We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“NOT for young kids!”
Review of Bearfence Mountain

Bearfence Mountain
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Popular scenic area.
Reviewed 25 August 2009

My husband and I took our kids to the Bearface Rock Scramble on a Sunday after church -- our 5, 3, and 1-year olds all decked out in their Gymboree finest -- me with a safari dress on and Jackie O. sunglasses perched on my head...

THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO DO THIS HIKE! The so-called "scramble" is pretty close to MOUNTAIN CLIMBING. We were too busy staring death in the face to appreciate the views. Good refugee training, I suppose: we felt like the Von Trapp family escaping the Nazi's as we passed one kid to each other.

Some other hikers helped us when it looked like thunderstorms were rolling in. I think they are still laughing about the city-slicker Yankees who brought their kids and baby up there. Still, it would be fabulous if your kids were older. (I didn't learn about the rattlesnakes until later, either.)

7  Thank HaveKidsCantTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (168)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"degree view"
in 18 reviews
"rock scramble"
in 76 reviews
"short hike"
in 19 reviews
"afraid of heights"
in 6 reviews
"height issues"
in 2 reviews
"blue paint"
in 3 reviews
"family favorite"
in 3 reviews
"jagged rocks"
in 2 reviews
"highlight of our trip"
in 3 reviews
"awesome view"
in 4 reviews
"lots of fun"
in 4 reviews
"drop offs"
in 3 reviews
"favorite hikes"
in 4 reviews
"ridge line"
in 2 reviews
"great rock"
in 2 reviews
"worth the climb"
in 4 reviews
"short distance"
in 3 reviews

160 - 164 of 168 reviews

Reviewed 29 June 2009

We stopped by Big Meadows and spoke to a ranger about hikes that would be good for children. We told him that the children we had with us were ages 5, 7 and 8. He actually recommended bear fence because it was short (1.2 Miles) and there was some neat rocks to climb. So...off we went.

I probably should have stopped at the first set of large rocks, but we kept going and realized that it was worse to turn around and go back. It actually turned out to be a fantastic experience, but I can't believe I did it with my kids.

I will be heading back soon with just my wife. The views were incredible and the hike was great. Actually it was one of my favorite trails in the park. I was also extremely proud of my kids...they did a great job and listened well.

3  Thank airman9_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2009

Bearfence Mountain is personally my favorite trail in the park. It is not very long (just a few well-marked miles of trail) but extremely fun!!! It has the best view in the park and is challenging. I have been hiking on this trail for nearly 8 years and have never grown tired of it.

This trail is not for children. It should only be attempted in good weather conditions. Long pants and non-slip shoes are recommended.

2  Thank snowfaerie11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2007

I hiked (climbed) the Bearfence Mountain scramble with a ranger-
led tour. It had rained the previous day and the rocks were
rather slippery. When we got to the top the view was spectacular.
However, we had 5 feet on each side of a 2000 foot drop.
Considering that the rocks were slick the morning of the hike.
I think it was a bad idea, and someone could have fallen off the
cliff quite easily. The ranger used bad judgement in continuing
with the hike considering the conditions. Two people
fell on slippery rocks on the way down, and suffered minor
injuries. When we were at the top of the mountain, the
ranger spoke to us about frequent rattle snake spottings.
I thought, "Oh great! We're up here on very slick rocks that would
be difficult to escape any sudden danger." I would recommend
this climb on a sunny-day, when the rocks are not damp.
I also would recommend wearing long pants and sturdy boots.
This is not a good hike for children. Even though I am sure
they would enjoy the climb. It would be difficult to monitor
children safely.

6  Thank slimzeeguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 23 June 2007

I did not hike up here for a sunrise, but I found this to be one of the best views in the park along with Hawksbill, Stony Man, and Old Rag. It is one of the only places with a 360 degree view. The trail does not go to the summit like guidebooks say. Even the sign says the trail has 360 degree views on the summit. But, it reality there is no trail to the summit, all the trails pass below the summit, if you look at the sign. The 360 degree views is on what is called a "false summit". There are two viewpoints. The 360 degree views are on what is called the "rock scamble". The best way to the hike is to hike the Appalachian Trail, then loop back. This way you only have to do the rock scamble once. Take the trail across the road from the parking area. Take it to the junction of the Bearfence Mt Trail and the Appalachian Trail. You come back the trail that goes straight (Bearfence Mt Trail). Bear right at the Appalachian Trail. It is a pretty easy walk here. Take the second left towards the "rock scramble". Don't take the first or you will miss the other viewpoint. Ascend from the AT and you will come to the first viewpoint. Don't worry, this isn't the main view. But, still pretty. Continue forward, go straight at the next trail juction with a connecter trail to the AT. This was the first left you passed on the AT. Continuing foward, you will come to the rock scramble. At some points, you have to crab-walk down rocks. Eventually, you reach a highpoint and you have a full 360 degree view. It was clear when I was there and you could see everything. Continuing on , a couple spots get hair-raising. It was a rush. Just be careful. After scrambling over rocks awhile, the rocks give way to trail and you end up at the intersection with the AT. Go straight and you are back to the parking area. I highly reccomend this hike if you can handle the rock scramble. I was a little scared because some parts are really exposed and it is a sheer drop. Even so, I still enjoyed it a lot.

4  Thank asdaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Bearfence Mountain also viewed

Shenandoah National Park, VA
Shenandoah National Park, VA
Shenandoah National Park, VA
Shenandoah National Park, VA

Been to Bearfence Mountain? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing