Explore the most popular walking trails near Montebello with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike not for beginners it's up up all the way! But the 360 panoramic view is amazing.

Hiked the 1 mile closest to Sherando Lake Rec Area, USFS Campground early August. Fairly level. Sharp, small rocks for about half the hike made it a near ankle-twister. Narrow, single-file. Well-forested with a few ridge-top boulders. Views were mostly obscured by trees & mainly of the wooded, parallel ridges. Evidence of recent bear activity with numerous downed berry bush-trees. 2800-2900’.

hiking
19 days ago

Based on the google maps directions provided by this app, you’ll be driving up a tight service road for a significant amount of time until you reach a point where you may be able to park your car. Do not drive a car that rides low to the ground as you’ll basically be driving over two small creeks and many potholes. Signs for the trailhead are nonexistent, so the gps tracker on this app is absolutely essential. The actual hike is easy, with a bit of a rock scramble at the summit, where it’s a panorama view of the mountains surrounding you.

Beautiful views at the top. At times the hike was difficult but nothing too bad. I did this hike 20 weeks pregnant with my 5 year old and 7 year old. Enjoyed a lunch at the top

Fabulous views at the top, after a somewhat challenging rock climb at the end! On the difficult end of “moderate”.

Very steep on the return trip. Nice hike but be aware. Also the falls are not huge.

Fun trail but the difficulty rating is way off. This is most definitely more difficult than the easy rating given.

Strenuous hike up, rock scramble is moderately difficult. 360 degree view at the top is spectacular.

hiking
3 months ago

Got a little lost at one point and there was one place of some fairly serious rock scrambling, but the view was amazing and a picnic at the top just fantastic.

3 months ago

Worth?
Sure..

We did this coming up from the fish hatchery. Pretty blah hike up. Spy Rock almost 360° view pretty cool. Ran into GM and Chef for Devil Backbone brewery on trail. Went and checked DB out after it got 5 stars.

This is one of my favorite hikes when I get out of class or on a weekend. I hit the falls first and then go to The Priest or Spy Rock for the tremendous views. On of the best in C’ville—views and waterfalls. The trail is a bit confusing for a quarter mile after the falls before the AT. Stay on the road and follow the signs

This is an excellent hike for people who want to combine two moderate hikes, Crabtree Falls and its beautiful waterfalls, and Spy Rock and its 360 degree views, into one longer hike. It is over 12 miles with more than 3000 foot elevation gain so the hike is somewhat strenuous, but it provides a good 6-8 hour hike with some of the best waterfalls and stunning views that central Virginia has to offer. The hike can be crowded near the falls on a weekend and again near Spy Rock but over five miles between the two is mostly empty. This hike follows the Appalachian Trail and the well marked Crabtree Falls trails with a popular cut-through connecting them so it is easy to follow. Best in the late spring, summer, and fall.

hiking
4 months ago

Views were spectacular and easy enough for kids. Straight uphill to get there but all downhill coming off the mountain and a good wide “road” if you park at the hatchery. Little spotty figuring out the best way to get up and down the rock but we all did fine and well worth the climb.

hiking
5 months ago

Krista, thanks for posting your review on the alternate route to Spy Rock. The more people that try this route, the more it will become recognized as superior to the Fish Hatchery route to Spy Rock (hopefully the National Forest will eventually support it). Yes, you can take a normal car up Meadows lane road when the weather is good but you need to be careful and take it slow. There are plenty of good camping areas along the alternate route because it’s all on NF property. However, camping at the base of Spy Rock is not recommended (no water and to much traffic). E-mail me if anyone wants recommendations on camping areas (I know the area very well). Spyrock“at”Mac”dot”com

By the way, the alternate route parking is in Crabtree Meadows. Little grassy spot, be careful of foliage.

backpacking
5 months ago

The fish hatchery is open, thank you, Mike Y.! I let my GPS take me there from northern. VA and I ended up at the alternate route. No problem. A little longer but easier on the body. This was the 4WD route, but my little Honda Accord made it up and down just fine. Just took it slow and watched for holes. Warning - it’s easy to get turned around hiking back down the morning after. Next time I do an overnight i’ll take the fish hatchery route just to east my mind. All in all an amazing trip! The sunset and sunrise simply cannot be beat! Great pick for my first overnight :)

hiking
7 months ago

backpacking
8 months ago

my wife and I did this trail for the first time during the end of NOV, we mad it a 2 day/1night trip. the trail has the potential to be a good trail but with some little changes. first the trail is about 12.5 miles loop.

2.5 on one trail.
4 on the jeep trail
4 on st Mary's trail
and 2 on the last trail

on the whole loop their are only about 3 blazers which makes it really hard to navigate and some points. Their are very minimal signs that are helpful. and the other growth was outrageous. some parts of the trail are relatively flat, but the other parts are either steep incline for miles. or steep decline. plan to spend at least 30 min trying to find the correct trail because their are alot of self made trails.

pros. Their are alot of self made camp sites along the way. one that even over looks the the valley( but there is no water at this site) another real good one is half way thru st Mary's trail, right next to the creek. there are also alot of places to get water.

overall I will probably not do this trail again do to the lack of information and trail blazers.

Laura, it sounds like you were on the correct route. The AT trail takes you to a saddle at the base of Spy Rock but you need to scramble to the top and there is no marked trail to the summit. There is a small sign that reads “Spy Rock” with an arrow at the saddle. It is easy to miss...

Fav place for a short hike

hiking
9 months ago

*Tried* to hike this yesterday....we definitely hiked something. Followed the alternate route directions but weren't entirely sure which gravel road with car camping spots was Cash Hollow as we didn't have reception. Parked off road next to the most obvious road that was at least 3 miles up Meadows Lane & hiked up past a gate & turned Right up the AT like directions said. We never came to a definitive summit or saw other trails leading to one before the AT started to descend again. Was still gorgeous, and an enjoyable hike with no other people in sight/sound. Could someone post photos of the 4WD road or parking area?

hiking
9 months ago

Followed the current recommended route to avoid trespassing. Started the hike in the early morning when it was still dark so that we could watch sunrise from Spy Rock. Good times scrambling at the end. About 2.4 miles each way.

hiking
9 months ago

I love this one. It's a nice steady up hill walk that gets a little rocky and steep towards to the top. Once you get to the top as an FYI u do have to climb the spy rock which can be a challenging both for ppl and dog. I had a husky and a Boston terrier. We came one a foggy day which was amazing to walk through but at the top we didn't see anything so we will be coming back.

9 months ago

Great trail with 360 view at top!

hiking
9 months ago

Great day hike. Not too crowded. Mostly well marked except for best route up the rock. That’s the adventuresome part! I went up on left side of rock and descended on opposite side. Both were equally challenging, but the route to the right as you are looking at back of Spy Rock seemed a bit faster. Dogs seemed to have no problem making it up and it is a wide trail for the most part so great for pets. Most amazing view from the top. Plan to stay awhile.

hiking
10 months ago

I have hiked this trail twice now, once alone and once with two children (6 and 7). Spoke with one of the landowners on my last trip who expressed his concerns with some of the hikers, but told us we could use the trail if we so chose to. Of the more beautiful vistas I have had the pleasure of viewing.

backpacking
10 months ago

A hike I really enjoy, especially during the fall. There’s a campsite there as well as the overlook is beside the AT. I’d say it’s more than just moderately trafficked. The view, while not being the highest point gives you a unique 360 look around. Great place for sunrise or sunset, just a slight scramble involved to get on top of it.

hiking
10 months ago

We parked in the lot by the trailhead. We had a great day and the gkids loved it. We arrived at the top and did go to the left and the kids were able to navigate the trail just fine. They are 3 and 4. The view was beautiful and we spent a good while up there having our lunch.

If you park off Meadows Lane road and hike the alternate route (up the 4WD Cash Hollow road turn right on the AT trail) it is about 2.5!miles each way (5 total). About 750 ft elevation change (less then the Fish Hatchery route). Plan on an hour and a half each way. See Dave Pitman recorded track on this app site below, it is the correct alternate route (it shows the distance as 2.4 miles one way).

As for the no trespassing signs on Spy Rock roads being "illegal", all I can say is it's currently in the process of being determined. If you have a high clearance vehicle, I recommend using the alternative route (it's better). What started all the problems was hikers not respecting private property. Spy Rock road is on private property, The more people that ignore the no trespassing signs the more difficult it will be to reach a compromise w/ some of the landowners. If you have a low clearance vehicle, you can use the Crabtree Falls lot off route 56 (a full day hike). If you have to use the Spy Rock road, please be quiet and respect the fact that there have been issues w/ people hiking thru this area. Hopefully this will get resolved soon....

Load More