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blueBlack Humpback Rocks Loop

  3.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


4.2 mile 6.8 kilometer loop


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.


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 hiking 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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Apr 13, 2019
Donovan Fitzgerald
Great views at the rocks and using the AT on the way back was a much nicer trip down. 4.2mi

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  3.0 from 1 vote


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