Spy Rock via Crabtree Falls is a 12.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Montebello, Virginia that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length12.4 miElevation gain3,389 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingRunningForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowers
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Reviews (39)
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Activities (20)
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Justin Haga
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HikingGreat!
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Dj Bravo
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BackpackingGreat!

was a good hike. even though it rain it all day up there yesterday. just wish there was more view points on the way to spy rock

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Ryan Neighbors
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HikingFeeGreat!Icy

This hike is great, has awesome views up at Spy Rock, and isn't terribly challenging. There are a few sections of steep uphill, but besides that, the trail is pretty moderate. I would definitely recommend arriving early; while the parking lot was empty at 8:00 AM, it was totally full by 2:00 PM, and this was in late December. It's even more crowded during the Summer. Also, it's $3.00 to park. While the hike was great, just know that if you go during the Winter months, you'll most likely need to contend with ice for the first (and last) 1.7 miles, as there is little to no direct sunlight that hits Crabtree Falls this time of year. Overall, I really enjoyed it and will be going back.

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John Hall
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Hiking
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Rainer FS
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Hiking
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CoCo Lu
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CampingMuddyRocky

If you are searching for a challenging trail to test your hiking skills and abilities, then Crabtree Falls and Spy Rock is the hike for you.

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Chris Randall
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HikingGreat!

Definitely 14 miles not 12. Not terribly hard if you are use to hiking. Went on a Thursday..not to crowded.

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Liam Kelleher
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RunningGreat!

Not super difficult- most of the trail after the first 2 mile waterfall section is suitable for running and the views are very nice. I got there at 8ish Saturday and was one of the first in the lot, but by the time I got back down the bottom 2 miles and lot were super crowded which made for slow going.

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Christopher Joshua
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HikingGreat!
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Sneaky Leaky
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Hiking

One thing to note is the very new sign at the AT intersection is incorrect. It says Spy Rock is only 2 miles from that point; it’s more between 3-4 miles. Don’t let it mess with your mind. Also, the overall mileage for round trip seems to vary from recordings. We clocked 16.1 miles round trip. We stayed on trail.

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Emily Ashby
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RunningGreat!

I was running this to do some trail running training while Home from Colorado- awesome trail! I did it in February, but highly recommend the fall for the AT. Spy Rock was awesome and the only daunting thing may be the constant up and downs that is the AT. I personally loved it and ran it all aside from some slippery spots near Crab tree falls; it really made it a challenge while having lots to make you want to snap some good photos, too

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Mike Yankovich
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HikingFeeGreat!Rocky

This is a fantastic hike that hits two great spots in one day....but for me, it takes much longer than 3 hrs up and back (unless you run it!). You have to pay 3$ to park (it helps the NF so I don’t mind). The first part of the trail up Crabtree Falls can get very crowded on weekends but it will thin out near the top of the falls (many folks turn around at the bottom of the falls). Once you get to the top of the falls, there is a nice overlook. The hike up the falls Is safe as long as you stay on the well maintained trail and overlooks (plenty of railings). People who try to climb off trail near the falls are risking their life, it can get very slippery off trail (I know, I was once young and stupid). Once you get to the top of the falls, it’s a fairly easy hike to Spy Rock. I would plan a full day for this hike (unless you are in really good shape). The last place you can get water is at the head of the falls. No camping at the base of spy rock (unless you want to get a bunch of dirty looks from folks because there are signs saying to protect the sensitive plants in the area). There is a nice camping area about .5 miles south of Spy Rock on the left side of the AT at Fish Hatchery gap. e-mail me if you have any questions (I know the area pretty well)...yankovich@mac.com

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Angie Fincham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail! Up and back in about 3 hours...which is good because I stop a lot for pictures:)

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Lisa Ghidotti
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Running

I did this hike in June and highly recommend it for people looking for stunning views and waterfall vistas. It was pretty crowded at Crabtree Falls and Spy Rock but thinned out between the two points (but still relatively heavy trail traffic). I had hiked Spy Rock before and knew what a real treat the views are up there, but this was my first hike at Crabtree Falls. There is a fee to park. I recommend getting to the parking lot as early as possible if doing this on a weekend in summer. I would definitely hike this again, but a different time of year. It was really frustrating at Crabtree Falls on the way back when it was packed with people.

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Paula Cadman
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HikingBugsOver grownRockyScramble

HEART THUMPER For those that are new or want a challenging hike, DO THIS. (Also bring a swim suit in the summer so you can cool down at the top) or swim in the marvelous WATERFALLS along the way up. I hiked in this month of July and it was very overgrown but, follow the yellow brick road and you will arrive in no time:)

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Amy Ruebeck
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HikingGreat!MuddyRocky
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Will Ambrose
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Hiking

One of the finest hikes in Virginia. Her ladyship and I had a beautiful sunny day for it. Please know, though, that there’s little or no mobile (VZ) service most of the way, not even at the park lot.

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Samuel Morgan
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Hiking

The first time I backpacked was on this trail. Crabtree falls is nice, but the hike up is full of switchbacks and people. Once you pass the falls, the crowds will thin considerably. You won’t see many a lot of people probably until you get to Spy Rock, which has an incredible view. Exploring the edges of the rock is fun as well.

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Brett Montgomery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 25, 2020
Hiking

Great hike. Waterfall is amazing as is the view from Spy Rock. If you bypass the fire road to the AT and take the south west path along the river it is a dry creek bed with no trail. Must bushwhack. That being said it was a shorter and easier hike than the fire road to AT that goes down and around.

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Shaun McPherson
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First hike like that and I loved it!!!!!! will go again soon.

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