The views from Spy Rock are simply breathtaking. It's a short hike, but from the top you can see the Religious Range: The Priest, The Little Priest, The Friar, The Little Friar, and The Cardinal.

The hike is part of the George Washington National Forest, and can easily be combined with nearby Crabtree Falls (300ft cascading waterfall with a hike to the top). The entire trip is 3.1 miles, and there are nice campsites at the base of the summit (no water source) if you want to add on this pretty overlook to a nearby longer hike. This is definitely a hike for locals, so it's never too crowded despite having probably the best views of the Blue Ridge around. The spring and fall are the best time to see the flowers and the fall foliage.

From VA56 turn onto SR690 to the Montebello Fish Hatchery. A small parking area for hikers is available beyond the hatchery buildings (follow the sign). From the parking area cross the road towards the yellow road barriers and head up this uneventful fire road, with occasional blue blazes for 1 mile until you reach the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) intersection.

At the A.T. intersection take a left towards Spy Rock which you will reach in 0.6 miles -- pay attention, this turn can be easy to miss if you aren't watching for it! There is a short Spur Trail to take you over to Spy Rock. There is an easy scramble to get to the top, but my small lab made the journey with no problems if you want to bring your pup. This could be a sunset or sunrise hike, but the views to the west are slightly better looking into the valley.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Backpack
  • Camera
  • Snacks

If you want to camp:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Tent
  • Plenty of water. There is no water source here, but it's still a great little camping spot
  • Bug spray in the summertime
Show More
RT Distance 3.1 Miles
Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Forest
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great Hike with Dog

My husband and I hiked this beauty with our medium sized dog, Daisy! We had a blast. Simple enough of a hike for our pooch to get all the way to the summit, but just difficult enough to feel accomplished and get our heart rates up! Awesome 360 degree view from the top. 3 Miles round trip. Definitely recommend!

Gorgeous views

Hiked this trail from the Hatchery with my 10 year old on 1/21/18 so it is currently open. Just about the best ratio effort:reward - the reward being the views! - within a 100 Miles! All the effort is on the 1.5 out leg of the hike climbing the trail. All down hill back to the parking spot. Bring your camera and an extra layer to hang out a while up top.

Trailhead Is Closed

As per the review below mine, the trailhead is currently closed and is gated with "No Tresspassing" signs. There is a map at the trailhead that will direct you to an alternate way of hiking to Spy Rock.


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