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Hiker Reviews for the Stairway To Heaven Hike - 1 to 6 of 6   
Review the Stairway To Heaven hike here!   Average Review Rating:

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 01, 2017
Led a group of 11 hikers here on a cloudy Saturday morning after it rained on Friday. It was a good time to hike this trail since the retreat and conference center was a ghost town. The venue opens after Easter until mid-November.

The walk up to Orkney Springs and the Cathedral Shrine of the Transfiguration on the North Mountain Trail (Red) was interesting and a different way to begin a hike. We found our way to the Ridge Trail (Green), which is moderately steep, and made our way to the Cross for a very minimal view of the valley.

We reconnected with the North Mountain Trail and made our way up to the rocks. This trail is the only marked trail in the property. The ascent was a steady and rocky incline – moderately difficult in some spots. We had to be careful of several large puddles of water and two stream crossings. The large cliff face was a good “halfway point”. It was an impressive structure and impressive and appears that other hikers (or locals) used as shelter or campsite before. The view from the rocks at the top was amazing! We took the same trail down and instead of navigating back to Shrine Mont, we continued on the “Orkney Springs” option, which dropped us off on Orkney Springs Grade Road – about a mile from the retreat and conference center. There were not any other hikers on the trail that day. Would recommend hiking trail in early Spring or peak Fall season

By: Hikerfamily Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 27, 2016
This hike had some pretty great views. Wouldn't reccomend for beginners. Steep and rocky incline towards the summit. Saw one bear on the Bradford trail. Only saw a couple other hikers on our way down.

By: Future Hendrix Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 20, 2016
The views at the end are spectacular and the large ridge midway through the hike was cool, but overall this hike is probably not worth the trouble and strenuousness.

The "Stations of the Cross" portion at the beginning is an interesting little feature, but doesn't offer much in the way of views.

The hike was very steep at points, which wouldn't have been a big deal if the trails weren't unkempt, needlessly narrow, and overgrown with spiny plants and weeds.

Orkney Springs, the town at the foot of the trail, is pretty cute I guess.

By: Peter Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, June 30, 2016
I hiked this hike today with a friend of mine. We both agree that this hike should not be rated a 3, but probably a 4, and a high 4 at that. The great think that I enjoyed about hiking this was that for all the work you actually get 3 payoffs. They are as follows:

1. The cross: this part of the hike follows the stations of the cross, as you hike up a steep portion of mountainside. The trail is unkempt, and I believe that to be deliberate- especially after the cross, where it is suddenly nice and neat. At the top is a cross attached to a "fire tower" like structure. You can ascend to the top, and get a few views of the shenandoah valley.

2. The cliff-like rock formation: In the middle of while you are ascending Great North Mountain, it appears, and it is huge. It appears to be a great campsite, but it can make you feel very small. It's a lot of fun to climb it and get pictures of yourself and the surrounding area.

3. The rock outcropping. Once you have exhausted yourself getting to the top of this mountain, you become a billy goat, and climb 10 feet or so to one of the best views of the Shenandoah valley I personally ever have seen.

We almost turned around. Note: there are no markings on the trail after th2 cliff like rock formation. It gives the impression that the hike is over. No markings, and the trail greatly narrows. If it hadn't been for the laughter of some kids camping at the top, we would have turned around, because we werent sure we were going the right way.

Your footwear should be sturdy on this hike. The ground ranges from soft, bouncy moss after the cross, to mud in the middle, to ankle breaking rocks all the way up great north mountain. Make sure you wear proper footwear.

This hike was phenomenal, but in no way a 3 in difficulty. Be prepared to hike a 4 if you come here. It "ain't easy" but it's more than worth it!

By: Peter Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, June 30, 2016
I hiked this hike today with a friend of mine. We both agree that this hike should not be rated a 3, but probably a 4, and a high 4 at that. The great think that I enjoyed about hiking this was that for all the work you actually get 3 payoffs. They are as follows: ,

1. The cross: this part of the hike follows the stations of the cross, as you hike up a steep portion of mountainside. The trail is unkempt, and I believe that to be deliberate- especially after the cross, where it is suddenly nice and neat. At the top is a cross attached to a "fire tower" like structure. You can ascend to the top, and get a few views of the shenandoah valley.

2. The cliff-like rock formation: In the middle of while you are ascending Great North Mountain, it appears, and it is huge. It appears to be a great campsite, but it can make you feel very small. It's a lot of fun to climb it and get pictures of yourself and the surrounding area.

3. The rock outcropping. Once you have exhausted yourself getting to the top of this mountain, you become a billy goat, and climb 10 feet or so to one of the best views of the Shenandoah valley I personally ever have seen.

We almost turned around. Note: there are no markings on the trail after th2 cliff like rock formation. It gives the impression that the hike is over. No markings, and the trail greatly narrows. If it hadn't been for the laughter of some kids camping at the top, we would have turned around, because we werent sure we were going the right way.

Your footwear should be sturdy on this hike. The ground ranges from soft, bouncy moss after the cross, to mud in the middle, to ankle breaking rocks all the way up great north mountain. Make sure you wear proper footwear.

This hike was phenomenal, but in no way a 3 in difficulty. Be prepared to hike a 4 if you come here. It "ain't easy" but it's more than worth it!

By: Dan Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The view from the top is, indeed, spectacular. But if you are expecting a moderately challenging 3 difficulty hike, be sure to take a close look at the topographical chart for this one. The climb up to North Mountain Rocks is an unrelenting 1200 feet of elevation gain over 2 miles, and it's a long, hard slog over the rock-encrusted North Mountain Trail. Totally worth it for the view, but bear in mind the lyrics of the song:
There's a lady who's sure, this hike is a 4
Yes, a 4 for the Stairway to Heaven
When she gets there she knows, a 3's way too low
Not a 3 for the Stairway to Heaven....

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