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
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
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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Reviews For The Raven Rocks Hike (5 Most Recent)
This hike will get in shape and you'll be sore the next day. I call it moderate-strenuous. I parked at the RT 7 & 601 parking lot. Plenty of parking spaces at that lot. That lot can hold about 150 cars. Parking is free. (I left the lot around noon and still plenty of parking on the weekend.) I took the blue parking lot trail(middle of the lot) towards Bears Den and then when I hit the AT (white blazes) I turned right or north. The trail then leads you back down towards RT 7 and at RT 7 you will see white arrow painted on the pavement pointing left to the crossing point on Pine road. (It's a little nerve racking walking along the 55mph highway for a 100 yards)Cross over RT 7 and enter the little parking lot. The trail ascends quickly with steps along a ridge. The trail is steep at points but you never have to use your hands. Long grades make it bare-able. A lot of the trail is large 2 foot stepping stones. The trail winds up and down ridges. A hundred yards up and then 100 yards down. (Hence the trail name Rollercoaster) You ascend and descend about 5 times with the final ascent into Raven Rocks being the toughest. The view is awesome. I encountered a lot families and many AT thru-hikers. The thru-hikers are generally the hikers with large backpacks and beards. Many of the day hikers looked worn out and were sitting on rocks resting. Many asked "How much farther????" I wouldn't suggest this hike for young kids. I think it's a bit too much for kids. I chatted with one of the thru-hikers and he said so far the "rollercoaster" has been the toughest part of the AT.
Date of Hike: Saturday, June 25, 2016
Wonderful hike. We managed to knock it out in about 1.5 hrs. Great camp site just steps away from the ridge. Some good climbs as well so bring your gear if you're into that. Water access is available at a creek just before the final ascent to the ridge. Encountered a fair number of through AT hikers along the hike. Please take note: DO NOT PARK ON THE STREET only in the designated parking area. We arrived and found it full so parked on street but I ended up having to trail run 5 miles back to move it as the police showed up and started towing cars.
Date of Hike: Friday, April 08, 2016
Had a free day and after seeing the great videos posted on youtube by Smell N Roses and Peakbaggers for Cancer (RidgeWalker), I decided to hike from Snickers Gap north to Raven Rocks and back. This is a great portion of the trail with lots of places to camp as well as great views at Raven Rocks. The leaves were not out yet, so the 1st half of the hike had additional good views of the valley that would be obscured by trees in the summer. There is a nice spring in the second valley on the way up to the peak and also some cool rock formations and under-rock water noises. This hike has a couple of steep switchback sections with nice flat portions with places to sit and restt in-between. There is pretty good parking for about a dozen cars right at the base of the trail on the westbound side of Rt. 7. Also, there is a cool bar/restaurant, the “Horseshoe Curve Restaurant” very close to the trail on Rt. 679. It's also only about 15 miles to Harper's Ferry.
Date of Hike: Saturday, December 12, 2015
Hit the trail around 9:15. Lot about 3/4 full. Combination of leaves and rocks kept my focus on my footing much of the time. Bringing the dog along made it all the more challenging as the day wore on and more dogs appeared on the trail. Although not a long hike the gains were steep enough to break a pretty good sweat...then again it was 70 degrees! Without any leaves on the trees, the views along the way were nice. The Rocks themselves were a good restspot but the view itself was a bit limited. The other drawback was the noise from Rt 7 which never really disappeared. Round-trip in under 4hrs with about 20-30 min lunch.
Date of Hike: Saturday, November 07, 2015
Leaves make the trail a little slippery. Great hike and very nice views, especially at the Raven Rocks. Note that parking lot is rather small, the earlier the better :)