Bears Den is set to model a European castle. The sixty-six acre retreat boasts two stone turrets, three circuit trails, a campground, and a secluded cottage in the woods. The lodge is 150 yards from the Appalachian Trail. There you stand in the middle of the Roller Coaster section, a 13.5-mile up and down rocky path that offers challenging hiking, scenic overlooks, and bubbling mountain stream crossings. Don't forget to catch the beautiful sunset over Shenandoah Valley at Bears Den Rocks.
Bears Den has something to offer for long-distance backpackers, section hikers and day hikers!
Hiker Hostel for Long-Distance Backpackers
Bears Den is no mere hiker shack; it is the premier hostel on the Appalachian Trail.
The co-ed hiker hostel is accessible at any time of the day to long-distance backpackers. The hiker door is around the back of the lodge and using your guidebooks and maps, enter the code and open the door.
Inside, you'll find 10 bunk beds, a lounge area, sodas for sale, a community computer, TV, a landline and a bathroom with shower and basic hygiene products. If you are staying the night, grab a bunk and make yourself at home. Linens and towels are provided. If you are passing through and just want to buy a soda ($.50) and a shower ($3), leave your money in the refrigerator door and happy trails!
The upstairs will open at 5pm, when you can access laundry facilities and detergent ($3/load), a full kitchen and our store that sells short-term resupply, pizzas and Ben & Jerry's ice creams. We even have a piano and guitar for the musically inclined!
Guests that hike in pay only $17 for a bunk and shower, while drivers pay $23. We offer a hiker special, which includes: bunk, shower, laundry, 1 soda, pizza and a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream for $30! Check out all our rates here.
We accept mail drops for long-distance hikers. We store them in our office/store, which opens at 5pm. If you need us to leave it in the hiker hostel, please call or e-mail to make prior arrangements.
Shuttle and slackpacking services are available through trusted partners.
There are no dogs allowed inside the lodge, but you can camp on the lawn with your pet.
Alcohol and drugs are not allowed in the lodge or on the property.
There is a 7-day limit for stays.
7.9 miles south of Blackburn Trail Center
19.5 miles south of Harper's Ferry
3 miles north of Sam Moore Shelter
33.5 north of Front Royal
Shuttle services are available. You can park your car at Bears Den for the long or short term, hike north or south and we will pick you up at your final destination and bring you back to your car.
- Blackburn Trail Center (7.9 miles north. Up and down rocky terrain. One day hike)
- Harpers Ferry (19.5 miles north. Up and down rocky terrain. Suggested two-day hike. Very well conditioned hikers can complete in one full day.)
- Route 605 road crossing/Morgans Mill Road. (6.2 miles south. Up and down rocky terrain crossing streams. Moderate pace can complete in 4 hours.)
- Route 50 road crossing/Ashby Gap. (13.5 miles south. Up and down rocky terrain. Full one-day challenging hike or break it into 2 days as you pass Sam Moore Shelter.)
- VA 55/Manassas Gap/Linden. (25.3 miles south. Up and down rocky terrain. 2-3 days.)
- Route 522/Front Royal. (33.5 miles south. Up and down rocky terrain. Several AT shelter options. 2-4 days.)
Park in our day use lot ($3/car) or at Route 7. Three trails allow you to meander through the Bears Den grounds. Pick up a trail map from the campground or at our lodge door. Follow the blue-blazed trail to the Appalachian Trail and to the Bears Den Overlook, a massive quartzite rocks where you can admire the expansive Shenandoah Valley.
- Nature Trail (1 mile/Easy)
- Demonstration Trail (1.5 miles/Moderate.)
- Historic Trail (.5 miles/Moderate. A great loop to walk in the morning.)
- Tributary Bridge (2 miles/Moderate. This popular out and back hike winds you down the mountain to the first stream crossing south on the Appalachian Trail. The hike down is easy, ascending back up can be as challenging as you want.)
- Crescent Rock (6.4 miles/Challenging. About a six hour hike out and back on the Appalachian Trail. Crescent Rock Overlook offers a wonderful view of Shenandoah Valley and the opportunity to see rock climbers.)
- Spout Run & Sam Moore Shelter (6 miles/Challenging. About a six hour hike out and back on the Appalachian Trail. Head south to find this bubbling mountain stream and visit an AT Shelter).