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)
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!
Tracy and Brandi
Date of Hike: Monday, October 21, 2013
Did this hike today with my wife and four month old daughter and had a very pleasant time. The fall foliage was just starting to hit its peak, the temperature was in the low to mid 60s and there wasn't a cloud to be seen. All in all, the perfect day for a hike. These conditions, however, seem too have brought a thousand people out of the woodwork. My wife and I usually get out on the trails Mondays and Tuesdays which seems to raise the solitude factor to 5 on most hikes, but due to the perfect weather, there was only one parking spot open at the trail head. People who arrived after us had to park along the road. The good news for us was that most, if not all, of the people there were headed up the Humpback rocks trail. We only saw two other hikers on the Dobie trail. I give Dobie a solitude rating of 4 (the parking area gets a 0).
The rating of a 3 for difficulty is very suitable for this hike. Not too steep but enough to get you blood pumping in a few places. This would be a good hike for youngsters, as well as dogs.
As for streams a views I can't give an accurate rating because we didn't complete the hike as per HU. I tried to do the hike the way HU described but I took the wrong trail out of the parking lot. I soon realized I was hiking the trail backwards and thought "Oh well. I guess I'll do it backwards." We found our way to the plane wreck site and then to the spur that takes you to the AT shelter. We wanted to check out the overlook that is on this spur but there were a few hikers parked on the rock outcropping getting some zen time, so we turned back as to not disturb them. We followed the AT back to the blue blazed trail from which we came and continued on the AT south for about .1 miles. We then came to a intersection that said, "Humpback Rocks Parking area." and I thought, "Oh, this is the way." About half way down this trail my wife asks, "Where was Glass Hollow overlook?" We then realized we had taken the wrong trail. We ended up only completing the Albright loop hike. Needless to say, my wife was very disappointed in my navigation skills. Once we got back to the parking area, we decided to hike up Humpback rock, since we had a little extra time.
Date of Hike: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Passed very few people on this hike, although there were several people stopped for lunch (or staying) at the shelter.
Abundant wildlife -- a lot of bird calls. Also passed a deer walking along the trail and (CAUTION) a rattle snake along with other smaller snakes. Just be careful where you are stepping, especially walking up to the plane crash site.
Date of Hike: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Nice Hike. Perfect Weather. It was very easy to find the directions are great. I would say in another week or two, as the warmer weather hits, this hike will be absolutely gorgeous. We started around 11 am and took my 3 year old daughter. She loved it. The only difficult part for her was the hike back up from the shelter and the last portion of Allbright loop. It was moderately difficult with the elevation changes. We went to the Glass Hollow overlook and you could see everything with the lack of leaves etc. The shelter area is great and just to the left of the end of the trail to cross Mill Creek there is a very easy rock crossing.
The only disappointing part of this trip was my inability to see the plane crash area. Myself and two others looked and looked. I will be doing this hike again at some point this summer. Overall a nice hike.
Date of Hike: Sunday, November 04, 2012
Great hike. We did this as one of our annual 2 50+ dads and their 2 12 year old sons November camp. The Shenandoah NP was iffy because of Hurrricane Sandy, so we looked elsewhere and found the Dobie Mountain hike on this site (many thanks). Parked at the Humpback Rock parking and followed the trail to to the AT, where we turned the wrong way (12 year olds in the merry lead), but the sharp left is sharp but well marked as we saw once we got turned back the right way.
Because of time of day (started at 3PM), we bypassed the Glass Hollow overlook and headed to the shelter area, but got a nice view of the Rockfish Valley anyway. Several groups of campers were already at the shelter, so we found a good site for 2 tents 100 yards or so east of the shelter. Plenty of flowing water. Enough fallen wood for fire. Sheltered location close to the stream. Hiking back the next morning, the initial climbing segment got our attention but was not uncomfortable for a couple older hikers or their younger sons. Next time I hike this loop, I'll be a little more critical about the contents of my pack. (I had several duplicated items to test and compare.) Nonetheless, we had a great time and would do it again and recommend it as a really good late fall overnight.
Thanks to the ODTC, who had members out on Saturday cleaning up the trail from Sandy's effects.