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!

There are domains to be surveyed as if we were the first to ever see them.

This is part of the KOTOW photo series.

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