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)
I recommend this as a good morning hike, and probably an excellent hike for newbies. It's close to DC, quiet, well-marked, and has a lovely view of the Shenandoah valley. There are a couple decent climbs that will make you break a sweat, but generally it's gentle. I began at 9 and only saw a couple people, but it was noticeably more crowded when I was finishing. It shouldn't take more than 3 hours unless you dawdle - I was back in the city in time for Sunday brunch.
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Chilly and windy day. We'd only done this hike once before in the early summer and got a super late start. Hiking Upward lists this hike at about 4 hours and I'd say that's a good average depending on your speed and abilities. Fearing a return in the dusk we kept a pretty relentless pace and finished this out and back in 2 hours and 35 minutes. Not a lot of time to sight-see but still a nice trip through the woods. Windy and cold depending on where you were on the mountain. After spending a few minutes at the peak taking in the view we headed back. Good hike for those trying to get out of the city without the time to reach Shenandoah, will definitely be back!
Hans ( und Heidi )
Date of Hike: Tuesday, January 08, 2013
For January the day was warm and in the 50 degrees area. There was some snow about and on the trail here and there. We found the hike to be pleasant with just enough grade variation to make for a good 4 hour workout. The woodlands and terrain are nice and not "junky" here. The view from the rock outcrops was very distant but not widely panoramic, still beautiful by any measures.
A special thing happened of note. Heidi had dropped her cell phone on the trail and some very nice young people made a great effort to contact me and returned the lost phone soon thereafter while we were still hiking. They saved the day and a whole lot more potential anguishes.
Date of Hike: Sunday, September 16, 2012
For seasoned hikers, this was a perfect choice for a day hike. Just enough difficulty to tease your interest in hiking some more without being so demanding that it makes you want to sit and rest. The view at the 'top,' really just an amazing vista situated along a ridge on the AT, is worth every bit of the hike. We didn't plan on visiting another state, but after overlooking the West Virginia border on the map, it was a welcome surprise just beneath the Raven Rocks. Grab your lunch and your pup and you've got the recipe for a great afternoon!
Date of Hike: Sunday, July 01, 2012
Used this trail to break in my new trekking poles and boy did they come in handy. I'd read descriptions that this was a rocky trail and it did not disappoint. Proper footwear (i.e. boots with ankle support) helped a lot too. Even though I got to the trail head really early (6:30am) I still ran into a total of about 17 other hikers. Fortunately that was mostly on my way back down from the rocks, which I had peacefully to myself for about 20 minutes. Views were nice from the top and the ascents offer a decent workout. I'd come back again in the fall/winter when the views open up more.