• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    1.2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    380 Feet

Easy Parking
Forest
Romantic
Scenic

This short loop will provide you with 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There is also the option to combine it with a further hike on the AT.

This is one of my favorite hikes in Shenandoah National Park for its views, easy access to the trail, and the option to combine it with a much further hike on the AT. There is also a really fun little rock scramble at the top that scares a lot of people away, but makes for a more secluded summit, especially during the week. There are 360 views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the top, and it's my favorite place of all time to watch summer storms roll by (with caution, of course!). In the spring and fall it's especially gorgeous, but a good trail at any time. PLEASE NOTE: the scramble at the top is tricky for dogs and it's one of the few trails in the park where you can't bring your adventure pup.

The trailhead is located on mp 55.1 of Skyline Drive, and you can access Shenandoah National Park from several different entrances. The parking lot is well marked with a sign, and I have never had a problem with space, though I imagine in the fall on a weekend you will want to go early. From there you cross Skyline Drive, and the trailhead is located just on the other side of the street. Just stay straight, and the trial will intersect with the AT in about .3 miles. Just keep straight again(there is a sign) and follow the blue blazes. When you get to the rock scramble, keep on the blue blazes until you reach the summit. From the summit, you can either make it a loop by following the signs, or come back the way you came. Either way, it's a 1.2 mile hike.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Good hiking shoes -- the scramble can be tricky!
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Reviews

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From the parking lot to the top of the mountain took about 20 minutes. Two options on how to get there: moderate and easy. Moderate has a rock scramble which I personally didn't think was too difficult - just really fun! The easy route is a trail that doesn't include rock scramble and it's just as fast to get to the top that way. Perfect area for sunrise and sunset - 360 view. I did go during winter time at the end of January but the views were still incredible. I also had the pleasure of having the entire trail to myself. However, it's a great hike year round!

22 days ago
22 days ago

When you're in the central district of Shenandoah why not stop for a short 30 minute hike with outstanding views of the surrounding landscape? Seems like a no brainer and this short hike fits that bill.

10 months ago
10 months ago

Bearfence has in my opinion the best view in Shenandoah NP. The 360 view allows hikers to enjoy both sunrises and sunsets.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Loved this hike, and the views were outstanding. Even though the distance is short, the rock scramble made things interesting and fun. We stayed through sunset, and were still able to make it back down before needing to use our headlamps. Great hike!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

I loved this little hike so much that now whenever I'm in the area I always tack it onto the end of a day of hiking. It's so easy and short and the views are breathtaking. I also like to recommend this spot to any photographer friends who are looking for a good place to catch a sunset. However, I've never been to the top and been alone for my entire time there- it's very popular for good reason. Great pictures!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

The trail is short, but interesting because of the mini rock scramble it takes to get to the summit. The views from here are outstanding any time of year, but it is especially a treat to hike up during peak fall colors.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Good small rock scramble. Pretty fun with an okay 360 degree view at the top. Wish it was longer!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

This hike has quickly become one of my favorite spots in Shenandoah. The trail is close to the Route 33 entrance, which is convenient for a quick after-work hike. And the rock scramble provides enough of a challenge to make it more than just a walk in the woods, without being an exhausting endeavor. Great for sunsets and sunrises too!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Hike took no time at all. Scramble was fairly easy and the view is amazing. Definitely recommend this hike!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago
about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Just did Bearfence 7-11-15 as a late evening hike before leaving Shenandoah NP.. It was fun scrambling to the top, can't imagine going the other way but it's nice that is available! Short scramble/hike to really amazing views - you can get a lot from this hike in no time at all.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Christin Healey Explorer

Explorer, adventure seeker, lover of life and all things creative.

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