Photograph Bear Rocks Preserve

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Added by Sarah Giek

The windswept boulders at Bear Rocks Preserve provide expansive views of the surrounding landscape.  On a clear day you can see as far as the Shenandoah Mountains, making it a popular spot for watching the sunrise.

The Bear Rocks Preserve is a 477 acre land tract maintained and supported by The Nature Conservancy.  Offering a diverse range of plant species more commonly seen in the Northeast, visitors will find blueberries, huckleberries, mountain laurel, azalea, and rhododendron among the sandstone outcrops at the Bear Rocks Preserve.  As one of the most popular attractions in the state of West Virginia, it is not uncommon to find a line of photographers capturing the sunrise from this location.  

Bear Rocks is also a popular trailhead for exploring the adjacent Dolly Sods Wilderness.  For more information on hiking and camping in the area check out this Camp at Bear Rocks adventure and this Backpacking Dolly Sods adventure.  Download a trail map here.

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Hidden Gem

Highly recommend Bear Rocks to any landscape photographer. It's a phenomenal view with sunrises and sunsets that light up the sky. I'd also recommend bringing along a telephoto lens, as there is an opportunity to really compress the layers of the landscape, specifically the rolling hills of the Alleghany range.

Explorer

Explorer

almost 4 years ago

What and amazing area!

Bear Rocks is just so cool to see. After driving up and up from the valley floor, emerging on to the mountaintop and seeing how different and exposed the Bear Rocks area is was almost a shock. The view to the east is spectacular - mountains on mountains on mountains - so it would be perfect for sunrise. The view to the west across the alpine area is also great, but not as photogenic. You can explore the area a bit - which can involve trudging through bogs - but the best rocks for photography are in the end the ones that are right next to the parking area. If you're staying for sunset, there's no camping within 1/4 mile of the road on the mountaintop, but if you drive about 1 mile back down towards the valley floor there are several dispersed camping spots right along the road.

231 total saves

5.0/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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.

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Hike the Bear Rocks and Beaver Dam Loop

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Camp at Bear Rocks

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Snowshoe or Cross-Country Ski Dolly Sods

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Camp at Red Creek Campground

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