Humpback Rocks is one of the most popular hikes in the area with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park.

This little hike is one of the most popular in the area, and for good reason! It's a short and steep one mile to the top, but the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park to the east, are some of the best around. It's somewhat of a tradition for students from the University of Virginia to hike up here for sunrise, but to live like a local, take a picnic and a beer from one of the many local breweries nearby and watch the sunset over the mountains. It isn't a top pick for solitude on the weekends, but on a weeknight you may find you are the only one around. You can also camp right below the summit for easy access to sunrise and sunset. Note: The Blue Ridge Parkway closes in the winter, but you can park your car where the road closes and walk to the summit, making the hike a more fun and challenging 11 miles roundtrip.

Start at the Humpback Rocks parking area right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The easiest way to get to this spot from Charlottesville is to take 64W and get off at exit 99 following the signs to the Parkway. From the beginning of the parkway the trailhead is another 5 miles. The trail is well marked, and it's one very steep mile to the summit. Even though it's short, it takes most people about 45 minutes to get to the top. Once you have taken in the views, you can go easy on your knees and take the longer way down, which also gives you great views to the east at times. This trail is well marked and an easy day trip from Charlottesville and Waynesboro. It is also in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but you do not need to enter Shenandoah National Park to get there.

Pack List

  • Water 
  • Hiking shoes 
  • Backpack 
  • Snack
  • Camera
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 800 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Romantic
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Humpback Rock

Very steep hike but well worth it. Fun trail on your way up. If you want to opt out of the steep hike you can choose to take an easier trail but it's a little more than double the time. This is a very popular hike so leave early to avoid it being crowded!

Short trip that's worth it.

Like everyone else has stated, it is an uphill hike. It's not long, though. I went early in the morning and it was nice, but as the day went on, it started to get fairly crowded. This hike reminds me a lot of one of the hikes at home in Georgia - Pine Mountain Trails.

Great For A First Hike

This is a perfect place for a First hike. It gets crowded so make sure you arrive early. If the parking lot by the trail fills up you can park just down the road at the guest center and hike from there. It only adds a couple extra minutes to the hike.


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