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)
Second training hike of the season for the Ultimate Hike we have planned in August. Knowing that parking could be an issue, we arrived at the trail head at 8am. There were only 3 other cars in the small lot which was a bit surprising. The weather was brisk and the skies were overcast making it for a chilly start to the morning.
The trail was definitely challenge. You start out by going up a small incline and get very little reprieve from the ups and downs until you make it to the overlook. Within the first mile, you will come to the first overlook tucked a few feet off the trail. It's a sampling of what is to come when you finally make it to Raven Rocks.The trees are only starting to get their leaves so we experienced some nice views for the first part of the trail until we descended into the hollow. The descents were just as brutal as the ascents with steep grade and rocky paths. You had to constantly watch your footing or risk tripping and falling.
The final ascent brings you to a sign that marks the VA/WV border. This was a cool place to catch our breaths and take a few photos before the final push to the rocks. Not long after you pass the sign, you will make your way out of the forest and arrive at the overlook. We spent 30+ minutes relaxing and exploring the top of the ridge. The views were spectacular, and we felt very lucky to have the rocks all to ourselves for the majority of the time.
Our trip back to the car had us passing several groups of hikers including both day hikers and AT hikers. We could definitely see how this can become a crowded trail later in the day. The ups and downs are just as challenging as what you experience on the way to the overlook so make sure you fuel up and drink lots of water. Overall, we enjoyed this hike quite a bit and will come back in the fall when the leaves start to change.
Date of Hike: Saturday, April 04, 2015
the hike was tougher than i expected with several rocks on the trails and uphill battles. it was a lot of fun and i got a great workout. the end of the trail was breath taking and worth the trip. during the hike had wonderful views and rocks to jump on for fun. will definitely go again before it gets to hot :)
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 08, 2015
I would like to follow up regarding the person's comment about parking. This is a Clarke County Area - therefore Loudoun County does not make that decision. I was parked on the gravel - before the No Parking sign and I was STILL towed by Office Hough from Clarke County. It's a shame that as we take in nature and try to have a good time, follow the rules - we are still punished, $150 by Tripp's Towing. THe best part was- originally we were told by Clarke County that we couldn't get the car back untiL monday because the Towing place wasn't open. Clarke County - This is not the right way to treat the loyal patrons of Virginia's beautiful Trails and Parks.
Date of Hike: Saturday, February 07, 2015
My first time on this hike and I will definitely be back. We arrived early when it was still pretty cold, and there were several parts of the trail on the hike out that were very icy on the descent, and very slippery. Had to be quite cautious and proceed slowly on the ice, but on the way back it had loosened up a little and we made better time. We really enjoyed that this hike had multiple ascents and descents, kept it very interesting out and back.
Date of Hike: Saturday, January 17, 2015
UPDATE: Route 601 access to Ravens Rock is closed. We all have to hike the honest 1.5 to 2 hours from route 7 parking lot.