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Humpback Rocks

Afton, Virginia

based on 18 reviews



1.73 miles

Elevation Gain

833 ft

Route Type



Added by Christin Healey

Humpback Rocks is one of the most popular hikes in the area with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park.

This little hike is one of the most popular in the area, and for good reason! It's a short and steep one mile to the top, but the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park to the east, are some of the best around. It's somewhat of a tradition for students from the University of Virginia to hike up here for sunrise, but to live like a local, take a picnic and a beer from one of the many local breweries nearby and watch the sunset over the mountains. It isn't a top pick for solitude on the weekends, but on a weeknight you may find you are the only one around. You can also camp right below the summit for easy access to sunrise and sunset. Note: The Blue Ridge Parkway closes in the winter, but you can park your car where the road closes and walk to the summit, making the hike a more fun and challenging 11 miles roundtrip.

Start at the Humpback Rocks parking area right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The easiest way to get to this spot from Charlottesville is to take 64W and get off at exit 99 following the signs to the Parkway. From the beginning of the parkway the trailhead is another 5 miles. The trail is well marked, and it's one very steep mile to the summit. Even though it's short, it takes most people about 45 minutes to get to the top. Once you have taken in the views, you can go easy on your knees and take the longer way down, which also gives you great views to the east at times. This trail is well marked and an easy day trip from Charlottesville and Waynesboro. It is also in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but you do not need to enter Shenandoah National Park to get there.

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Easy Parking


I’ve done Humpback Rocks twice. It is definitely a steep climb, which I had forgotten when I did it the second time. I’ve tried to go at times when it was less crowded (cold, raining) and still managed to get a good view. Worth doing over and over again.

One of the more challenging hikes I've done over the years. But definitely worth the view at the top. Saw a black bear on our way up close to the trail so be aware of your surroundings!

Did this while raining, was very relaxing once I got to the top

Did this while raining, was very relaxing once I got to the top

My wife and I hiked it and loved every minute of it. Will definitely do it again

Uphill, but quick, and worth the view

Great hike. Zesty start with a relatively steep incline, but worth the effort once you reach the top. We hiked in March. Some wet areas so plan for good footwear. But an outstanding walk nonetheless.

Took me awhile to finally cross this hike off my list, wish I'd done it sooner. Its steep but the views are pretty incredible during early morning/early evening.

Very steep hike but well worth it. Fun trail on your way up. If you want to opt out of the steep hike you can choose to take an easier trail but it's a little more than double the time. This is a very popular hike so leave early to avoid it being crowded!



Like everyone else has stated, it is an uphill hike. It's not long, though. I went early in the morning and it was nice, but as the day went on, it started to get fairly crowded. This hike reminds me a lot of one of the hikes at home in Georgia - Pine Mountain Trails.

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