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Spy Rock Out-and-Back

Intermediate
  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite

Trail

3.1 mile 4.9 kilometer out and back
68% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,094' 333 m
Descent: -1,093' -333 m
High: 3,840' 1,171 m
Low: 2,747' 837 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 13% (8°)
Max Grade: 36% (20°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Zander Göpfert

The must-do hike in George Washington National Forest for C'ville/Lynchburg locals and visitors alike.

Zander Göpfert

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

This classic out-and-back route heads south from the Montebello Fish Hatchery parking area and trailhead up the Spy Rock Road to the Appalachian Trail, ending at a newly-designated spur trail to the Spy Rock lookout.

Spy Rock Road is wide enough to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with someone and is made up of fairly loose gravel. The tread can be tricky for some folks and/or dogs. Hiking boots with sturdy soles or even hiking poles can be helpful for comfort and balance. Otherwise, the route is straightforward and the 360-degree views at the end make all the effort worthwhile.

Description

Follow driving directions for Montebello Fish Hatchery or Spy Rock Trailhead and look for signs pointing to the Spy Rock Road. The road starts out in earnest on a sustained climb up the ridge below Maintop Mountain and Spy Rock. Luckily, no steep section drags on too long, giving enough short sections to catch your breath.

After around a mile from the trailhead, you'll arrive at the AT: Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club section. Turn left (east) to follow the AT for just shy of a half-mile looking for the blue-blazed Spy Rock Spur to the right (south). The grades ease up as you reach the top of this knob below Maintop Mountain as the expansive views unfold before you.

Of course, having a place like this to yourself would be beyond magical (try for an early sunrise run!) but somehow the hard work and beauty involved in this run make everything else seem insignificant.

For folks looking for a longer run, check out the Spy Rock to Crabtree Falls Shuttle option.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background

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  5.0 from 1 vote

#1567

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  5.0 from 1 vote
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Featured Run Rankings

#41

in Virginia

#1,567

Overall
24 Views Last Month
44 Since Nov 22, 2019
Intermediate

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Photos

Enjoy a great view from Spy Rock.
Mar 23, 2017 near Nellysford, VA
The view from Spy Rock is hard to beat!
Jan 27, 2017 near Nellysford, VA
Our group climbs to the top of Spy Rock Road.
Jan 27, 2017 near Nellysford, VA

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