Bearfence Mountain Trail

#4 of 140 trails in Shenandoah National Park

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Bearfence Mountain Trail is a 4 mile out and back trail located near Shenandoah, Virginia that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking & walking and is accessible from April until October.

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Laura Kraft (454)

7 Completed6 Reviews

This tough rock scramble was our first hike of a week long camping trip. We took our lab mix with us and she did great. We have a harness for lifting her when she can't scramble so BE PREPARED if your four legged friend is coming. Once you get toward the peak of the trail, it is all rock scramble and more challenging than moderate.
Be careful to stow loose items rather than storing in side pockets of backpacks (we dropped a camelback wb while passing one particularly difficult section.
All that aside, the hike is a good first test for difficult trails considering the short distance. It hooks up to the A.T. for a much easier downhill decent. I highly recommend climbing in keens! There are other brands that provide similar features but for this hike especially, have good gear!
The views were SPECTACULAR. The 360 & 180 degree viewpoints are totally worth giving this hike a go.

Neill Beurskens (510)

16 Completed14 Reviews

Love this hike / scramble. Not sure why this is rated moderate though - you need to have some skill and fitness to make the rock climb and at parts you could easily fall to death or injury if a wrong move is made. That said, its a lot of fun for even the most novice climber / expert hiker.

David Baker (325)

12 Completed7 Reviews

A nice workout with great views waiting!

Jerry Wilson (63)

5 Completed2 Reviews

This is a really fun hike

Savannah Henderson (88)

5 Completed1 Reviews

For folks looking for a your typical walking trail, this is not for you. However, if you're like my brother and I and you enjoy rock scrambles and jumping from boulder to boulder, definitely give this a try!

We packed breakfast and got there early morning as the sun was rising. We reached the summit right around the time that the sun was coming up and were the only ones on the entire trail. The view from the top was absolutely fantastic.

It was almost a full 360 degree view and it took us a good bit of time to absorb all of it. There was a bit of fog resting in the valley but didn't damper the view one bit. I would not do this hike if the weather was all foggy, though. The best part is definitely the views at the top and to lose those would be disappointing. Definitely a trek that I will do again.

Jennifer Gorman (360)

17 Completed9 Reviews

I luuuurve Bearfence! Seriously. It's short, sweet, and full of fun. Can be crowded due to the length and ease of access in the park...plus the fun! The "trail" is really a bunch of blazes on rocks to maneuver among. This rock scrambling is what makes it so fun. Note: when it is wet either don't do it, or be reeeaaaaallly careful. There are some spots that have drop offs and the rocks get slippery when wet. The view from the rocks is beautiful, get there early for a sunrise hike. The summit boasts a lovely 360 degree view. If you are thinking of hiking Old Rag Mountain I highly suggest trying bearfence on for size. It's like a "baby" Old Rag.

Kyle Lilly (204)

6 Completed2 Reviews

Great little hike. Rock scrambles were alot of fun. Great views at the top.

Andrew Walck (523)

31 Completed23 Reviews

Great as an introduction to rock scrambles :). Great views at the ridge and if you have kids there's endless places to explore on the rocks surrounding the trail. Definitely one of my more favorable trails in the park, despite it's short length . No pets allowed on this trail .

Ellinor Isgren (88)

3 Completed3 Reviews

We did the 1.2 mile loop, took a little under an hour. It's a really fun, short hike. Gorgeous 360' views from the rocks. Scramble is fun, not too long but a bit tricky. Did it on a Monday afternoon in August and didn't see a single person, just a lonely deer that wouldn't move off the trail.

Shannon DeCourcey (47)

2 Completed2 Reviews

One of my favourites! A short hike, but what it lacks in distance it makes up for with a great rock scramble and breathtaking views. This is a good hike if you're looking for an adventure but are short on time. The whole family can probably do it, minus the young children. If there is even a chance of it being snowy or icy, don't go...unless you are up for quite a challenge. I highly recommend this hike.

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