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Humpback Rocks Loop

Difficult
 4.2 (11) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

4.2

Miles

6.8

KM

Loop

3,298' 1,005 m

High

2,195' 669 m

Low

1,117' 341 m

Up

1,132' 345 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

49%

Max Grade (26°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife

Blue Ridge Parkway is subject to winter closures in this area.

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Donovan Fitzgerald with improvements by J H

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 11 votes

#2543

Overall
  4.2 from 11 votes
5 Star
36%
4 Star
45%
3 Star
18%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#76

in Virginia

#2,543

Overall
73 Views Last Month
1,895 Since May 28, 2019
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
50%
38%
13%

Photos

Lovely summer day on Humpback rocks.
Jul 7, 2021 near Nellysford, VA
Humpback Rocks hike
Jun 18, 2015 near Nellysford, VA
Hazy sunset.
Jun 18, 2015 near Nellysford, VA
Nice grading on the way up.
Dec 18, 2015 near Nellysford, VA
Even the kids will love this route!
Jun 18, 2015 near Nellysford, VA
Enjoy phenomenal views from Humpback Rocks.
Mar 23, 2017 near Nellysford, VA

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Check-Ins

Mar 6, 2022
Andrew Getty
Dec 25, 2021
Brian M
Dec 11, 2021
Eric Clement
Nov 24, 2021
Rachel Affleck
Oct 18, 2021
J H
4.4mi
May 18, 2021
Joseph Rodriguez
Apr 17, 2021
Steve Leybourn
3h 00m
Oct 20, 2020
Ben Gerlach
Be sure to take the short way up next time, it will make for a much more leisurely hike down. 4.5mi — 4h 00m