Hike to Spy Rock

3.1 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Christin Healey

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.

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Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Forest
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

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🥇Top Contributor

about 1 month ago

Combine with crabtree

Nice combination when paired together. If you're in the GWNF, I'd put this on your list.

Fish Hatchery route is closed, use Meadows Lane road

Private road from fish Hatchery to National Forest is closed to general public. Use Meadows Lane road to cash hollow road to approach spy rock from the north. Once you get on Meadows Lane road (towards Crabtree Meadows), reset your odometer. You will cross a stream at .5 and 1.2 miles (low clearance sports cars not recommended). At 3.1 miles look for a 4WD on the right (cash hollow road). Park in one of the camping spots and hike up this road past a Forest service gate to the AT trail. Head south (right) to spy rock. This route is about 5 miles round trip. Should take about an hour each way. Email me if you want more info at Spyrock@mac.com

about 2 years ago

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!

over 2 years ago

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.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

about 3 years ago

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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