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Raven Rocks - Bluemont, Virginia


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e.g. 12000 Government Center Parkway 22035 or Fairfax VA
Turn onto Pine Grove Rd. and park in 20 yards on the right into the small parking area and trailhead. 39.11665, -77.85239
WARNING: Do Not park on Pine Grove Rd/VA679 or you may be towed. Adhere to the No Parking signs.

The view from Raven Rocks is one of the best in the area. Although the distance is only 5.5 miles with a vertical gain of 1,530ft, as you can see from the elevation profile, there are three strenuous ascents on this out and back hike. Raven Rocks is also a popular area with rock climbers, as it can be accessed by a road 0.4 miles from the east.

Make sure to wear sturdy footwear, as the hike that remains entirely on the white blazed Appalachian Trail, is very rocky.

Begin the hike by heading north on the white blazed Appalachian Trail, as it crosses over the first ridge, then making several steep switchback descents before reaching a small run in 0.8 miles. 100 yards past the run cross over an unblazed trail and remain on the Appalachian Trail.

After ascending the next ridge come to a nice view of the Winchester Valley to the west, before descending and arriving at the Raven Rocks Hollow stream in 1.2 miles from the last run.

Climb the final ascent of 0.4 miles, passing a sign marking the Virginia, West Virginia border, then reaching Raven Rocks where you will find fantastic views towards the south west and the Shenandoah Valley.

During spring and fall, the Raven Rocks 100ft wall is a favorite spot with local rock climbers. To return retrace your route 2.7 miles back to the parking area at VA679 and Rt7.

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Hiker Reviews For The Raven Rocks Hike (5 Most Recent)
Review the Raven Rocks hike here!   Average Rating:   Share Hike: 

By: Jess Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 28, 2014
A few friends and I did this hike because it was close to home. The hike, like many others have stated, is VERY rocky. If you have weak ankles and don't have proper hiking shoes I wouldn't recommend this hike to you. Also like others have stated (and you can see in the elevation profile) the trail ascends and then descends a few times before reaching the summit. I'm 22 and in pretty good physical shape and I was definitely out of breath with a pounding heart at the top of each incline. The view is pretty, but not the greatest and the overview was COVERED in stink bugs. I mean, these things were landing on us, flying into us, basically harassing us and that definitely resulted in us leaving the outlook sooner than we normally would have. Check out my full review: http://appalachianhikinglove.blogspot.com/2014/09/raven-rocks.html

By: AndrewM Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 21, 2014
Enjoyable hike with what seemed like one trail. It was nice crossing two states (VA and WV) - when you see the state
boundary, the end (from where you would turn back around) is only about a 15 mins hike away.
 
Payoff from the hike was good with a nice view from the the rocky ledges (at end of hike).

Parking is not so good for this hike as the lot is small (maybe 7 cars) and it is unpaved so drive slowly to avoid scratching your cars undercarriage.

I would rate the hike in terms of difficulty as a 3.5 (out of 5) as it is very rocky terrain with lots of ups and downs! The hike took us about 4 hours including 30 mins for lunch.


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 14, 2014
Ok, what a banner day to do the hike in the first place! And yes, of course, all that has been said before me continues to be true. But, alas, the hike wasn't without a mishap...but not ON the hike but afterward, as many of you who did hike it yesterday came to find out.

You know those "No Parking" signs? Well, word to wise my hiking friends! The area neighbors, and Clark County Sheriff's Department, take them seriously. I was so sure I had parked behind the "No Parking" sign, and was all but a few inches off the road...not so much. I did park behind the sign...the second sign. The first sign, unfortunately, was right smack dab beside my car. So, yes, hiking fans, I was towed, as were many others. too.

So, from now on, I will just have to park at the parking lot on the opposite side of VA 7 and up a few hundred yards (you probably know the place, whereas I, the newly of hiking, was totally oblivious to it. Argh! Apparently, there are two towing companies that do the lion's share of towing, and if you unlucky enough to get your car towed, believe me, you will be paying...and, if you are even more unfortunate, as i and the others were, to get towed on Sundays, the towing companies themselves are closed, even if the individual towing services are still available 24/7 to the county.

Trip's Auto Sales in Berryville, VA was the company that towed my car. Had I asked the Clarke Countey dispatch (who by the way, is a very pleasant person, so please DO be courteous if you talk to her...she is a gem!) to give me CT's (the man who towed for Trip's) phone number, she would have been more than happy to do so...but of course I didn't know that)...as it was, I was given a ride by a fellow hiker, thank you so much for that!!...he gave me a ride to the Horseshoe Restaurant where Jimmie (or is it Jimmy) was the greatest. My cell phone had completely drained, but he let me use the restaurant phone, he even helped me look up phone numbers, and I want to share those with you right now...just in case, hiking fans:

Clarke County dispatch 540-955-1234 (Pam will most likely be the one who helps you out...like I said, she is a gem!!!)

Trip's Auto Sales (Tows to Berryville where they are located) (540) 955-1367 (CT is very helpful, so is the owner...)

Dewey Towing (540) 955-8021 (I'm sorry to say that I didn't know that I can't give any information about them -- although I know some others got towed by Dewey)

So...why can't someone just take a moment to write down the cars' tags that are being towed (yes I'm talking to the towing companies about this), write down the phone number to get in touch with them to know where the car is towed to, and what the fee will be? There is that big posting board at the trail head...is really rocket science to pull out a notepad and write it down and Oh, yes, I guess they do have carry tacks with them...assuming there is no County ordinance against carrying tacks in a vehicle :) Just a note on that board would have been a lot better than just trying to figure out who to call, what the numbers are, and where to go...

When in doubt, though...walk, or better, invite another hiker to go with you and buy them a brew at the Horseshoe Restaurant, and at least you can get some nice help from real people there...

Well that's it for the somewhat down side to the hike...it didn't ruin the whole hike, but I suffer a blister or two because I just didn't take the time I needed to navigate the plethora of stones, rocks and small boulders that are part and parcel to the Raven Rocks hike. Oh, and I guess the swollen knee after the hike wasn't that much fun either...but, again, it was all on me, because I didn't take the time to properly descend the trail as I had ascended it. Silly me.

Looking back on it, would I have wanted someone to tell me "oh, by the way, they're towing cars at the parking lot...is yours one of them, perhaps?" while still on the trail? hmm...let me think...uh, NO! I should have just put my hands over my ears and "Nananananana" until I was out of ear shot of them...as nice as they were, the news didn't help any!

Ok, so the the summit...the awesome cliff where the view is nothing short of breathtaking...oh, and ok, trivia fans...no, I don't have the answer to this question but maybe someone know the answer...when you're at the cliff and you look a little to your left, you see that huge...huge...house on the other mountain just below its ridge? Does anyone know who owns that beautiful place? What a view he/she/they must have!!!

The first run has a few more loose boulders than the last time I hiked it, so just be a bit more careful when crossing them. What else to report...well let's see...oh yes! Bear poop. Watch for it. I saw a couple signs of bear activity, and the owner of Horseshoe Restaurant confirmed that there has quite a bit of bear activity in the area...that and wild hog. So there you go...


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 24, 2014
Lovely day for a hike. I was expecting from previous reviews that this would be a difficult hike. It had moments where it was difficult with the ascents, but overall it was a moderate hike. For reference, we have a 2-year-old that did at least 1/3rd of the hike on foot. My 12-year-old thought it was a fun hike and enjoyed hopping from rock to rock along the trail. The dog was tired at the end, so I know he felt relieved to be heading home.

Trail head was difficult to find - was hoping for a sign along HWY 7 that told us it was approaching. The parking area was tight when we arrived and left - busy hiking location, but didn't feel that way on the trails.

Very rocky trail - I wish I had hiking boots, as my ankles were hurting by the end of the hike. My husband broke in his new boots and was grateful for the ankle support at the end of the hike. The view is beautiful and I look forward to doing this trail again in the fall. Next time, we will take a lunch along and enjoy the view longer.


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 09, 2014
Really enjoyed this hike. Limited parking at the trail head. No real views in summer until you get to Raven Rock, but pretty forest walk all the same. Lots of ups and downs, but not super steep. Could be tough though if you're not in shape. A couple of small streams along the way where you can fill up - very little water flowing at this time of year. Some good camp sites along the way. The views from Raven Rock are really pretty - definitely worth the hike up. Would like to do this in fall.

Bonus - there's a little bar / restaurant about a quarter mile from the trail head on horseshoe road ... a welcome respite after a big day hiking!


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