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 have a hiking group called Her Hike Collective, where I take Women out to the mountains and hike together! This day we had eleven women with us as we hiked Raven Rocks Hike. It was a gorgeous spring day, where we started off cold but quickly only needed a light t-shirt. That's why its great to hike with layers and have a backpack to put them away.
We had to park in the large parking lot across the highway but it was fairly easy to find the hike trailhead. We passed hikers that were hiking the Appalachian Trail, or really they hiked passed us, and it was interesting to ask them how long they had been hiking for. I really enjoyed that this hike was a part of a much longer trail for some. Crossing the state border into WV was really cool, the sign is small and some of the girls missed it on the way back down the trail. The view is one of the best I have hiked before and I cannot wait to share my photographs of our hike. I am also a photographer so I photograph all of our group hiking and the scenery.
We could see why the hike got the nickname the Roller Coaster, but it was a great change to previous hikes we have had that had a lot of switchbacks. We got to see a few guys rockfall climbing and repelling once we got to the top, and we took a break to eat lunch and sit in the sun. Perfect weather, perfect views and an all around perfect day! I would highly recommend this hike! If you would like to see our group in action you can go to the hashtag on social media #herhikecollective it is open to any women to join us!
The ladies with Garmins or Fitbits did say that the hike actually totaled about 7 miles instead of the above listed 5 miles. I did not have one on but I would have to agree that it did seem a little more than 5 miles total. We also did park in the farther parking lot which is about a half mile walk to the trailhead. I hope to do this hike again!
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 19, 2017
The up-and-down make it a tough hike, for the relatively few miles. But the view really is one of the best of any of the hikes in this area.
Steve from Winchester
Date of Hike: Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Very nice hike with a great view at Ravens Rocks. Very rocky trail so boots/shoes with good support are recommended. The only issue I had is the trail (white blazes lacking) is not well marked in one spot on the return trip. After passing Raven Rocks Hollow stream and beginning the ascent 1/3 to 1/2 way back up one of the ridges I lost the white blazes on a rocky portion of the trail. I went back to the last white blaze seen 3 times to retrace my steps and still was not able to find the southbound AT back to the parking lot so I had to bush wack up the ridge for 20 minutes before seeing someone hiking that oriented me back to the AT. Since I was alone this was a little uncomfortable. That said, its a great hike with a super view.
Hans und Heidi
Date of Hike: Sunday, October 30, 2016
A great hike, and being close to the suburbs makes it even better. I checked the walking milage on my iPhone and it was 6.87 from trailhead to lookout and back. We parked across the Rt 7 and there is a foot trail behind the hi way guardrail leading to this very sizable parking area.
The fall colors have not fully peaked this close in, but at higher elevations more so. Colors should improve well into November.
For a late start on a perfect Sunday, we didn't think the trail was too crowded to enjoy. Probably 20 dogs along the way, all good dogs.
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 29, 2016
Great day for hiking. The fall colors haven't kicked in yet and the warm weather made the trail a bit crowded but the hike is wonderful and the views at the end are great. I have noticed that they have new signs at the trailhead saying they will tow any cars on the shoulder (vice the parking lot). Where the lot ends and shoulder begins is not very well marked - hiker beware!