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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RT Distance 1.2 Miles
Elevation Gain 380 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Romantic
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Bearfence

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!

Great Short Hike

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.

Best View in Shenandoah

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


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