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“easy, although somewhat scary climb with rewarding views” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bearfence Mountain

Bearfence Mountain
Shenandoah National Park, VA
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Attraction details
Owner description: Popular scenic area.
Kent, Ohio
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“easy, although somewhat scary climb with rewarding views”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

Along with my sons I have enjoyed this rock scramble for many years. While not an exhausting climb, there are some breathtaking drop offs. As young children my two sons enjoyed it. As adults today it still provides a good time.

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 reviews from our community

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English first
Ruckersville, Virginia
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Short but challenging; spectacular views.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

My brother and I hike this one pretty frequently. It's very short--I think the sign says an hour and a half, but if we're really booking it we can get it down to 30 minutes. So it's a good one for a morning hike when we have to be at work in the afternoon or something like that. Very convenient.
There's an uphill walk which gets you good and warmed up, then there's a nice stretch of good rock scramble, which is super fun, then a short and easy hike back. All in all, less than two miles, but the rock scramble still keeps it challenging.
Our first Bearfence hike was in early March, and the rock scramble was covered with ice and pretty dangerous...I wouldn't recommend that unless you've done rock scrambles before and are looking for a challenge. However, when the rocks are dry, it's a bit more tame. Easy enough that most children could probably handle it, but I wouldn't recommend bringing the very young ones. You be the judge of your kids' fitness level.
Anyway, I'd recommend this one for sure. Lots of fun, a good challenge and workout, and you don't have to commit to hours of hiking to get some gorgeous views.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
42 attraction reviews
Reviews in 90 cities Reviews in 90 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
“great view after the effort!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

There is a portion over rocks that needs to be traversed carefully and when the rocks are dry; but the view at the top is great. Young kids seem to bounce along easily; an older person in decent shape can make it up. Someone who had a hip replacement was not able to make it up. The young hikers seem to find it fairly easy and of course taller people with a longer reach seem to find this easier. There are places where you have to find a spot for your foot, hold on while you find the next spot to place your foot. It is easier to have a person help pull you up in one spot. The top is not a platform, but rather just the natural rock, so no hand rail; but a gorgeous 360 view and sense of accomplishmet. It took us under 2 hrs. for the round trip from the Bearfence mtn parking.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, VA
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Short Hike Yet Challenging Rock Climbing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

On our last day at Massanuttten, we wanted to go a quick hike before the long car trip home. We did a quick search on Tripadvisor and stumbled upon Bearfence Mountain. All the reviews are quite accurate. We've gone on several hikes throughout our years visiting the mountains and this is by far the most scenic view you could find. Once to the top, a 360 degree scenic view awaits you. Mind you, you have to climb a few rocks to get there, but it is well worth it. If you hike the trail and come to the rocks, don't stop there. Follow the blue makers over the rocks and keep climbing until you get to the top. You will be glad you did. If you are not sure footed, don't try the hike with the rock scrabbles as they will be too treacherous for you. If you are sure footed, go for it. No hiking experience required. There are times you might have to pull yourself up, but at 53, I didn't have any problems. The 1.2 mike hike took us about 1 - 1.5 hours to complete. Access to the hike located at milepost 57 (if I recall correctly) is through the Skyline Drive.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“fun with rocks; excellent view”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

For most of the five hundred plus miles of hiking trails in Shenandoah NP, you will be walking among woods. This one is different. If you enjoy rock scrambling, you should definitely check this out. Short and sweet; round trip less than two miles with excellent views.

Hiked up on a sunny Saturday morning in September. We were probably the first people out there at 7:30 am; stayed among the boulders until 10:30 am and saw only five other hikers. Peaceful & quiet.

You start the trail by walking across the Skyline Drive from the Bearfence parking lot into the woods, but very soon you will see rocks. Though the rocks are not difficult to navigate, eventually you will have to use your hands. This is a class two scrambling, so you'll be exposed to the height (albeit very briefly) along the scrambling path. The exposure only adds to the excitement.

Once we reached the view point, the view of the rolling hills in both directions is excellent. I decided to stop here and manually create a time-lapse of the expanding sea of clouds. Very rewarding experience.

If you enjoyed this hike, should also check out the longer rocky hikes, like the Old Rag (8 miles rt), and the Stony Man mountains (+little Stony Man to make it 5 mile r/t) .

P.S. My hiking guide book says that the view point has a better view than the summit.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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