Bearfence Mountain Trail, Shenandoah National Park

Bearfence Mountain is a short but challenging rock scramble, with echoes of Piatra Mica in Romania. Hike the Piatra Craiului Mountains without a passport or an airplane or an international layover! Who knows how we’re supposed to get anywhere in Europe now that Britain has Brexited and Heathrow-to-Europe is an international border crossing?

Total distance: 2.47 mi
Max elevation: 3555 ft
Min elevation: 3244 ft
Total climbing: 633 ft
Total descent: -535 ft
Average speed: 15.63 mi/h
Total time: 01:20:19

It begins with pinchy climbs over pointy rocks, and equally pinchy descents.

Then the vista opens up.

I tried and failed to capture the scale.

So Dar will illustrate.

The ridge dropped off to each side, forming a rock bridge.

It’s a fairly lengthy bridge.

After which you get to go down again!

We survived!

You could reverse-scramble back to the beginning, but we had an additional hike on our agenda for the day, so we took the non-scrambly path back through the woods.


Distance2.5 miles
Elevation Gain384 feet
Moving Time57 minutes
Total Time1 hour, 20 minutes
Average Pace23 minutes per mile / 2.6 mph



BackpackCamelbak Rim Runner hydration pack
NavigationiPhone 6 with AllTrails Pro
ShoesHoka One One trail running shoes
SocksInjinji Trail Midweight Mini Crew Toesocks
PolesGeneric collapsible trekking poles