Trail Run Project Logo

gem icon Bearfence Mountain [Suggest Edits]

32 votes
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Description

A scenic trail, fun and challenging rock scramble, and 360-degree viewpoint make Bearfence Mountain an adventure worth experiencing in Shenandoah National Park. To go on the shorter route to the viewpoint, be prepared to head through boulders and rough, steep rocks on Bearfence Mountain by using both your feet and hands.

The majority of the rocks found in this area are greenstone. This type of rock was formed from lava flow, but after millions of years of pressure, the rock metamorphosed into the grey-green rock you can see and touch today. Through the process of water freezing and thawing, erosion, and intrusive tree roots through the rock, these large boulders will eventually be turned into soil.

On many of the rockiest mountaintops throughout the park, you can still see examples of flourishing plant life. Made up of a symbiotic partnership between fungus and algae, large swaths of lichen grow on the rocks and are good indicators of clean air.

Other plant species can also be found growing in the cracks and crevasses of these rocks. Look for various mosses, saxifrage, and stonecrop in these areas. These plants have become well equipped to survive on only the smallest quantities of soil, sometimes using their own decaying matter to grow.

Keep an eye out for black birch trees on the rocks. They grow long roots in order to locate the moisture and nutrition needed and sometimes in extremely thin patches of soil. Sometimes these trees look like they're growing right out of the rock itself. This community of plants has learned to survive in this environment so please show it respect and tread lightly.

Short Run: Access to this run can be found from the Bearfence Parking Area near mile-marker 56.4. From the trailpost across Skyline Drive, continue straight and south on the Bearfence Loop Trail with the rock scramble.

An alternate route that avoids the rock scramble uses the white-blazed AT: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PA/MD/VA/WV). Turn right at the trail post after climbing the stairs up the bank, and then look for the Bearfence Loop Spur. Head left on this short connector and then right onto the Bearfence Loop Trail, after a hundred yards look for the viewpoint off to the right.

Gem Type: Viewpoint

Shared by:
Zander Göpfert

0 Comments

You & This Gem

Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

May 29, 2021
John Hendrix

Nearby Gems

gem Favorite Old Rag Mountain Summit

Old Rag Summit

(83) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite Night shot of Dark Hollow Falls

Dark Hollow Falls

(54) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite The second of 6 waterfalls in Whiteoak Canyon (the 1st being the very upper falls).

White Oak Canyon Swimming Hole

(41) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite It's almost unfair to not have to work for this view from Stony Man Summit in Shenandoah National Park.

Stony Man Summit

(42) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite View from Hawksbill Peak

Hawksbill Mountain Summit

(35) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite Upper Rose River Falls.

Rose River Falls

(25) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite Remnant of an old building at Rapidan Camp. with permission from rootboy

Rapidan Camp

(13) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite A whitetail deer grazing in Big Meadows at sunrise.

Big Meadows

(14) Stanley, VA

Nearby Trails

8.9 mi 14.3 km Old Rag Loop
Difficult Difficult
Stanley, VA
Difficult Difficult
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Dry
1 day ago
292 
8.2 mi 13.1 km Whiteoak Canyon to Cedar Run Loop
Difficult Difficult
Stanley, VA
Difficult Difficult
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry - Some water crossing are a little high. Got feet wet once and had to change socks
88 days ago
143 
3.8 mi 6.1 km Rose River Loop
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
Unknown
Update
82 
2.6 mi 4.2 km Hawksbill Mountain Loop
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
41 days ago
62 
1.7 mi 2.7 km Dark Hollow Falls
Intermediate Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Intermediate Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Unknown
Update
66 
1.1 mi 1.8 km Bearfence Loop Trail
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Fallen Trees
83 days ago
56 
0.5 mi 0.8 km Stony Man Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry
62 days ago
33 
5.0 mi 8.0 km Whiteoak Canyon
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Dry
33 days ago
27 
3.7 mi 5.9 km Ridge Trail
Difficult Difficult
Stanley, VA
Difficult Difficult
Stanley, VA
Unknown
Update
16 
2.2 mi 3.5 km Upper Hawksbill Ascent
Intermediate Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Intermediate Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Unknown
Update
27 
Shared by Zander Göpfert on May 19, 2016. All Page Views: 2,808. Last Month: 5.
Welcome

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started