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Humpback Rocks

  4.5 ( 37 ) Favorite


1.8 mile 2.9 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 817' 249 m
Descent: -817' -249 m
High: 3,185' 971 m
Low: 2,403' 732 m


Avg Grade: 17% (10°)
Max Grade: 54% (28°)


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Trail shared by JT Ferrell

A steady climb from wide gravel path to narrow forest singletrack. Stunning 360 views from the top!

JT Ferrell

Features Fall Colors · Views


There's a short (< 1mi) hike up a path that starts as wide gravel and ends as narrow forest singletrack. Many natural "stairs" along the way, as well as a few man-made ones. Near the top, it intersects with the Appalachian Trail. After about 50 yards on the AT and you reach the Humpback Rocks. From the top, there is a stunning 360-degree view of the surrounding valleys.

Need to Know

No water along the way, and not much of a break in the climbing. It seems there is always a breeze at the top.


Everything is very well marked. From the main parking lot, head out from the opposite corner from where you entered. The trail begins as a wide gravel path with lots of runoff breaks. There are multiple benches to stop and rest. Especially on this gravel section, the ascent can be deceptive and you can quickly tire out.

About 1/2 way up, the gravel road ends and the trail becomes a more traditional forest singletrack trail. There are a lot of small rocks used as natural stairs, and a few stairs man-made from railroad ties, as well. The trail is very obvious.

Near the very top there is a well-marked intersection with the Appalachian Trail. Turn left at this "T". About 50-100 yards up the trail is the access to the actual Humpback Rocks. The first view as you ascend the rocks is to the valley to the west, making for some stunning sunset views. If you scramble a little further up the rocks to the right or to the left (right is far easier), you can get a nearly 360-degree view of the surrounding valleys. The view alone from the top is worth every step of the hike up!!

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Land Manager: NPS - Blue Ridge

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Jul 16, 2019
Ian Harmon
Jun 11, 2019
Andrew Lilly
Short, but steep, hike with great views at the top. Very popular, so normally crowded at the top. 1.8mi — 1h 00m
Apr 30, 2019
Sarah Davis
Apr 14, 2019
Bryce Istvan
Apr 13, 2019
Donovan Fitzgerald
Steep .8 mile to the rocks and then a nice 3.4 miles to loop back around to the parking lot on the AT
Apr 3, 2019
Cameron Smith
Mar 31, 2019
Lindsay R
Mar 27, 2019
Anna Choe

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 37 votes


  4.5 from 37 votes
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