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 didn't get here until around 2:30 and got the last spot in the small parking lot! I thought this was a very fun hike. There are a few steep, rocky ascends but they would end at the perfect time and you could walk flat for awhile! Be careful going down, it did a toll on my knees and I don't usually have issues there. Very fun though and there are several campsites throughout since it is along the AT!
Training for Peru
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 31, 2015
Good ankle support, water, bug spray and being in fairly good condition cardio-wise and being able to endure up and down on rocky trails would be my recommendations. With all that said and the previous reviews covering the trail well enough-as far as the parking situation goes- YOU WILL BE TOWED! If you park on the road where there are No Parking signs, the Clarke Cty Sheriff's office strictly enforces towing- they make it a point to drive by the parking area mid-late morning. You may not see the first sign as I didn't because it was obstructed by a another car. My car was off the road and 4 cars (including mine) were towed this day and being a Sunday there is no guarantee you will get your car back since the Tow Trucks are actually with car repair or auto sales businesses that are closed on Sundays. Heed this advice also- kindness and courtesy to the Dispatcher at the Clarke County "Communications Center" and ultimately the tow truck driver (at least CT at Tripps) may pay off. Otherwise you are hosed until Monday. I had to hit up an ATM for 150-bucks (cash only) and CT met me at his business to get my car. He was super nice (but you could tell he's been there with some major attitudes and initially on the telephone call he was very professional but had a take no crap attitude-cant blame him if you think about it). Ask for a receipt to at least try and get reimbursed by your Insurance Company if you have towing coverage. I was told cars are towed EVERY weekend and they have been "mandatory towing" up at the trail head for 2 years. Clearly this word needs to get out else where because people still ignore the signs (or don't see the first sign obstructed by another car). So at the end of the day, I lost two hours of my life- realized how lucky I am to have a friend of a friend who ran all over the place for us and then stopping at Camino Real Mexican Restaurant in Berryville to lick our wounds over Margaritas just made the whole day good for a laugh or two. P.S. apparently the other tow company charges more for towing and not so readily available on Sundays to get your car back. Do NOT chance it- if the very small parking area at Raven's Rock is full, park up at the rt7/601 Commuter Lot which is also the Bear's Den trail head and walk the 1/4 mile or so. Just be super careful crossing 7. Local drivers are used to seeing hikers, but others aren't and they are flying down the hill if there aren't any police around.
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 10, 2015
Set out for Raven Rocks and arrived just after 8:30am and we were the only car in the small lot. Took the two of us just over two and a half hours to finish, with a 15 - 20 min break at the Raven Rocks overlook. We decided to go down the AT a little farther and then turned back around.
This hike definitely sneaks up on you. It doesn't seem that difficult at first but the climbs come out of no where. I would like to come back and do this trail in the winter when the trees have lost their leaves. I believe the views would be much better then.
I'd suggest bringing your bug spray and making sure you have some sturdy shoes because the trail is very rocky in areas.
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 03, 2015
What a spectacular day and hike today! Should have gotten there a little earlier, as parking lot was full. I was able to squeeze into a spot, so we were good. Definitely a challenging hike, not sure I would recommend to novices, and I would probably rate it as a 4/5, instead of a 3/5. Description is right on...lots of ups and downs, both ways. We passed less than 25 people this afternoon and had the rocks to ourselves at the vista. Tons of great spring flowers along the path.
Date of Hike: Sunday, April 26, 2015
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.