Spy Rock Trail

MODERATE 101 reviews

Spy Rock Trail is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Montebello, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1128 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

scramble

hiking
8 days ago

I have traveled this trail before and it is absolutely beautiful at the top and worth the hike. However, currently the trail is still restricted (as of yesterday). Mike (as posted below) did post an alternate route down Crabtree Meadows, but this route is not accessible to cars that do not have 4WD. I made it 3 miles up the mountain in my Tuscon with FWD and then turned onto the side gravel road and only made it about .3 miles before I had to turn around. My car would only go backwards. I will definitely try to this route again but in a 4WD vehicle. Just ended up going to Crabtree Falls instead.

hiking
17 days ago

We went at the end of April so it was pretty windy and chilly at the top once we didn't have the tree cover to block it, but was a great hike. Once you reach the parking lot and start walking, don't be fooled by the gate, just go past it. It's got a steep ascent all the way up. Make sure to turn left at the fork and follow the blue blazes. Eventually it intersects with the AT and the blazes turn white. At one point you get to a flatter, grassy area and you can see the rock. We got pretty confused on how to get up there with the lack of signs, but you can do either the rock scramble to get up there or go left around the rock and you should be able to find a smoother rock path up to the top. It's an amazing 360 degree view from the top! Bonus is that there are bathrooms back by the road that leads to the parking lot. Parking lot isn't huge, but there is Overflow parking is below the fish hatchery area near those bathrooms.

hiking
19 days ago

Begins with steep hike up a gravel road (hardly any switch backs) that eventually connects with AT - a nice trail. The climb to top of Spy Rock (about .5 mile after on AT) is exciting and the views are spectacular!

27 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Heading to fish hatchery access. Not sure about it being closed. But it is illegal to block or put up a gate to state or national Forest. Even if you're a property owner. I understand completely why there is some conflict. We as hikers need to respect those that live by trail accesses. I will report back

1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

The parking lot is not closed down. My family and I hiked this trail today. We had a good time. There is an awesome camping area right below spy rock. The description for this trail says that the trail features a waterfall. We did not see one, much to the dismay of my three children. Still a worth while adventure though. Happy trails.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail to spy rock from the Fish Hatchery AT parking lot has closed down. The private road is now closed to the General public. I’m a land owner on this road and have been working with the National Forest to get an alternate route to Spy rock. I was NOT in favor of closing down the trail until the alternate route was approved and blazed. The reason the road was close down has nothing to do with construction or development. It has to do with a bunch of land owners that had some unfortunate encounters with hikers camping on their property, making lots of noise and in one very unusual case, taking a dump on this side of the road and leaving the used toilet paper (the straw that broke the camels back). There is a sign at the gate that asks hikers to respect private property. Unfortunately, the more people that ignore the no trespassing signs, the more difficult it will to get the other land owner to change their mind and work with the National Forest on a better solution. The alternate route I was working on with the NF is still available if you are interested. Meadows lane road is a state maintained gravel road off Route 56 that goes to a parking lot at the top of Crabtree falls trail (called Crabtree meadows). Most cars can travel on this road in normal weather. This hiking route is slightly longer in distance but not as difficult to hike (less elevation change). It is on National forest property so camping is allowed everywhere (follow NF camping rules). If you are going to camp near the trail head this is a much better option : Take Meadows lane towards Crabtree meadows, at about 3.2 miles, you will see a 4WD dirt road heading off to the right and a bunch of car camping sites. Park off the road and hike up this dirt road past a gate until the road crosses the AT trail, head south (right) on the AT trail towards Spy Rock. You can also combine this hike with a hike to the North to the Priest or Crabtree falls. Please let me know if you want more details on this route or camping options near Spy Rock....Mike

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Had an amazing time with the family on this hike. Be prepared for a steep walk, but the end result is so worth it.

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

When I made it to Spy Rock parking, I was confused, when both roads were posted with no trespassing signs I saw no option or route to go. I talked to another gentleman that pulled up right after me. He tried using the alternate route from Crabtree falls but said the road was very narrow etc....
I went down and talked to someone that was from the area, from what it looks like, the owner is trying to develop the land there are about 5 houses up there.
This is what I was told, so take it with a grain of salt, the owner cannot do anything legal to you, just walk around the new parking gate. And I may stand to be corrected but he has no right to block that road.
Other groups were going up the same route, when we were on our way down.
As far as the hike, hey I am just being honest, I am 53 and in pretty good shape, its a 2.5 mile walk uphill, no switchbacks on the road, I had to stop and get a breather quite a few times, but it is definitely worth it.

5 months ago

Views well worth the steep climb and fun trek through the forest ! A few easy scrambles if you can't climb the rock face and a great spot to have lunch up top :)

hiking
5 months ago

!!!UPDATE!!! I'm sorry to say this but there have been some recent developments that have resulted in the trail from the Parking lot to the AT trail to be posted as no trespassing. This decision was done by a land owner that has had problems with the hikers on his property in the area. This was NOT done by any land owners living on this road. We are all trying to work around a solution but until this happens, please use the alternate route.

There are two alternate routes to Spy Rock from Meadows Lane road. Meadows lane road is a state maintained gravel road off Route 56 that goes to a parking lot at the top of Crabtree falls trail (called Crabtree meadows). Most cars can travel on this road in normal weather. These alternate hiking routes are slightly longer in distance but not as difficult to hike (less elevation change). They are both on National forest property so camping is allowed everywhere (follow NF camping rules). Take Meadows lane road towards Crabtree meadows, at about 3.2 miles, you will see a 4WD dirt road heading off to the right and a bunch of car camping sites (the topo map on this web site shows this road). Hike up this 4WD road past a gate until the road crosses the AT trail, head south (right) on the AT trail towards Spy Rock. The second (longer hike) option would be to continue driving to Crabtree meadows parking area (3.8 miles), there is a public bathroom/outhouse at this parking lot. Park here and hike uphill on Meadows lane road until it crosses the AT trail and head south (right) towards Spy Rock. E-mail me if you have questions.