Past Meetup

19.2 mile trip in Shenandoah, Starting with Bear Church to Rapidan Wildlife Area

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Does anyone else need a break from the busy Holiday week. I have a last minute trip that is a close drive to the DC area, starting north of the city of Graves Mill and working our way into the Rapidan Wildlife Area. This trip climbs 3400 feet over 12 miles on the first day so be prepared for a good workout, with a optional trip to the Rapidan Camp to make a 17.3 mile trip. The trails in this area are very well marked and has several great photo locations on top of Bear Church Rock, Jones mountain and Hazeltop mountain with great views along Staunton River and Conway River. With a nice prestaged firewood campsite right next to a fresh spring to end the first day. The second day will be short trip back over Jones Mountain for a easy 7.2 miles to the parking location.

• Trip Plan

I have a link to the maps of the two options for the first day, if the weather is nice the second path is very easy addition to the trip.

12 Miles trip

17 mile trip

The second day will be a short 7.2 mile trip with 1500 feet elevation gain up old hunting road to Jones mountain and back down Bear church rock trail.

Return Trip to parking (

The maps are on the website Topo maps can be printed out, it is recommended to print the map before the trip.

• Gear Requirements!

Weather at the moment looks nice with the weather the week before in the 60s but still be prepared with at least a 10 degree sleeping bag and ice traction device as ice forms on Jones Mountain starting in October. 4 season tent will not be needed, but sleeping pad needed as ground will be frozen and very rocky the first night. As always, no cotton clothing, in cold weather the retained moisture can drop body temperatures. A water proof jacket is always a good piece of gear to always have on you, if you don't have one now is a good time to get one!

• Directions

We will meet up at the Bear Church Trail head, GPS Cord. (38.436883, -78.367192) Googlemaps can give good directions to the location. We will be camping close to the trail-head for the first night. I don't work Friday, so if you want to hit the location early I can meet you before it gets dark.

Trail Head Map 38.436883, -78.367192 and directions (,+va+to:38.436883,+-78.367192&saddr=centreville,+va&daddr=38.436883,+-78.367192&hl=en&sll=38.003386,-79.420925&sspn=7.918019,8.898926&geocode=FUeoUAIdc4di-ynznkp6gUS2iTEs2skWESuTCQ%3BFROASgIdKDZU-w&t=m&z=10)

By signing up for this hike, you agree to the WB liability waiver. (