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)
Took my visiting father for the circuit plus down to the shelter at Mill Creek. We had the fortune of a clear, but cold day with a blustering wind (and some snow flakes) from the west. Gratefully the wind was greatly reduced as we dropped down from the Humpback Rock parking lot going counter clockwise on the trail. Take note: While there were only two other cars when we arrived at around 9 am it was full when we returned around 2:30 pm - most hiking up to Humpback. Also had the fortune of repeatedly running into two gentlemen spending the day hiking with a dog who shared additional info about the area: a bit further North on the AT is a cemetery and chimney of an abandoned homestead. Be sure you stop and take some time to visit the overlook (excellent views and a wide area for a group too) on the Eastern side of the trail. Also go down to the shelter - while the hike back up to the circuit is a bit taxing, the creek and great shelter are worth a lunch break site. Met two southbound thru-hikers hunkered in at the shelter, checked out the privy (excellent location and view of the creek). On the return up the switchbacks on the blue marked trail looks to have been a fire which has left some of the hillside charred - approximate area of the plane which we never saw. Saw some deer at the top of Dobie on the return to the now full parking lot. Overall - a quiet alternative route as we only saw one other hiker outside of what I mentioned above leaving the crunchy frozen trail to ourselves. Trail was largely level on the East side with some climbing on return trip from the shelter and the switchbacks noted on the Albright Loop Trail.
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Started this overnight hike by taking the steep one mile hike up to Humpback Rocks. It was extremely busy (tis the season) but enjoyable none the less.
We got on the AT from there and headed north. Ran into many thru-hikers headed south (I'll bring more M&M's to give away next time!) We stopped at the beautiful Glass Hollow overlook before continuing on to the Paul C. Wolfe shelter. There were no fewer than 20 people in and around the shelter. Thru-hikers, high school students, you name it. What an awesome group of people! We thoroughly enjoyed our time and Mill Creek was such a GEM. Flowing strong with mini waterfalls everywhere. This shelter area is first class. It is large and well made. There are bear poles and even a privy.
We hiked back to the Humpback Rocks parking area via the Albright trail, which will warm your bones on a cool morning :) Our total milage was around 11.5 (8 miles on day 1).
We ran into several fine folks with the ODATC, who maintain this area. Many thanks for the work these guys do! This entire loop was well marked and maintained.
Many thanks also to HikingUpward. This is such a great resource. I recommend it to people frequently.
Date of Hike: Saturday, February 27, 2016
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!