutes to complete. The view at the top is beautiful!

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