#33: Watch the Sunset From Humpback Rock

IMG_1896When looking for a challenging hike with a spectacular view, Humpback Rock is the place to go. Whether it’s at sunrise or sunset, you surely will not regret it. Recently, I visited Humpback Rock with a friend and it was honestly one of the best experiences I’ve had in Charlottesville. Not only is it a great workout, but the view on top of Humpback Rock is breathtaking. Photos do not do it justice, you have to see it in person.

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The Humpback Rock hike is quite popular among Charlottesville locals and UVA students, particularly due to its location. While it’s only 1.0 mile long, it can get pretty strenuous. I found myself needing to take a couple of breaks while going up to the top of the mountain. Luckily, there were cute little benches along the side of the path to rest and regain strength. Also, a word to the wise, try not to go on the hike after rainfall as it is even more challenging to hike up a slippery, steep mountain. I definitely had to step in a few puddles of mud along the way.


It takes about 40 minutes to complete the hike. Halfway through the hike, there are two different pathways that you can take to get to the top. One is shorter and steeper, while the other is longer and rockier. There will be an intersection on your left in 0.5 miles, ignore it and stay straight on the blue blazed trail. Once I reached the end of the trail, I came across three adorable deers. Interestingly enough, they weren’t too afraid of the passing hikers.


Before you leave UVA, you HAVE to check this one off the bucket list. Overlooking Charlottesville on the top of Humpback Rock was simply breathtaking. It really makes one appreciate this wonderful city. I highly recommend this hike to anyone!


If you have photos of hiking the Humpback Rock Trail during sunrise/sunset, please send them to fourthyearbucketlist@gmail.com. We’d love to hear about your experiences!



Fourth-year Bobby Donohoe and friends enjoy the sunrise at Humpback Rock on Thursday, April 11th. 

“Incredible way to start the day. Humpback sunrise for the win.” -Donohoe



  • Plan Ahead
  • Don’t Forget Food and Water
  • Comfortable Footwear is Key
  • Check Weather Beforehand
  • Be Careful of Poison Ivy
  • Always Let Others Know

Resources/Map to Humpback Rock: