Hiking (Day Hikes) Hiking (Day Hikes)
Picnics Picnics
Stargazing Stargazing


  • Oct 18
  • 02:00 PM
  • Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door


  • Oct 19
  • 02:00 AM
  • Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door


  • Oct 17
  • 10:00 PM


  • $5 (probably not needed)


  • Bear Church Rock, Rapidan, VA, USA


Hello fellow lovers of the outdoors! Here’s what I’m thinking of as a perfect way to spend this Friday night: hike to Bear Church Rock from Skyline Dr, watch the sunset from there over the beautiful fall leaves, make dinner and stargaze for a while, then head back. There are some stream crossings, but I don’t think they’ll be too bad, considering it’s been very dry. If you have crocs or another lightweight, waterproof set of shoes, you could bring those for any tough crossings, otherwise we’ll do our best not to get wet or cross barefoot. This hike is about 12 or 13 miles long (approx. 8 before sunset, approx. 5 to get back to the cars).

**Although I’ve marked this adventure as beginner hiking, please note the length and that a portion of it will be in the dark

Where: Echols dorm/Bear Church Rock
When: Friday, October 18
Additional info: https://www.hikingupward.com/SNP/JonesMountain/

Here’s the plan:
2:00 PM – meet at Echols dorm, by the side door
3:15 – arrive at the trailhead, start hiking
6:15 – get to Bear Church Rock (after approx. 8 miles of hiking)
6:30 – watch the sunset
6:30-11:00? – eat dinner, hang out (cards/music/games?), stargaze
8:00 – Astronomical twilight begins
10:00 – Moonrise (this will put more light into the sky but the moon is also fun to look at)
11:00 – Probably the latest we’ll leave (departure time is not set in stone)
12:30 – arrive back at the car(s) (after approx. 5 miles of hiking)
1:30/2:00 – arrive back at UVA

What to bring:
– Water for the hike: 2 Liters
– Dinner
– Any water you need for dinner (depending on what you want to eat)
– Snacks?
– Good shoes for hiking
– A headlamp (gear room has ‘em)
– Layers & warmth: the forecast is a high of 55 degrees on Friday and low of 41 degrees Friday night. It can be very chilly if you’re laying on a rock when it’s 45 degrees, breezy, and there’s no sun
– Rain coat if the weather forecast calls for wetness
– Sunscreen if you don’t want to burn
– Entertainment for the group (cards, games, etc)?
-> An instrument if you have one, can/want to hike with it, and would like to provide the group with live music?
– Optional: crocs/waterproof shoes (not flip-flops) if they’re lightweight
– Optional: long pants if you want greater protection against ticks
– I’ll probably get a stove and pot from the gear room so that we can heat things up for dinner and/or make coffee/tea afterward (bring a thermos, extra water, and all ingredients if this interests to you)

I have a pass for Shenandoah National Park, which will get one car into the park for free. If multiple drivers sign up, preference off the waitlist will be given for those with National Park passes. The price is listed as $5 to cover entry into the park, although I’m hoping to only use park pass(es).

DRIVER(S) NEEDED: I do not have a car, so without any drivers this trip cannot happen! The drive is a little over 1 hour/42 miles away and you will be reimbursed for gas + 50% tip, as well as get priority off the waitlist. Please arrive with a full tank of gas.

Image was shamelessly taken off of Google Images




Trips Attended: 106 Trips Led: 84

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