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Hiker Comments for the Dobie Mountain Hike - 1 to 32 of 32   
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By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 2, 2019
Crystal clear blue skies and a brisk 35F at 10 AM when I started. The Humpback Rocks parking lot was already overflowing. Thankfully none of them followed me North! Only saw a couple of other hikers as I headed North. Chatted with a through-hiker at the shelter. He was flip flopping and was only 150 miles north of finishing the trail. The loop trail on the way back to the parking lot was a little more challenging that expected. Most turns are not marked on the trail, and with the forest covered in freshly fallen leaves it was not always obvious where the trail was..  I had to stop, look, and think 4 or 5 times to make sure I was still on the trail.  Also, it's mostly uphill all the way back to the car. It's never steep, but be warned if 3ish miles uphill is not something you want to do.  Did the route as suggested here in 3:15 and stopped at Blue Mountain Brewing for a post hike beer on the way home.

By: Carly Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 29, 2019
This is a great trail that I have come back to a couple times. The shelter is clean and the stream next to it is peaceful. You won't run into too many groups, but you may run into a non-aggressive bear. We had no problems when we ran into said bear, but I would read up on how to safely deal with a bear encounter before doing this hike and keep your dogs leashed for safety. The airplane crash site is awesome and relatively well maintained. It does take a good eye and some time to find the wreck. I would recommend bringing at least 50 oz of water per a person to ensure you don't run out.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 28, 2019
Hiked today. Followed "hikingupward" directions, made it to the shelter. Nice shelter indeed, with very peaceful stream - saw 2 through hikers refilling water bottles. I did not see any granite bench by the shelter, and I really looked. Now, my real goal was to find plane crash site. So, I turned right to blue trail from AT, walked almost 1.5 mile, did not spot any plane crash site. Maybe it's overgrowth, or just me - I don't know. After 1.5 mile blue trail started to go steeply up. I was tired, and figured, just forget it, came back to AT and retraced my steps to parking lot. Surprisingly - although humpback mountain parking lot was full at 0915 am, I hiked all the way to the shelter by myself.

By: Jeff Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 16, 2019
Update: the "inner" loop of the Albright trail is now closed. The route described is open and in great shape. We enjoyed the Glass Hollow overlook and the nice climb over Dobie with views in all directions all the way with the leaves still off. It's amazing how much less crowded this trail is considering the number of vehicles crowding the lot and overflowing into the visitor center lots down the road. Very enjoyable short hike.

By: helen Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 19, 2018
Gem of a hike and can't believe I've never done it before. If you love rock and moss colonies, this is for you. We started at noon on an overcast day, warm and damp, which illuminated the various shades of green. Took us two hours to stroll the loop without the shelter spur. Ran into mama bear and two cubs near Glass Hollow overlook - they seemed quite used to people and walked calmly along side us about 50 feet away. We live nearby so hope to walk it once per season going forward. A Sunday and met 8 or so people on the loop - will try for a weekday next time.

By: Sean Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 8, 2018
As noted by the May 2018 reviewer the start of the trail (to the right of the picnic table) is now marked as the Albright Loop. It looks like there is new trail signage in several places. I hiked the route as described. The John Donovan memorial bench has been removed -- according to a local hiker I spoke with it was removed because permission was not granted to place it there. The bench is to be relocated to a permissible location probably somewhere in the area. Near the top of Dobie Mountain I became a little disoriented -- I think I followed faded older blazes, went straight and overlooked what for most people was the more-apparent newer blazes that will guide you to a sharp left. I think. I'd pay better attention next time. A fine hike with trails in generally good condition.

By: Lea Ann Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 12, 2018
Warm, breezy day. We are a couple of fairly fit people whonhadnt hiked for a number of years and found this to be a great hike to get back into it. The map and descriptions easy to follow, just a couple of updates to offer: the trail to the right is now marked as the Albright Loop. The Glass Hollow overlook is worth seeing but you can go there hiking either direction on the loop. Counterclockwise is pretty flat for the first 1/3 with allnof the elevation change thereafter. The shorter route mentioned in the description and marked as dots on the printable map is closed at this time. Enjoy!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 17, 2018
Hiked the 7 mi version, going to Paul Wolfe Shelter and back, returning by way of passing air crash site. Very cold day but the trail was in great shape. Well marked. Not much elevation change. The scent and subsequent climb to from the Shelter was easy. Pretty views, largely because of the lack of foliage this time of year. Last two miles done in a winter ice storm, low visibility but it was forecasted so we were fine.

By: Marti Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 13, 2018
We have hiked this many times and always enjoyed it. This time it was in 26 degree weather with a stiff wind. We considered shortening the hike by taking the stretch of the Albright Loop represented by a blue dotted line on this map only to find that section closed and no longer maintained. The loop now encompasses the section of the AT included in this hike. Bear in mind that the stream at the shelter can be a difficult crossing in high water.

By: Schnitzel Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 30, 2016
Took my visiting father for the circuit plus down to the shelter at Mill Creek. We had the fortune of a clear, but cold day with a blustering wind (and some snow flakes) from the west. Gratefully the wind was greatly reduced as we dropped down from the Humpback Rock parking lot going counter clockwise on the trail. Take note: While there were only two other cars when we arrived at around 9 am it was full when we returned around 2:30 pm - most hiking up to Humpback. Also had the fortune of repeatedly running into two gentlemen spending the day hiking with a dog who shared additional info about the area: a bit further North on the AT is a cemetery and chimney of an abandoned homestead. Be sure you stop and take some time to visit the overlook (excellent views and a wide area for a group too) on the Eastern side of the trail. Also go down to the shelter - while the hike back up to the circuit is a bit taxing, the creek and great shelter are worth a lunch break site. Met two southbound thru-hikers hunkered in at the shelter, checked out the privy (excellent location and view of the creek). On the return up the switchbacks on the blue marked trail looks to have been a fire which has left some of the hillside charred - approximate area of the plane which we never saw. Saw some deer at the top of Dobie on the return to the now full parking lot. Overall - a quiet alternative route as we only saw one other hiker outside of what I mentioned above leaving the crunchy frozen trail to ourselves. Trail was largely level on the East side with some climbing on return trip from the shelter and the switchbacks noted on the Albright Loop Trail.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Started this overnight hike by taking the steep one mile hike up to Humpback Rocks. It was extremely busy (tis the season) but enjoyable none the less.

We got on the AT from there and headed north. Ran into many thru-hikers headed south (I'll bring more M&M's to give away next time!) We stopped at the beautiful Glass Hollow overlook before continuing on to the Paul C. Wolfe shelter. There were no fewer than 20 people in and around the shelter. Thru-hikers, high school students, you name it. What an awesome group of people! We thoroughly enjoyed our time and Mill Creek was such a GEM. Flowing strong with mini waterfalls everywhere. This shelter area is first class. It is large and well made. There are bear poles and even a privy.

We hiked back to the Humpback Rocks parking area via the Albright trail, which will warm your bones on a cool morning :) Our total milage was around 11.5 (8 miles on day 1).

We ran into several fine folks with the ODATC, who maintain this area. Many thanks for the work these guys do! This entire loop was well marked and maintained.

Many thanks also to HikingUpward. This is such a great resource. I recommend it to people frequently.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 27, 2016
At 10:00 am it was < 30 degrees and the trail was crunchy underfoot with ice.  There was some windfall from a recent storm, but not much, as the trail had been maintained recently. I went down the trail next to the picnic table to join up with the AT after a short slog down the watery spur.  After that it was peace and quiet, except for the leaves and ice.  Good winter views of the Valley near the top of the mountain last time I was up here the views are restricted by leaves.

This is the quiet little sibling of the Humpback Rocks hike, and I met no one on the trail, even though the parking lot was full.  For that reason, the earlier you can get here the better. On the AT there was shelter from the wind, until near the top of the mountain, and by then it was okay to cool off after the climb.  All in all a good little hike on a beautiful day.

NOTE: The Albright Loop Trail is closed to hikers with a cable, and the signage has duct tape over the arrows pointing to the trail. The first closure is on the AT, just before the trails split and the loop trail hangs a left to go up the mountain, and the second is on the downhill about 1/4 mile or so from the parking area.

By: Doug Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 17, 2015
My wife and I took this hike as an overnight backpacking trip. We tented at the shelter. There were about 20 or so people camped down there with us but everyone was very respectful and the stay was enjoyable. I can understand why they were all out because even though it got down to 28 degrees the weekend was beautiful. A big shout out to the ODATC who were out Saturday cleaning and re-marking this portion of the trail. It is very evident that they take maintaining their portion of the trail very seriously. The views from all of the overlooks mentioned were amazing with all of the fall colors. We had a difficult time finding a parking spot due to all of the leaf peepers that were out. With all of the cars parked both at the visitor center and the humpback rocks parking area there were surprisingly few people on this trail. If doing this hike as a backpacking trip from the parking areas there is a form to fill out so the park service will know you are leaving your car for the night.

By: Lindsay Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 26, 2014
We completed this hike as described. This hike is really a hidden gem. I felt like I knew a fantastic secret as we went down the secluded path and everyone else went over to Humpback Rocks. We saw maybe 6 other people-- both groups at the very last mile or two of the hike (although we heard a story about a hiking cat, we sadly weren't lucky enough to see her).

The views are amazing, nearly as good as Humpback, but without the crowds. We sat and just watched the world go by alone and it was pure bliss. The trail itself is in great shape compared to the other hikes we've done. You don't have to watch your footing at all, just take in the quiet woods.

We hiked down to the stream and shelter. I was against it at first because I'm really a "view" kind of girl, but it truly was stunning. The bench is beautiful and wonderfully refreshing on a hot day. Our dog LOVED splashing around in the river. It was like you were in your own little world down there. I would definitely encourage anyone doing this hike to take the extra time down there. The hike back up wasn't bad at all. My husband ended up looking at the airplane, but I just got a creepy feeling from it so I stayed away. I can't comment too much on that part.

Perhaps the best-- and scariest-- part of the hike was the wildlife. We saw a total of 6 bears, including 3 cubs. We managed to get a good look at them before our dog scared them off. They ran, but we still were sure to make a lot of noise for the remainder of the hike. Just keep your eyes open as you're walking, keep some chatter between you and your partner and you'll be fine.

Truly fantastic, definitely one of my favorites that we've done so far!

By: Ken Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 11, 2014
I hiked this as part of a circuit that included the extended Humpback Rocks hike described on this website. Total distance was about 15 miles. I started early and had the rocks to myself before I went south on the AT to the Wintergreen overlook. There was still some snow on the ski runs that made for some good pictures. I backtracked along the AT and picked up this circuit just before the parking lot. The AT trail down to the shelter was well marked and the vista from the overlook was worth the side trip. The shelter was easy to reach with stepping stones across a well flowing Mills Creek. After lunch I started the climb out and was pleasantly surprised that it was not as difficult as I expected. Once the AT rejoins the Dobie Mountain circuit there's a nice long flat stretch before the trail goes vertical over Dobie Mountain. The vertical portion was more difficult than coming out of the shelter but a nice change from the AT with some interesting trail. Once over the mountain the downhill to the parking lot wasn't too tough on the knees. A nice hike that I'll take my wife on over the summer.

By: Jeff Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 23, 2013
We did the hike as described on this site.  The directions, which I printed out and took with me, were easy to follow and accurate.  We took a little longer than listed due to taking photos and little rests here and there.  We pulled in a little after 10 AM, and there were a few cars there.  Everyone we saw was headed to Humpback Rocks.  When we got back over 4 hours later, the lot was full.  Solitude on this hike was great.  We saw a man and his two little girls heading back to the lot a couple of minutes into the hike and an AT section hiker at the shelter getting ready to leave when we got there..  That's it!  I imagine the season and weather were a factor.

We pulled into the parking lot, got out of the car, and WIND!!!  It was so windy!  And cold.  That's because it's pretty much a wind tunnel between Dobie Mountain and Humpback Rocks.  Once you hit the trail and descend into the woods, it feels much better.  The hike was a nice mixture of flat easy strolls, challenging uphills and downhills, huge boulders, nice views, and 4G phone reception.

This was my first mountain hike in over ten years.  Same for my wife.  She got the same feeling on this hike as her last hike - the elevation was messing with her and causing her not to be able to catch her breath.  She soldiered on and made it through!

I'm already planning the next hike.  Great job, Hiking Upward!

By: Tracy and Brandi Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, October 21, 2013
Did this hike today with my wife and four month old daughter and had a very pleasant time.  The fall foliage was just starting to hit its peak, the temperature was in the low to mid 60s and there wasn't a cloud to be seen. All in all, the perfect day for a hike. These conditions, however, seem too have brought a thousand people out of the woodwork.  My wife and I usually get out on the trails Mondays and Tuesdays which seems to raise the solitude factor to 5 on most hikes, but due to the perfect weather, there was only one parking spot open at the trail head. People who arrived after us had to park along the road. The good news for us was that most, if not all, of the people there were headed up the Humpback rocks trail. We only saw two other hikers on the Dobie trail. I give Dobie a solitude rating of 4 (the parking area gets a 0).  

The rating of a 3 for difficulty is very suitable for this hike. Not too steep but enough to get you blood pumping in a few places. This would be a good hike for youngsters, as well as dogs. 

As for streams a views I can't give an accurate rating because we didn't complete the hike as per HU. I tried to do the hike the way HU described but I took the wrong trail out of the parking lot. I soon realized I was hiking the trail backwards and thought "Oh well. I guess I'll do it backwards." We found our way to the plane wreck site and then to the spur that takes you to the AT shelter. We wanted to check out the overlook that is on this spur but there were a few hikers parked on the rock outcropping getting some zen time, so we turned back as to not disturb them. We followed the AT back to the blue blazed trail from which we came and continued on the AT south for about .1 miles. We then came to a intersection that said, "Humpback Rocks Parking area." and I thought, "Oh, this is the way." About half way down this trail my wife asks, "Where was Glass Hollow overlook?" We then realized we had taken the wrong trail.  We ended up only completing the Albright loop hike. Needless to say, my wife was very disappointed in my navigation skills. Once we got back to the parking area, we decided to hike up Humpback rock, since we had a little extra time.

By: Elizabeth Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Passed very few people on this hike, although there were several people stopped for lunch (or staying) at the shelter.

Abundant wildlife -- a lot of bird calls. Also passed a deer walking along the trail and (CAUTION) a rattle snake along with other smaller snakes. Just be careful where you are stepping, especially walking up to the plane crash site.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Nice Hike. Perfect Weather. It was very easy to find the directions are great. I would say in another week or two, as the warmer weather hits, this hike will be absolutely gorgeous. We started around 11 am and took my 3 year old daughter. She loved it. The only difficult part for her was the hike back up from the shelter and the last portion of Allbright loop. It was moderately difficult with the elevation changes. We went to the Glass Hollow overlook and you could see everything with the lack of leaves etc. The shelter area is great and just to the left of the end of the trail to cross Mill Creek there is a very easy rock crossing.

The only disappointing part of this trip was my inability to see the plane crash area. Myself and two others looked and looked. I will be doing this hike again at some point this summer. Overall a nice hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Great hike.  We did this as one of our annual 2 50+ dads and their 2 12 year old sons November camp.  The Shenandoah NP was iffy because of Hurrricane Sandy, so we looked elsewhere and found the Dobie Mountain hike on this site (many thanks).  Parked at the Humpback Rock parking and followed the trail to to the AT, where we turned the wrong way (12 year olds in the merry lead), but the sharp left is sharp but well marked as we saw once we got turned back the right way. 

Because of time of day (started at 3PM), we bypassed the Glass Hollow overlook and headed to the shelter area, but got a nice view of the Rockfish Valley anyway.  Several groups of campers were already at the shelter, so we found a good site for 2 tents 100 yards or so east of the shelter.  Plenty of flowing water.  Enough fallen wood for fire.  Sheltered location close to the stream.  Hiking back the next morning, the initial climbing segment got our attention but was not uncomfortable for a couple older hikers or their younger sons.  Next time I hike this loop, I'll be a little more critical about the contents of my pack. (I had several duplicated items to test and compare.)  Nonetheless, we had a great time and would do it again and recommend it as a really good late fall overnight.

Thanks to the ODTC, who had members out on Saturday cleaning up the trail from Sandy's effects.

By: Jane Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Great instructions for locating and then navigating along this trail. Thank you. We went to the Glass Hollow Overlook and on to the second overlook (Scott Mountain and Bear Den) but did not continue to the shelter. We came back to the Albright Loop Trail, saw the Beechcraft wreck and then followed the trail to the top of Dobie Mountain and back to the Humpback Rocks parking lot. This was a great walk for us old fogies (76 and 66). Less wear and tear on the knees than the Humpback Rocks trail though the views are not as impressive! It was a prefect Autumn day and we passed only one hiker.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 28, 2012
Did the part of this hike that led to the AT North, and on to the Paul Wolfe Shelter for a night of Winter camping.  Temp got down to 28 F at night.  This website and directions, and printable map, really helped me get situated and find my way.  The forest this time of year is absolutely silent and awesome, and the only sound (at about 10 AM coming back on Sunday morning) was my own breathing.  The serenity was magical.  Um... it was a bit of a surprise on Saturday night when I had to cross the stream to get to the shelter.   I balanced (with my heavy pack) walking over the big log, and it was scary.  Coming back, I crossed using the big rocks placed there by the ODATC, and that was a breeze.  Still - somewhat adventurous though.  This website made the whole thing great and gave me the confidence i needed to plan and go through with it.  Thank you Hiking Upward!
-Mike Shaw

By: Ryan Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 15, 2012
We did the Humpback Rocks first, and then hiked the Dobie trail just to the Glass Hollow Overlook - I feel like it was a great combination. Humpback is a real workout, and was very crowded at the top, so the Dobie trail was a nice easy hike afterwards. We didn't see a single other hiker on the Dobie trail. It was very cold (27 degrees) but we only felt like that was really a problem at the top of Humpback, where the wind was really blowing. Next time we go, we'll be sure to bring our dog!

By: dano Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 1, 2012
Glass Hollow Overlook is great. I would love to see that vista with some fall color. The shelter is a great spot for lunch. We met a nice fellow who told us that there is a small water fall a couple hundred yards downhill from the shelter on the AT. Looked like a great spot to cool off in the warmer months. Nothing spectacular, just a nice little waterfall and pool. Caught a gorgeous sunset at an overlook just off the Blu Ridge Parkway not far from the trail head on the way back to 64.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 20, 2011
Do NOT follow the Google Maps directions to get here. When we stopped to ask for directions (after having gotten lost), we were told that a road was closed. Once we found the parking lot and stone picnic table, the hike was great! We did the 4-mile hike and had a blast exploring the plane-crash site. The weather was cool, and the woods were very quite - only saw a handful of people along the way.

HikingUpward NOTE: The Google directions may direct you to the Blue Ridge Parkway from the east on Old Howardsville Turnpike. This is not a navigable road. You need to access the BRP from I64.

By: Bent Pole Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 13, 2011
Didn't do the part that goes to the shelter.  We combined the Albright Loop with the Humpback part of the AT instead. 

Loved the solitude on this portion!  We had lunch at Glass Hollow with nobody around. We only saw maybe 5 other hikers on the Albright trail. The views while on the trail are great too, if the leaves were on the trees it might not be as good.  Saw the plane crash site.  Humpback Rocks was crowded, so Dobie Mtn was a treat.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 12, 2011
A very nice hike on a beautiful early 'spring' day. All parts of the trail are well maintained and those efforts make for nice hiking. The stream crossing to the shelter was quite a challenge with the recent rain and we had to resort to traversing most of it on a downed tree just above the crossing. The plane wreck was interesting and of course Glass Hollow overlook was great. This is rated correctly and good for a first time out spring hike to test the old bodies of three old men. It is not too difficult but enough of a challenge to let you know you have been 6.8 miles in the mountains.

By: Henri Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, February 18, 2011
Took the 3.1 mile Albright loop trail...nice day in 60's. Trail is well maintained by Dominion AT club, about 50% leaves have blown off trail making the hike a lot safer. Located the Beechcraft Bonanza with no problem. This plane crashed 20 April 1963 on a flight from Marion, Indiana to Franklin, Virginia. The plane was located one year later when two ginseng hunters came upon the wreckage.

By: Chris Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 23, 2011
Took my lab mix for a quick day hike. We had beautiful weather temps were around 32 degrees, but the sky was sunny and clear. Instead of cutting immediately over to the AT we climbed up to Humpback rocks and then turned north.

We had lunch at the Glass Rock overlook, and I'll definitely coming back to camp at this spot. Absolutely perfect.

Trails were well marked and in good condition.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Perfect day of hiking, high of 45 degrees and great trail conditions. My puppy Cara and I followed the route as given to all of the overlooks and down to the shelter for lunch, examined the plane, then climbed over the summit of Dobie. We only saw one other hiker. GPS showed 6.18 miles, 3:25 start to finish.

By: hikingupward Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 3, 2010
We came back and did this as an overnight winter backpack except we hiked from Rockfish Gap (MP 0 Blue Ridge Parkway) on the AT South for 5 miles to the Paul Wolfe Shelter. We went across 2 nice flowing creeks and a couple of small ones prior to reaching the shelter, no views on this portion of the AT except for what we could see with the leaves down. Mill Creek, in front of the shelter, was flowing almost twice as much as our visit 3 weeks prior. A great shelter to do a quick overnight. There are a few flat places 20 yards in front of the shelter for a few tents with a bear pole and another bear pole right beside the shelter. The metal fire-pit had a nice grill to cook our "hobo" meals on. It got down to 20F overnight with flurries for a couple of hours. My 5F sleeping bag did just fine except my feet got a little cold. Note to self: bring extra pair of very thick wool socks!!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 20, 2010
A very enjoyable hike. Quiet, peaceful, and low traffic. Hitting Mill Creek at the end is a real treat. Sit on the memorial bench and listen to the water pour over the rocks. I only wish that the hike was a little longer.

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