Bearfence Mountain Trail

MODERATE 203 reviews
#3 of 138 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 that to the summit of Bearfence Mountain. Blazes mark the best scramble climbing route. The view from the summit is well worth the climb and 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 (my eight year-old daughter handled it with ease), 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.

hiking
12 days 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
18 days 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
18 days 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.

1 month 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!

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

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

1 month 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!

2 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
2 months ago

My favorite trail at Shenandoah.

2 months ago

No fishing spot but a fun hike

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome hike but be aware there is significant rock scramble! Not a good hike for people who are not very mobile!

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

hiking
5 months ago

We absolutely love the views at the summit point of this trail. It’s a quick trail with a few trickier spots to climb if you go the way of the rock scramble. This is always our first go to trail in SNP because of the views.

hiking
5 months ago

The wife and I spent a whole weekend hiking Natural Bridge Cedar Creek trail & The Caverns plus Monacan trail then we went to Crabtree Falls. We also hopscotched different trails on Skyline drive. Although this was our shortest trail it was the hardest for me because I have a lot of metal in my foot. The rock scramble was rough on my ankle. Second mistake I made was I had on hiking shoe and not my boots. I did find out there is a easier way. Cross Skyline Drive and climb the stairs up the bank. At the trail post, turn right onto the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) south. Go left on the connector trail, then turn right on Bearfence Loop Trail. You'll see the viewpoint on your right. Retrace your steps to the starting point.

hiking
5 months ago

Very short hike but the scrambles are awesome!

5 months ago

Fun little scramble and hike.

5 months ago

Had a great time climbing the rocks and a beautiful view!

6 months ago

Spectacular views and fun to climb the rocks

6 months ago

Short and sweet! Nice scramble and amazing views!

6 months ago

Amazing! Love the 360 view of the surrounding mountains! Very short hike, perfect for sunsets!

hiking
7 months ago

The rock scramble was a little more intense then we had anticipated. The view from the top was amazing but if you're scared of heights maybe not for you.

hiking
7 months ago

My wife and I found the scramble at the summit to be challenging. If you have any fear of heights, the scamble to the top will bring that out. However, the 360 views were tremendous. The rest of the trail was easy and enjoyable.

8 months ago

View wasn't super great and trail was easy not challenging.

hiking
8 months ago

We enjoy this short hike and especially the rock scramble. Great experience for many ages, maybe 9 and up. Incredible 360 degree view

9 months ago

The hike itself to the most beautiful 360 view I have ever seen was relatively short, but very fun climbing the surrounding rocks. One of the best sunsets I've ever seen, highly recommend

hiking
9 months ago

Very exciting trail. We did the rock scramble. It will be difficult for people who are scared of heights, are unable to climb, and do not have much upper body strength. However, the view at the top is definitely worth it!!

9 months ago

quick hike... best 360 view in park ! perfect for sunrise and sunsets

hiking
9 months ago

Great Views. Novice Hikers can handle this. Just one spot that is a little tricky. Fun short hike!

9 months ago

Took my 6 and 9 year old - we are avid hikers- it's a short trail with a great rock scramble they loved that came out to an amazing 360 degree view at the top- a good amount of hikers on the trail-but not packed.

9 months ago

Awesome hike. Rock scramble has some sketchy parts for the adventurous type.

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