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Dolly Sods Wilderness

 4.8 (30)
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19.6 Miles 31.6 Kilometers

1,364' 416 m


-1,365' -416 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (5°)

4,153' 1,266 m


3,370' 1,027 m


Shared By Ryan P


Minor Issues 79 days ago
Muddy: Very muddy. Streams, creeks, and bogs are up. Look for rocks to step on History

Getting forecast...

A great multi-night, long-weekend trip with amazing views and incredible changes in terrain

Ryan P

Dogs Off-leash

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Due to severe winter weather, Forest Road 75 is typically closed to vehicles from January 1 to April 15


The Dolly Sods offers both great day-hikes and long weekend trips... but come prepared for changing weather during any season!

Need to Know

Weather can change quickly in the Dolly Sods, so be prepared. During periods of heavy rain, creek crossings can become difficult.


Start at the parking area off Forest Road 75, approx. 100 yards north of the Bear Rocks Trailhead. From here, you'll follow the Bear Rocks Trail through open meadows and dotted sections of pine forest.

After 2.4 miles, you'll meet up with Raven Ridge Trail. At the junction, follow the trail northwest. Raven Ridge will dead-end at the Rocky Ridge Trail... head south but take a few minutes to enjoy the views from the rocks!

Continue along Rocky Ridge until you reach the junction with the Big Stonecoal Trail. NOTE: there is a possibility that water sources will be scarce from the Bear Rocks Trailhead until after you reach the Big Stonecoal Trail... plan accordingly!

You'll find some great campsites along this trail... keep your eyes open! After roughly 2.5 miles, you'll meet up with the Rocky Point Trail. This trail is appropriately named... very rough and rocky, so watch your ankles!

You'll meet up with the Red Creek Trail after 1.9 miles. Be prepared for a steady climb over the first half mile or so, but it will flatten out and eventually drop down to Red Creek. Great campsites here! Continue north along the Red Creek Trail - but be prepared for a steady and steep-at-times climb over the first mile or so.

At the junction with the Blackbird Knob Trail - hang a right and head east for a short jump over to the connection with the Upper Red Creek Trail.

After 1.3 miles, turn right on the Dobbin Grade Trail. Be prepared for very wet and muddy conditions! It's not uncommon to end up ankle deep in some sections... just be prepared for it.

You'll eventually come to a junction with the Bear Rocks Trail - make another turn to the east and head for home!

Flora & Fauna

Flora: rhododendron, red spruce, yellow birch, sugar and red maple, eastern hemlock, and black cherry, American beech, pine, hickory, sphagnum bog, fern

Fauna: foxes, bobcats, snowshoe hare, black bear, groundhog, white-tailed deer, rattlesnakes and copperheads, wild turkey, salamanders, and grouse

History & Background

During WWII, this area was used by the military as a training ground and artillery range. Signs at the trailheads still warn of the potential for unexploded munitions in the area... so don't stray too far off the beaten path!


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Oct 13, 2018
Jesse Feltz
Aug 25, 2018
Pauline Sipin
Aug 24, 2018
Steven Koy
Aug 7, 2018
James Stokes
Aug 4, 2018
Christine Neilan
Aug 4, 2018
Michael Mox
Aug 4, 2018
Kaitlyn Sommer
Jul 24, 2018
Joe Zack

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 30 votes


  4.8 from 30 votes
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Planning on hitting a modified exterior loop in August. Any advice would be awesome? I have pretty decent backpacking exp, spent several nights and weekends on the AT in Va and NC. Thanks yall! Jul 17, 2017
S B  
WORDS OF WISDOM: DO NOT GO ALONE! I had the misfortune of getting lost around the Raven Ridge area a couple years ago. My GPS had everything backwards although I did have a map(not sure if this has to do with the military testing or the lack of signal) it was raining and overcast (no orientation) and NO CELL SIGNAL, there were no blazes / even the hikers/campers I passed didn't know which way to go/ suggested the opposite of the correct route. one of the trails that was a shortcut had me walking through knee to thigh deep bogs, and then path became nonexistent. It is a place of sometimes sublime beauty, but also can be a major orienteering challenge. If I had to do it again I would double-up on gear and be prepared to stay the night.... Mar 29, 2018
Does anybody know the best way to get to the western-most trail head of the Black Bird Knob trail? It says there is parking there but it looks sketchy on googlemaps? Looks like there are two ways to get there (SR 80 or around Timberline) however i am curious if anybody has any advice on this. Thanks! Jun 6, 2018

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