Bear Rocks/Lions Head Loop

MODERATE 11 reviews
#4 of 18 trails in

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.

DISTANCE
19.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,083 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

wildlife

muddy

rocky

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Super Rocky trail below Lion's Head but the view above is awesome! Dobbins grade is a mess at times. Thinking of trying to Connect Dolly Sods to Roaring Plains to Seneca Creek to Spruce Knob! All Trails Map makes it look doable using a couple small road connections. Anyone ever done it?

7 months ago

This trail has everything. Cool views, awesome ridgelines, open meadows, rock cliffs, wooded pine forests, jungley forests, gushing rivers, huge waterfalls, and much more.
This was our groups first backpacking experience it took us 3 days and 2 nights to do the whole loop. On our way in we probably passed 40 or so people on their way out. Everything was a little muddy because of recent rain and it even rained the first day out. Overall everything was great any trail names with the word rocky in them are just that super rocky. Pack plenty of socks. Water is easy to find and if it’s wet dry wood is hard to come by. I also hiked in teva sandals and although it wasn’t terrible I’d definitely bring another option next time.

hiking
7 months ago

very fun and challenging hike. has a lot of great views. Dobbin Grade was extremely marshy but it does have a nice camp site just south of Beaver Dam intersection. I would not recommended this trail for someone that is just starting.

hiking
7 months ago

The Northern part of the hike was really easy going and open. As you descend down to the southern part of the trail you lose a lot of the views but the forest is very cool. the scenery is quite interesting. I will Say this Rocky Ridge Trail is almost 2 miles of no fun, hard on your feet, and at times will make you want to quit. We did 15 miles in one day and I was glad to have knocked out the southern part before making camp. All in all the blue berries, views, and toughness were what we signed up for. I was a little disappointed in not seeing much wildlife but I did get to see the Sage Grouse so that was something.

backpacking
8 months ago

As others have said, this loop offers a diverse selection of terrain. The trail is evenly split between forest and open fields, which is exactly what we had hoped for. We opted to stretch this hike into three days/two nights, which was easy as there were plenty of campsites to choose from along the way. We had hiked after a period of much rain for the area so the ground was thoroughly wet in some parts, but dry in most. The muddier areas were not too challenging to pass through. We did however struggle to find good firewood due to the wet conditions.

Unfortunately we were not able to reach Lions Head as the trail is unmarked and even with direction of a written trail guide we still were not able to find it. (We bumped into a couple on the trail who mentioned they were able to reach it without problems, so perhaps we just didn't look hard enough!)

Overall we enjoyed our hike, it was not too strenuous and our division of 9/6/6 miles made for a leisurely weekend.

backpacking
9 months ago

Lots a different terrain. Had to be careful a few times to not get lost, but plenty of people hiking in July to ask for directions. I would not go if it's supposed to rain as most trails get extremely muddy fast. Lots of blueberries blooming in the higher elevations/open plains. Definitely recommend for an overnight backpacking trip!

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

backpacking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago