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Humpback Rocks Loop



4.2 mile 6.8 kilometer loop
77% Runnable


Ascent: 1,117' 341 m
Descent: -1,132' -345 m
High: 3,298' 1,005 m
Low: 2,195' 669 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 49% (26°)


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Trail shared by Donovan Fitzgerald

A loop trail that takes you up to the views from Humpback Rocks and returns via the AT.

Donovan Fitzgerald

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife

Skyline Drive is subject to winter closures in this area.


This is a loop trail that takes you up the steep Humpback Rocks Trail first, then uses the connector trail to get to the AT. The AT will return you to the parking lot after taking you down the other side of the ridge, but in an easier fashion. If you prefer, you may go clockwise and save the steep section for the downhill.

Need to Know

Parking is at a premium, so get there early.

Runner Notes

On the way up the steep side (west), there are lots of loose rocks and wet areas.


This 4.25 mile loops takes you up the steep Humpback Rocks trail to the amazing views of the valley to the west. After spending some time at the rocks you'll follow the signs to the connector trail that leads to the AT.

Once you reach the AT, you'll take a left and continue on the Northbound AT as it descends the other side of the ridge. You'll continue down the AT until you reach the sign that denotes the connector trail back to the parking lot where you began.

History & Background

The prominent rock outcrop was a landmark guiding wagon trains over the Howardsville Turnpike in the 1840s. A portion of the historic trace still exists. This was a major route across the narrow Blue Ridge until railroads came through the mountain gaps. The view from the rocks is spectacular any time of the year.

Humpback Rocks is an area rich in history, scenic beauty, and abundant running trails. Early European settlers forged a living from the native materials that flourished in the Appalachian Mountains. Hickory, chestnut, and oak trees provided nuts for food, logs for building, and tannin for curing hides, while rocks were put to use as foundations and chimneys for the houses, and in stone fences to control wandering livestock. Many self-sufficient farms sprang up in the Humpback Mountain area.

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Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna

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Land Manager: NPS - Blue Ridge

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes


  4.0 from 4 votes
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in Virginia


67 Views Last Month
441 Since May 28, 2019



Enjoy phenomenal views from Humpback Rocks.
Mar 23, 2017 near Nellysford, VA
Not the fall foliage we were searching for but a beautiful view no matter what!
Oct 19, 2017 near Nellysford, VA
Late summer sunrise at Humpback Rocks summit.
Sep 20, 2016 near Nellysford, VA
The amazing view from Humpback Rocks.
Jun 5, 2019 near Nellysford, VA
Looking NW from Humpback Rocks.
Oct 19, 2017 near Nellysford, VA
Humpback Rocks hike
Jun 18, 2015 near Nellysford, VA


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