Hiking the Spy Rock Trail, Virginia

Hiking the Spy Rock Trail Virginia makes for a wonderful activity in the late afternoon on a sunny day. The trailhead lies right behind the Montebello Fish Hatchery, which is located just off Crabtree Falls Highway (Route 56) in Nelson County. It’s a short detour from the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the greatest roads in the United States.

This popular trail is rather uneventful for the first mile (1.6 kilometers) on its way up to the ridge where it intersects the Appalachian Trail. That first part is along a wide, old fire road, which is actually in excellent condition. While it’s moderately steep at first, once the trail turns into the Appalachian Trail, it becomes more gravelly, narrower and a bit steeper. The section along the A.T. is only about half a mile long (800 meters) and makes for a fun climb.

Once you hit a flat area with spots that look like perfect campsites, dotted with remains of campfires, it’s another 0.1 mile (160 meters) or so up Spy Rock. A spur trail leads up Spy Rock, a fun short scramble upward. This last part is pretty steep, so be careful. There’s also no obvious path up Spy Rock—you’ll have to find your own way up.

Once you reach the top of Spy Rock, you immediately notice why that last 0.1 miles of rock scrambling is worth it. The views are absolutely incredible. Spy Rock’s summit is fairly flat and rather large. It’s bare and offers panoramic views that are nothing short of phenomenal. Some day hikers  even consider the view to be among the best in central Virginia, which says something.

The Spy Rock Trail Virginia is an out-and-back trail. It’s a moderate trail—neither long nor steep, not all too eventful on the way up, yet absolutely rewarding. This is a day hike you should do for the views from the top, not for the journey itself.

Those views, as you can see in the pictures below, are phenomenal. Like I said above, consider hiking Spy Rock Trail Virginia on a sunny day with some clouds in the sky—it’s a great spot for outdoor adventure photos.

Hiking Spy Rock Trail Virginia – Photos

Blue Ridge Mountains seen from Spy Rock
Blue Ridge Mountains seen from Spy Rock
Spy Rock summit, Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia
Spy Rock summit, Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia
Hiking the Spy Rock Trail, Virginia
Spy Rock Trail, Virginia
Summit of Spy Rock Trail Virginia
Summit of Spy Rock, Virginia
View from Spy Rock, Blue Ridge Mountains
View from Spy Rock, Blue Ridge Mountains

About Bram

Website: http://www.travel-experience-live.com

Bram is a Belgian guy who's currently living in the USA. For over four years now, he has been wandering the globe, with jobs here and there in between. So far, his travels have taken him to four continents and twenty-two countries. Bram likes to try different styles of travelling: from backpacker and adventurer to tourist and local, he has been all those stereotypes and probably will be many more in the future. You can follow his adventures on his travel blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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One Response

  1. Day Hikes in Virginia - Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] Spy Rock is reached after a 2-mile hike up the Appalachian Trail starting at the Montebello Fish Hatchery in Nelson County. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest viewpoints in the central Blue Ridge Mountains—its summit offers awe-inspiring 360-degree views. […]


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