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Bear Rocks/Lions Head Loop is a 19.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Davis, West Virginia that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September.

Length 19.6 mi Elevation gain 2,083 ft Route type Loop

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Forest

River

Views

Wildlife

Muddy

Rocky

Description
Waypoints (0)

Please note that this trail has been reported closed until mid April. It's a great hike with a huge variety of trails and terrain within the 20 miles. When you start of on Bear Rocks Trail it will wide open fields where you can see the mountains and beautiful trees and plains around you at 4,000+ feet. It stays open/no shade for 4-6 miles. Generally the ascents/descents are not difficulty as they are mixed in and not very long, but the terrain takes a little skill and focus. There are many rocks to navigate and it can be quite muddy, would not advise going for this hike in rainy weather. If you decide to make your own modifications rangers have said to avoid Dobbin Grade Trail (526, especially the eastern part, which is why this short cut back to the parking lot isn't taken) and Beaver View Trail (523). Also if you modify and go farther south and it has rained a lot, some of the rivers farther south may be difficult dangers to ford. ***LIONS HEAD- NOT CLEARLY MARKED. If you look closely you will see a trail you can take. Heading south a little after the water fall on your right you will see a Cairn on your left. If you pass this area, you will get to a rocky path and you can generally make your own path up the rock scramble to Lions Head for the amazing view. It's about .1 mile scramble, but allow time for getting lost and finding your way. ***Trails do not have blazes, cairns are very limited and inconsistent. Most if not all named/numbered trail intersections are clearly marked with a sign. Campsites are dispersed and not too difficult to find in most areas. Great spot right on the river at the intersection of 513/558 and 513/554. You can find water pretty much anywhere water/river/stream is marked. Note: it's about 4 miles on a gravel road with semi steep terrain to get up to Bear Rocks. Bear Rocks isn't actually on this trail, but you can go see them as they are adjacent right to the parking area.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (128)
Photos (708)
Recordings (99)
Completed (210)
Tom B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

The is one of WV’s gems, with all the different terrain and vegetation. It’s like something one might experience in Alaska, with the bogs, marshes, rocks ,pine forest and meadows. Started out early each day and was able the catch the deer grazing. You will not be disappointed!

Daniel Evans
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
Hiking

yer gonna get wet yer gonna get muddy yer may also get lost 10/10

Justin McLeod
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
HikingMuddy
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Lydia Brubaker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 24 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

Beautiful hike with many great camping options! Camped early the first night on a ridge, and the views were spectacular. Second night, we ended up at “The Forks”, a popular spot with multiple sites. Not a lot of privacy, but still a lovely spot near the creek with waterfalls and swimming holes. The trail is very muddy and rocky, most times almost hiking in a stream. Be prepared for wet shoes. We got off trail once or twice, but they were nice detours. There are many side trails, so good to keep the map handy. Great changes in scenery throughout with cool rock formations, different kinds of forests, bogs, and meadows.

View Lydia's Recording
Fred Berlin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 21 2020
Hiking

Beautiful but rough country. Both for you and your vehicle just getting there. Road is not maintained and is rock/gravy/dirt/mud/bumpy. If raining expect flooding and muddy travel. Definitely worth it if you don’t mind get vehicle dirty and beat on. Roads are thin so often not enough room for two passing vehicles. If you want and off the grid hike or day this is it.

Thomas Boylan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 10 2020
BackpackingFloodedMuddyOver grownRocky
Q G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 07 2020
Hiking

Never disappoints!

View Q's Recording
Joe Wituschek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 04 2020
BackpackingFloodedMuddyOver grownScramble

This was a great trail. It rained overnight so a lot was flooded out the next day but, in most areas, there were ways to get around this. Bear Rocks and Lions Head are definitely worth the stops!

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Gustav Maschmann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 03 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

First off the app crashed half way through the 4 day trip and had to restart the recording. The app still worked just wouldn’t record. Did the entire loop in 4 days. To start out, your walking across alpine like meadows, not fields. Lots of moss, pete bogs. Very muddy for long stretches. When you get to the first junction on the map take the left. This is the easier route to Lions head. The second 5 miles is brutal. There is a steep down hill decent covered in boulders as large as your head with no where to put your feet. The people coming up this looked spent. Then it gets muddy, then it gets crazy rocky again on the aptly named rocky point trail. At mile 10 is Lions head rock. This is hard to find, but we asked a few hikers and they pointed the way. On the map there is a tiny loop right at breathed mountain. It’s not on the USFS map. If your coming down the eastern side of the trail as we did, ignore the first trail marker. Keep going to the second one. There are 2 or 3 big cairns there that mark the way up. It’s a short scramble up then flattens out with multiple really nice campsites. Follow the trail and you come to the edge of the pines and there are two cairns that mark the trail to Lions head. The second half is really pretty easy with no major obstacles. Water becomes an issue around mile 15. Bear rocks give you stunning view.

Carsey Eliason
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 02 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

This was a great trail - my brothers and I did a multi-day trip. Parts of the trail were in big open fields and other parts were very rocky and in the woods. A lot of the trail was very muddy and boggy so a lot of times we had to find ways around the main trail. The views were beautiful and there were many campsites.

Ryan Robb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 29 2020
HikingMuddy
View Ryan's Recording
Josh Hubbard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Mar 28 2020
HikingClosedMuddyRockyScramble

I would recommend this trail to anyone desiring to do a multi day trip. This was my first solo, multi day hike and it was incredible. Camp sites were easy to find trails were marked well (the app made life so much easier though.) The road is closed 3.3 miles from the trail head. The added milage was definitely felt. The loop has so many unique experiences. Get out and enjoy.

View Josh's Recording
G R
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Mar 25 2020
Hiking

I was just there in mid March, 2020 and found that the entire area is CLOSED until mid-April. Despite the unprecedented warm weather, there are metal gates locked with thick chain and heavy locks stating that they will not open until mid April. Really? Oh, the sign did say that foot traffic is ok, but the closest trail head is more than 6 miles in along a very hard dirt road, Not exactly what I drove all the way to Dolly Sods to do. Despite thoroughly researching the area before driving 5 hours to get there, it is not made obvious that they close the entire area for months at a time. In my opinion, All Trails should monitor this significant of a closure. I certainly paid enough for All Trails - such a significant closure should be extremely obvious when reviewing the local hikes.

Brad Plecs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 21 2020
HikingMuddyRocky
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Tad Fisher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Mar 13 2020
BackpackingClosedSnow

Returned for my second visit in early March. We were unaware that the road up to the top was closed for the season (this is not publicized very well). We decided to hike the 3 extra miles to the top anyway so we parked the car at the gate and went up. It was beautiful but we had some challenging weather. There was at least seven inches of snow everywhere and it was up to a foot in some areas. There was a steady 20 mph wind that caused some bad windchills. Despite all of this, Dolly Sods is still one of my favorite backpacking spots. When the wind died down and sun came out, the beauty of Dolly Sods revealed itself once again.

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