Trail Run Project Logo

gem icon Bearfence Mountain [Suggest Edits]

30 votes
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Description

A scenic trail, fun and challenging rock scramble, and 360-degree viewpoint make Bearfence Mountain an adventure worth experiencing in Shenandoah National Park. To go on the shorter route to the viewpoint, be prepared to head through boulders and rough, steep rocks on Bearfence Mountain by using both your feet and hands.

The majority of the rocks found in this area are greenstone. This type of rock was formed from lava flow, but after millions of years of pressure, the rock metamorphosed into the grey-green rock you can see and touch today. Through the process of water freezing and thawing, erosion, and intrusive tree roots through the rock, these large boulders will eventually be turned into soil.

On many of the rockiest mountaintops throughout the park, you can still see examples of flourishing plant life. Made up of a symbiotic partnership between fungus and algae, large swaths of lichen grow on the rocks and are good indicators of clean air.

Other plant species can also be found growing in the cracks and crevasses of these rocks. Look for various mosses, saxifrage, and stonecrop in these areas. These plants have become well equipped to survive on only the smallest quantities of soil, sometimes using their own decaying matter to grow.

Keep an eye out for black birch trees on the rocks. They grow long roots in order to locate the moisture and nutrition needed and sometimes in extremely thin patches of soil. Sometimes these trees look like they're growing right out of the rock itself. This community of plants has learned to survive in this environment so please show it respect and tread lightly.

Short Run: Access to this run can be found from the Bearfence Parking Area near mile-marker 56.4. From the trailpost across Skyline Drive, continue straight and south on the Bearfence Loop Trail with the rock scramble.

An alternate route that avoids the rock scramble uses the white-blazed AT: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PA/MD/VA/WV). Turn right at the trail post after climbing the stairs up the bank, and then look for the Bearfence Loop Spur. Head left on this short connector and then right onto the Bearfence Loop Trail, after a hundred yards look for the viewpoint off to the right.

Gem Type: Viewpoint

Shared by:
Zander Göpfert

0 Comments

You & This Gem

Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

May 29, 2021
John Hendrix

Nearby Gems

gem Favorite Old Rag Mountain Summit

Old Rag Summit

(79) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite The second of 6 waterfalls in Whiteoak Canyon (the 1st being the very upper falls).

White Oak Canyon Swimming Hole

(40) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite It's almost unfair to not have to work for this view from Stony Man Summit in Shenandoah National Park.

Stony Man Summit

(40) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite Night shot of Dark Hollow Falls

Dark Hollow Falls

(48) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite View from Hawksbill Peak

Hawksbill Mountain Summit

(33) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite Upper Rose River Falls.

Rose River Falls

(24) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite Remnant of an old building at Rapidan Camp. with permission from rootboy

Rapidan Camp

(13) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite A whitetail deer grazing in Big Meadows at sunrise.

Big Meadows

(13) Stanley, VA

Nearby Trails

8.9 mi 14.3 km Old Rag Loop
Difficult
Stanley, VA
Difficult
Stanley, VA
Minor Issues
Update
Some Mud
5 days ago
279 
8.2 mi 13.1 km Whiteoak Canyon to Cedar Run Loop
Difficult
Stanley, VA
Difficult
Stanley, VA
Unknown
Update
135 
3.8 mi 6.1 km Rose River Loop
Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
47 days ago
77 
2.6 mi 4.2 km Hawksbill Mountain Loop
Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Dry
27 days ago
57 
1.7 mi 2.7 km Dark Hollow Falls
Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Intermediate
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Some Mud
4 days ago
59 
1.1 mi 1.8 km Bearfence Loop Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Dry
22 days ago
50 
0.5 mi 0.8 km Stony Man Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Easy/Intermediate
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Some Mud
4 days ago
31 
3.7 mi 5.9 km Ridge Trail
Difficult
Stanley, VA
Difficult
Stanley, VA
Unknown
Update
16 
5.0 mi 8.0 km Whiteoak Canyon
Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry, Some Mud
4 days ago
24 
2.2 mi 3.5 km Upper Hawksbill Ascent
Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Intermediate
Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Dry
42 days ago
26 
Shared by Zander Göpfert on May 19, 2016. All Page Views: 2,806. Last Month: 5.