Hiking Humpback Rocks
This past weekend was perfect spring weather. Here in Richmond everything is finally green, blooming, and covered in pollen. We spent most of our Saturday lounging around outside, drinking and enjoying the beautiful weather so we decided to hike Humpback Rocks on Sunday to get some exercise. Humpback Rocks is closer than most other hikes (to me that is) and not too long, not to mention easily accessible (milepost 6 on the Blue Ridge Parkway off of Route 64). I read beforehand that the hike had a solitude rating of 3/5 so I thought there would be some people but I was not expecting the mass amounts of people we actually encountered. There were SO many people, so if you like to hike in more remote places this is definitely not the place for you. The first mile of the hike is a steep and steady uphill climb with benches scattered along the trail for people to stop and catch their breath. At one point the trail levels off for a few brief moments before once again heading steeply back uphill. In a few sections you will be climbing over some rocks, especially to get on top of Humpback Rocks to enjoy the outlook. As you can see from the pictures, there were quite a few people up at the outlook and a lot of them had their dogs. After enjoying some awesome sandwiches we had grabbed in Charlottesville on our way to the trail head, we decided to hike out and connect with the Appalachian Trail which we then hiked south on for about another mile to a mile and a half. This part of the hike was way more secluded and we only passed two other people. We came across two more outlooks that weren't as good as Humpback Rocks, but we still stopped to take a look and for awhile we hiked along the ridge line and could see the Shenandoah Valley and Rockfish Valley. The woods were filled with birds building their nests for spring, mating and playing with one another so we stopped every once in awhile to try and snap some shots of them. After our little excursion down the Appalachian Trail plus the initial hike up to the outlook, we ended up hiking around 4-5 miles by the end of the day. There is also the option to do this hike as a 4 mile loop. For more about Humpback Rocks go here.
I need to go back and do this hike again on an evening to watch the sunset because when we went it was literally so crowded we couldn't get over onto the rocks to enjoy the nice view. I literally thought it was just that one view and was kinda disappointed!