A woman taking in the view on a precariously perched rock, roughly 1,000 above the ground at Humpback Rocks in Virginia.
Humpback Rocks is a very popular hike due to its proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway, I-64 near Afton Mountain. Most people do it as a 1.0 mile up and back from the crowded parking lot. However, it is also easily accessible from the Appalachian Trail. The climb from the parking lot to the Rocks is very tough, gaining about 800’ over just 8/10 of a mile. The views at the Rocks are great looking west onto the Shenandoah Valley and north into Shenandoah National Park.
This photo is from my a 10 day trek through the states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio. I had just started out along the Blue Ridge Parkway after driving the length of Skyline Drive in Virginia and found a line of cars parked along the side of the road. A paved drive, with cars parked along both sides the entire length, wound it’s way up a hill to a parking lot. I had no plans of walking a quarter mile from the road below up to whatever was in this lot.
As fate would have it when I drove around the parking lot — the absolute closest possible parking space to the trailhead was empty. Saving myself a quarter mile hike from the road, I felt this was a sign to check this place out. The sign said “Humpback Rocks 0.8 Miles” I thought to myself “I don’t even need water for that one” and took off with my camera pack.
An hour later — after climbing up one of the most torturous hills I’ve hiked in a long time, I arrived at one of the most stunning rock overlooks I’ve ever seen.
I am quite uneasy with extreme heights, and I was shaking a lot while climbing around and walking on these rocks. With 1,000 feet between us and the ground below, I see this woman just chilling right on the edge of these rocks like it’s nothing, staring off into the distance.
I thought to myself… “NOPE!”
I did pause to get a photo of her, along with several other people and the spectacular views from this large rock formation.
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