Dobie Mountain is not as popular as its neighbor, Humpback Rocks, but is a nice hike if you want to get away from the crowds. Less than 1.1 miles into the hike you will reach the Glass Hollow Overlook that has some great views of Rockfish Valley. We had lunch at the Paul C. Wolfe Shelter and then returned via the Albright Loop Trail with a side visit to a visible plane wreck just off the trail.
We parked at the Humpback Rocks Parking Area (MP6 on the Blue Ridge Parkway). This hike can be done as a shortened 4.0 mile hike or as a 6.8 mile hike if you choose to go to the shelter for lunch.
The blue-blazed trail begins to the right of the picnic table and directly in front of the first parking spot, do not take the well signed Albright Loop Trail to the left of the picnic table or you will miss the Glass Hollow Overlook. There is no sign for this trail, it is the Old Howardsville Turnpike and will take you to the A.T. intersection in 0.3 miles. At the intersection take a sharp left onto the white blazed A.T. heading north. Continue 0.8 miles to reach the spur trail to the Glass Hollow Overlook. Take a right on the blue-blazed spur trail reaching the overlook in 0.2 miles for some great views of Rockfish Valley.
Return to the A.T. and take a right heading north. In 0.3 miles you will pass the first intersection of the Albright Loop trail, go another 0.1 miles to reach the second intersection of the Albright Loop Trail. If you want to do the short 4.0 mile hike, take a left at this intersection. If going to the shelter, bear right staying on the A.T. going north.
The next 1.4 miles down to the shelter is a fairly gentle series of switchbacks, dropping 700 ft. At the 0.5 mile mark there is an overlook with views of Scott Mountain and Bear Den Mountain in Shenandoah National Park to the north. I-64 will also be visible. Just before the shelter you will cross over Mill Creek and to the right you will see a beautiful granite bench that is a Memorial to John Donovan, a long time Old Dominion Appalachian Trail Club (ODATC) member who died in California while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The ODATC maintained shelter is one of the nicest on the A.T. in VA. After lunch, head back south on the A.T. and at the first intersection you arrive at take a right onto the blue-blazed Albright Loop Trail.
Go about 0.7 miles and after the second switchback look uphill to the South for plane wreckage that is visible from the trail. Mr. Henri Weems provided information that it is a Beechcraft that crashed in 1964 and was found a year later by ginseng hunters, no flight plan had been filed. Please respect this site and adhere to the Leave No Trace principle "Leave what you find".
Continue on the Albright Loop trail, passing the intersection of the east portion of the Albright Loop trail, arriving at the Humpback Rocks Parking area in 1.3 miles.
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Reviews For The Dobie Mountain Hike (5 Most Recent)
At 10:00 am it was < 30 degrees and the trail was crunchy underfoot with ice. There was some windfall from a recent storm, but not much, as the trail had been maintained recently. I went down the trail next to the picnic table to join up with the AT after a short slog down the watery spur. After that it was peace and quiet, except for the leaves and ice. Good winter views of the Valley near the top of the mountain last time I was up here the views are restricted by leaves.
This is the quiet little sibling of the Humpback Rocks hike, and I met no one on the trail, even though the parking lot was full. For that reason, the earlier you can get here the better. On the AT there was shelter from the wind, until near the top of the mountain, and by then it was okay to cool off after the climb. All in all a good little hike on a beautiful day.
NOTE: The Albright Loop Trail is closed to hikers with a cable, and the signage has duct tape over the arrows pointing to the trail. The first closure is on the AT, just before the trails split and the loop trail hangs a left to go up the mountain, and the second is on the downhill about 1/4 mile or so from the parking area.
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 17, 2015
My wife and I took this hike as an overnight backpacking trip. We tented at the shelter. There were about 20 or so people camped down there with us but everyone was very respectful and the stay was enjoyable. I can understand why they were all out because even though it got down to 28 degrees the weekend was beautiful. A big shout out to the ODATC who were out Saturday cleaning and re-marking this portion of the trail. It is very evident that they take maintaining their portion of the trail very seriously. The views from all of the overlooks mentioned were amazing with all of the fall colors. We had a difficult time finding a parking spot due to all of the leaf peepers that were out. With all of the cars parked both at the visitor center and the humpback rocks parking area there were surprisingly few people on this trail. If doing this hike as a backpacking trip from the parking areas there is a form to fill out so the park service will know you are leaving your car for the night.
Date of Hike: Saturday, July 26, 2014
We completed this hike as described. This hike is really a hidden gem. I felt like I knew a fantastic secret as we went down the secluded path and everyone else went over to Humpback Rocks. We saw maybe 6 other people-- both groups at the very last mile or two of the hike (although we heard a story about a hiking cat, we sadly weren't lucky enough to see her).
The views are amazing, nearly as good as Humpback, but without the crowds. We sat and just watched the world go by alone and it was pure bliss. The trail itself is in great shape compared to the other hikes we've done. You don't have to watch your footing at all, just take in the quiet woods.
We hiked down to the stream and shelter. I was against it at first because I'm really a "view" kind of girl, but it truly was stunning. The bench is beautiful and wonderfully refreshing on a hot day. Our dog LOVED splashing around in the river. It was like you were in your own little world down there. I would definitely encourage anyone doing this hike to take the extra time down there. The hike back up wasn't bad at all. My husband ended up looking at the airplane, but I just got a creepy feeling from it so I stayed away. I can't comment too much on that part.
Perhaps the best-- and scariest-- part of the hike was the wildlife. We saw a total of 6 bears, including 3 cubs. We managed to get a good look at them before our dog scared them off. They ran, but we still were sure to make a lot of noise for the remainder of the hike. Just keep your eyes open as you're walking, keep some chatter between you and your partner and you'll be fine.
Truly fantastic, definitely one of my favorites that we've done so far!
Date of Hike: Friday, April 11, 2014
I hiked this as part of a circuit that included the extended Humpback Rocks hike described on this website. Total distance was about 15 miles. I started early and had the rocks to myself before I went south on the AT to the Wintergreen overlook. There was still some snow on the ski runs that made for some good pictures. I backtracked along the AT and picked up this circuit just before the parking lot. The AT trail down to the shelter was well marked and the vista from the overlook was worth the side trip. The shelter was easy to reach with stepping stones across a well flowing Mills Creek. After lunch I started the climb out and was pleasantly surprised that it was not as difficult as I expected. Once the AT rejoins the Dobie Mountain circuit there's a nice long flat stretch before the trail goes vertical over Dobie Mountain. The vertical portion was more difficult than coming out of the shelter but a nice change from the AT with some interesting trail. Once over the mountain the downhill to the parking lot wasn't too tough on the knees. A nice hike that I'll take my wife on over the summer.
Date of Hike: Saturday, November 23, 2013
We did the hike as described on this site. The directions, which I printed out and took with me, were easy to follow and accurate. We took a little longer than listed due to taking photos and little rests here and there. We pulled in a little after 10 AM, and there were a few cars there. Everyone we saw was headed to Humpback Rocks. When we got back over 4 hours later, the lot was full. Solitude on this hike was great. We saw a man and his two little girls heading back to the lot a couple of minutes into the hike and an AT section hiker at the shelter getting ready to leave when we got there.. That's it! I imagine the season and weather were a factor.
We pulled into the parking lot, got out of the car, and WIND!!! It was so windy! And cold. That's because it's pretty much a wind tunnel between Dobie Mountain and Humpback Rocks. Once you hit the trail and descend into the woods, it feels much better. The hike was a nice mixture of flat easy strolls, challenging uphills and downhills, huge boulders, nice views, and 4G phone reception.
This was my first mountain hike in over ten years. Same for my wife. She got the same feeling on this hike as her last hike - the elevation was messing with her and causing her not to be able to catch her breath. She soldiered on and made it through!
I'm already planning the next hike. Great job, Hiking Upward!