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)
If you're just getting into hiking (like me) make sure you check the elevation profile - it is up and down and tougher going than you'd expect. Now, there was a lot of snow on the back side of each hill, so that certainly added quite a level of difficulty that we weren't expecting - this would be an easier hike in the summer for sure.
That said, the overlook is fantastic, and this is a nice workout.
Date of Hike: Sunday, January 19, 2014
A great weekend hike! I decided to head out to Raven Rocks around noon on one of the nicer weekends in January. There were about 15 people on the trail that I passed, about 5 groups in total. As a beginner to hiking on the AT, I would say this trail is pretty good for those looking for a challenge. With two streams in total and about 3 mountains, this hike is great for a morning or afternoon in nature. The first half of the trail, about halfway through the two streams, was fairly easy. The last two mountains were a workout, mostly because of the large amounts of rock. I had a tougher time going down that up due to a thin layer of snow on the rocks. As for kids, this is a place I would not bring anyone under the age of 7 or 8 to, assuming previous hiking experience. The view was way more than I bargained for- with a 180 degrees view of the canyon and fields beyond. I took about 4 hours in total, including a 30 minute break at the top, at a slow to moderate pace. As everyone else has stated, don't park on the side of the street because they do tow. I would definitely recommend hiking shoes with a good ankle support, the rocky descents gave me a couple near trips.
Date of Hike: Sunday, October 20, 2013
I have hiked this many times, and I enjoy it more each time. I live just down the mountain so its really easy for me to get to (even as a last minute decision that I needed some exercise at 4pm today). This is a moderately strenuous hike if you are a novice, however if you are physically active you can knock this out in less than the time suggested (unless you spend a long time at the rocks). Although rocky, the trail is always cleared and very rarely do I see trash from other people. This is something that keeps me coming back to a hike. Two weeks ago when I hiked/ran it I completed it in 1:50 which included a very short break at the rocks. Today I finished in 1:30!! I hope to keep up this pace in my future jaunts up this beautiful section of the mountain. Keep the balance!
Date of Hike: Sunday, October 13, 2013
I got towed :( My fault clearly there are "no parking" signs but I thought, it's really not hurting anything to just pull off here. So, word of warning, they really do tow.
Hike was a nice walk in the woods. We didn't go all the way because we were schedule challenged, but the few glimpses of elevation we saw were nice!
Date of Hike: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Hike was ok, but not what i'd call great. It took us about 3 hours total, including a 20 minute lunch break at the cliffs. I guess due to the cooler nights and warm day, the cliff site was literally crawling with stink bugs. While they don't bite but just buzz around, we really couldn't stay there very long and retreated down the trail a bit to have our lunch.
As for crowding, even though it was a weekday, we still ran into 3 groups of people. The parking was a little tight too as there is only room for about 4 cars.
There is one section where the trail can be a little hard to follow through a creek crossing. Just be sure to not get distracted by the blue blazes.
Overall, a good workout - but not near as scenic as other hikes around here with similar scenic ratings.