Hike to Spy Rock

Spy Rock Trail - Search Nearby - 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.

Distance

3.1 Miles RT

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Chillin, Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Forest
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers

Nearby Lodging

Natural Bridge / Lexington KOA

Natural Bridge, Virginia

Charlottesville KOA

Charlottesville, Virginia

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Kelly Park

over 2 years ago

Perfect Short Hike

This is a short hike with great payoff! The 360 degree views at the top are amazing and I love how it's dog friendly despite the short rock scramble (my dogs love to climb!). The campsites are nice and I had it all to myself -- it was a great way to catch the sunset and sunrise without rushing or hiking in the dark.

One Of My New Favorites!

Honestly, Spy Rock was way better than I anticipated...and it was also steeper than I anticipated. But well worth it! That also makes it a much quicker hike on the way down, so if you're staying for sunset, and leave soon after, you'll only be hiking in total darkness for a short time at the very end. A must do hike.

Scott O'Donnell

about 3 years ago

One Of The Best Views Around

This views at the summit were simply spectacular. Completed the hike with my wife, 10 year old son and pup. The rock scramble at the end was an adventure but it was well worth it. One word of advice: when you reach the AT and turn left, make sure you take the trail to the farthest left (not the red blazes). We made this mistake and got an extra mile in!

Nearby Adventures

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Camp near Crabtree Meadows in GWNF

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Hike The Priest

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Hike Crabtree Falls

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Hike to Wigwam Falls

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