• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking, Fitness, Rock Climbing

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    3 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1600 Feet

Forest
Groups
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

This adventure offers a challenging place to boulder and provides beautiful mountain views throughout.

Want to scale the side of a rock face? If you do, I highly suggest adding this adventure to your list. Hiking to the marbleyard and back to the parking lot will have you at a 3 mile journey. How many hours will it take to hike the trail and tackle Antietam Quartzite boulders larger than cars you may ask? A strenuous 4 hours. Keep in mind there are no bathroom facilities provided.

This trail is not marked very well. There is an information kiosk at the trailhead that I would suggest taking a moment to look at. Follow the blue blazes until the Belfast trail ends and then continue following the trail provided to the right. The mile to the boulder yard is a steady up hill climb. Once you arrive at the boulder yard, take a moment to select your route of choice and begin your ascent up Devil's Marbleyard!

Take caution as you ascend up each boulder! Some of the boulders are loose and will cause you to lose your footing. In addition, many of the boulders that you will have to transfer yourself over onto have major 25-35 foot cravasses between them. Furthermore, make sure you glance up the boulder field ever so often, boulders have been known to become loose and tumble down the yard. If you keep your route towards the middle of the yard you may be lucky enough to find one of the few caves that are hidden within the yard. There are a couple of small caves to the left of the yard as well. At the top of the yard there are a few campsites that you may want to either set up camp or enjoy a snack at the site.

So after you beasted your way up the marbleyard you may be wondering how you will descend. You are in luck my friend, there is a small, extremely steep and narrow path down the left side (from the top of the marbleyard). this path will lead you along the boulders and down to where you started your ascent up. From this point, retrace your steps back to the parking lot.

If you are looking for a place to pig out at after your tough day at the marbleyard, consider checking out the Pink Cadillac, a local favorite. They are located right off of I-81, Exit 180-A. Follow the signs until you see the Pink Cadillac outside.

From the Lynchburg area: Follow 501 North to the Blue Ridge Parkway. From there take a left onto the park way and follow it for about 7 miles then make a right onto Petites Gap rd. (Petites Gap rd. is a single lane dirt/gravel road on the side of a mountain. ) Take extreme caution when traveling this road. You may need to move some larger rocks out of the road if any has fallen. The road is very bumpy. The trail head is about 2.7 miles on your right. Very small parking lot.

From the Roanoke area: I81, exit 175 to Natural Bridge/Rt. 11. turn right onto Rt. 130E. then turn onto 759, after you spot Glenwood Iron Furnace on the left, turn onto 781, the parking lot is a little ways down on the left. Very small parking lot.

Pack List

  • Daypack
  • Band Aids (slips on the rocks are common)
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Shoes with traction
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Reviews

Overall rating: 

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What makes this place so unique is there's no set path once you reach the marbleyard and it's a very easy trail to get there. Once you get to the marbleyard you can choose to start climbing the rocks at the bottom or you can follow a path to the side of the mountain and jump in at any given time. Very fun playground for all ages - but be very careful!

25 days ago
25 days ago

The Marbleyard is a place that never gets old - the time of year and the route you choose to ascend will ensure that your experience will be new every time. The Marbleyard is one of my all-time favorites - if you love scrambling, this is the place for you!

4 months ago
4 months ago

There are many hidden caves along the Western side of the marbles, and a few 3/4 of the way up in the middle. Good luck finding them.

5 months ago
5 months ago

This is a very fun, unique day hike. Only a short 1 mile hike to the start of the "Marbleyard". From there it's just a free for all of fun. Pick your route and start climbing. Once at the top there is somewhat of a gorge that is a lot of fun to explore. Sunset is fantastic!

6 months ago
6 months ago

This hike receives a 5 because of the wonder that caused all of this, there isn't a set path but the way to the top is fantastic.....when you finally find it

6 months ago
6 months ago

This was one of the first hikes I completed in VA. The car park is fairly easy to miss as its not clearly signed and is really small. The trail itself is pretty remarkable! The "marbles" or rocks range in size from smallish to the size of a large van. It's a tough climb to the top but the view is well worth it!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Great hike, and incredibly unique geological site that's really unexplainable. Awesome sunset views! It's a steady climb so be sure to bring plenty of water.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

The scrambling is a great challenge and there is an infinite number of ways to get up and down the marble yard. Not to mention the views are incredible at the top. I will say that it is much longer than it looks, and the going is slow because you have to plan each step. A must do adventure for anyone who likes a little bit of an outdoors challenge.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Don't take your pups! They will not handle the boulders well. Much harder than it looks but very fun!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

One of my favorites in Virginia-there's nothing else quite like it. It takes a lot of time and mental focus to ascend all the boulders, but the view at the top (and the exercise) is definitely worth it. For an added bonus, check out the nearby Cave Mountain Lake for a swim or to camp.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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