Hiking Project Logo

Mary's Rock Out-and-Back

Easy/Intermediate
 4.0 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Mary's Rock from the Panorama parking lot is among the busiest and most scenic peaks along Skyline Drive.

J H

Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

3.8

Miles

6.0

KM

Out and Back

3,456' 1,053 m

High

2,350' 716 m

Low

1,105' 337 m

Up

1,106' 337 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Overview

Get hiking fast at Thornton Gap by hiking to Mary's Rock from the Panorama Parking Lot. This heavily traveled route starting from the large parking area just south of the entrance to Skyline Drive offers a beautiful 360-degree view from the rocks at the summit after a moderate 1.9-mile hike up a rocky trail. Out and back, return the way you came for a total of 3.8 miles.

Need to Know

Handicap accessible bathrooms at the Panorama parking area.

Description

After entering Skyline Drive at the Thornton Gap entrance and heading south, one immediately comes to the Panorama parking lot on the right just across state route 211. With accessible running-water bathrooms it's a popular stopping point for people coming from distance before heading to their destination further along the Drive.

With access to the AT and Mary's Rock from the parking lot, it's also one of the busiest destinations along Skyline Drive, since it's the first trail access after getting on the Drive southbound. I think that adds some "spur of the moment" hikers who may not have planned a particular destination but just decided to "head up to Skyline Drive".

If you want to get hiking as soon as possible, this is it! There is also room for larger groups to meet up at Panorama. You definitely won't be alone on this trail, especially on weekends, but the parking lot is large enough to handle the crowd.

The hike up the AT is fairly smooth at first but becomes fairly rocky after a few switchbacks. With leaves on the trees there are few points with a view along the way, although you can hear the traffic on 211. The trail is a steady upward climb at an intermediate hiking level, nothing too dramatic until you come to the big boulders at the summit. There is plenty of room for a couple dozen hikers at the top, with many vantage points and higher rocks to climb up. Please be careful.

Contacts

Shared By:

J H

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#3729

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
100%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#120

in Virginia

#3,729

Overall
28 Views Last Month
277 Since Jul 24, 2021
Easy/Intermediate

33%
0%
67%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Sunrise view from atop Mary's Rock
May 24, 2016 near Luray, VA
Overlook at Mary's rock
Feb 25, 2022 near Luray, VA
Mary's Rock offers an incredible view out over the area's rolling hills.
Mar 23, 2017 near Luray, VA
Overlooking Thornton Gap
Dec 18, 2015 near Luray, VA
View of Thornton Gap entrance to Skyline Drive from Mary's Rock.
Jul 24, 2021 near Luray, VA
View from Mary's Rock on a hazy summer day.
Jul 24, 2021 near Luray, VA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 82 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jul 15, 2022
Steven Bergman
Jun 29, 2022
Frank Kepics
Starting the Mary's rock trail in Shennandoah NP.
Jun 20, 2022
Luke Langenbach
went with STSA 20 something 3.8mi
Jan 4, 2022
Ryan Hacherl
Skyline Drive was closed due to snow and ice so we parked at the Panorama Lot from 211 and enjoyed a snowy hike up to Mary's Rock. 3.7mi — 2h 47m
Oct 27, 2021
Kirk Larrabee
Very nice, scenic, and well-kept quick hike that is a good choice for a wide range of visitors. 3.6mi — 1h 45m
Sep 5, 2021
James Hale