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

short hike, but uphill the entire way ... felt like much longer than 3 miles roundtrip because of how steep the trail is ... beautiful views at the top - completely worth the trek!

This hike is fantastic - some of the best views I’ve ever seen. The trail is long, but not too difficult in terms of being steep. I found the incline to be gradual. The trail is very doable. Slow and steady wins the race with this one!

It is not the hardest hike, but it is a classic hike with an epic photogenic rock and view. The hike works any time of day as the view is northerly so the sun never gets in the way of your shots. Although it is not that difficult of a hike, when the weather is warm it pays to bring extra water. Parking is plentiful, so no rush to get there early.

Pretty easy hike, but a nice view and payoff. The earlier in the day you go the better since the view is westerly facing and afternoon sun will limit the quality of your photos.

I have done this three times, each of the last three years, it is always best in the fall, but doing it in December means less crowds. The loop is a better way to do it, although the distance is closer to 11 miles that way. Going straight up and down means fighting the crowds coming up through the scramble, which is not fun for either direction. If you are doing it in the summer or fall, I strongly recommend avoiding the weekends or starting early. Arriving around 0800 will leave you waiting in lines on the weekend that can stretch for an hour or more at the start of the scramble. This hike is a lot of fun and a real sense of community develops along the way. Not good for pets at the scramble. Make sure to pack a lunch and enjoy the view at the top.

Great and tough section of trail and the AT groups in the area have done a great job maintaining it, especially since the wind storm in early March blew over some of the big trees. Be extra cautious during or directly following rain as this is a rocky section with lots of dead leaves in some areas that could prove to be super slippery.

You can day-park your car at the Bear's Den hostel endpoint for $3 (or hitch a ride back to your car pretty easily)

Best at sunset

Great hike, with better views than expected. Started at the most westerly side and went clockwise, meaning all the good views were in the first 1/3rd of the hike. The views face westerly so better to move in this direction if you want to have the sun at your back for photo taking. Arriving in the afternoon would put the sun right in your face on the photos. The southern half of this hike is smooth but can get a bit boring. Enjoyable afternoon hike.

1 day ago

Good hike, went clockwise, meaning the best views were in the first third of the hike. You can add a couple miles by going a little farther up to Skyline Drive. The "waterfall" was a bit disappointing but the overall hike was great. I saw a mama bear and two cubs along the trail which made the hike extra interesting. Only one really good view along the hike but was worth the hike. The climb is very smooth and not too taxing.

1 day ago

Great hike on a warm Sunday in March. Did it in a single day, took seven hours at a moderate pace. The distance came out as closer to 14 miles than 12. Still a lot of snow on the trail making it muddy on the AT going up to the ridges. Went counter-clockwise and enjoyed the water on the way down, but since most of the good views on the ridges are south and west facing, it meant the sun was in my face by the time I arrived at the ridges in the early afternoon. If you are a photographer, I would recommend going clockwise instead.

Not very impressed with this hike. For starters, it was VERY crowded on the trail. That’s never particularly fun and takes away from the outdoor experience. Second there wasn’t much to see on the almost 3 mile hike there (and back for that matter) and thirdly, I wasn’t wowed by the viewpoint. There are many better views if your willing to drive an extra 30 minutes. All in all, I doubt i will return.

This is a great trail but can be a bit challenging for shorter people or kids. There are no markings for the trail so be aware of that before you go. Also you can actually use the old fire tower road to walk to the top if you’d like to avoid the obstacles in the trail. It is an old road that is rutted out and fairly steep but would probably be easier for some people to get up. Once at the top the views are absolutely gorgeous and well worth the effort.

The trail head is actually really easy to find, and you park in a gravel lot right next to the trailhead. Don't go through the housing development...walk towards the trailhead. It is the CCT (Gerry Connolly Cross Country Trail) that starts from the parking lot.
This trail has a diverse set of terrain to cover and a good mix of flat and climbs. 2 river crossings (big boulders and pillons to walk on while crossing). Gets pretty busy near the Great Falls Area--pretty empty on the stick part of the lollipop loop.

Starting at the trailhead, go right— this path will put you on the AT and it is a much smoother climb to the summit. If you loop it this way, it’s just short of 3 miles around.

Summit has great views around the valley. A little crowded on the weekend but not too terrible.

Well worth the hike. Will do it again when the weather is warmer.

We hiked up the Cedar Run Trail which was strenuous for the entire way up (about 3 hours). This was a good trail to go up because there were a lot of smaller waterfalls and a steady stream. When we got to the top, we got a little turned around and accidentally went the wrong way. So make you’re reading your map carefully. We went down the White Oak Trail which was beautiful. The waterfalls were huge! Great photo opps. Trails were well kept even with the recent windstorm. The whole hike took us a little over 6 hours.

I did this trail at the beginning of March before the leaves came out. It made the views better all the way along the trail.

Amazing trail. Was windy and a little snowed in after mcafees onto tinkers (some 3 foot snow drifts). But 100% worth the effort. Did the hike in 4 days 3 nights to take our time as a group of 3.

Pretty hike with a nice panoramic view if you tack on Kennedy Trail at the end.

Great running/hiking trail- you can extend your route with several other trials that connect to this one. You can easy get it over 10mi if desired. Trails are well maintained.

Amazing hike. The rock scramble is tough but great fun.

Great hike for kids! Lots of rocks for them to explore and the waterfall was very nice. Look forward to coming back!

mountain biking
3 days ago

Fun basic bike trail. Nothing to hard but defiantly not boring.

3 days ago

This is a great hike for young children, but calling this anything beyond a walk is a definite stretch.

3 days ago


Fun trail! Need decent hiking/water shoes! Do not go when it has rained heavily...when we got there it was the devil's hot tub and you could barely see it :( Opportunities to swim and lots of cool rocks to stop and picnic lunch on :)

loved it!

Pretty rolling hills. Taking in the historical exhibits is the best part.

There is something to be said for going on this hike in the winter....there are no leaves...you can see the falls on the entire hike. It was beautiful ...we are new to hiking...but we went to the top...no problem....would definitely do this again. trying spring next time!

Super quick and simple trail out to the boulders and falls. Middle of March, a little snow left so the drive was a little slushy on Panther Creek Rd but not inaccessible. Due to the time of year and time of day, we wanted to get out in time before sunset to avoid any issues with the drive. We put our two young girls on our backs and ran out for the better part to make it quick, which makes my review "super quick and simple" legitimate. There is a campground very quickly off the parking area you will pass. Summer time would be wonderful on the boulders but I'm sure packed full while off season brings outdoor enthusiasts more peace. GO!

4 days ago

My fiancé, my dog (cocker spaniel), and I did this hike after seeing some local photos (we live in Roanoke). Great hike, moderate difficulty, with some truly amazing views. The hike took a little over 2 hours round trip with taking a 15-20 minute break at the top to look at the amazing views. The trail was snowy when we went which made it a bit harder, but overall very enjoyable and would recommend to others and hike again sometime.

Load More