Humpback Rocks is a massive greenstone outcrop at 3,150' located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia near the northern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The views from the top are worth the short but steep hike that gets you there. Sitting on the rocks with the sun shining on you and a nice breeze cooling you off is a great way to take in the expansive views.
To the south is Humpback Mountain at 3,620' with a prominence of 720'. That is reached via a light bushwhack off the Appalachian Trail. However, it doesn't have a view like at Humpback Rocks.
To the north you can see into the southern section of Shenandoah National Park, to the east check out the patchwork of farms, to the southwest you see thick woods and mountain ridges of the George Washington National forest. There is an excellent visitors center 0.2 miles north of the Humpback Gap trailhead parking area. The hike to the top of Humpback Rocks is only two miles round trip, one up and one back and gains approximately 720' on the way up. The Appalachian Trail goes through here and there are several miles of trails in the area. Adding Humpback Mountain will make the hike about twice as long and add a summit.
The trailhead at the Humpback Gap parking area is 6 miles south of I-64 and Rockfish Gap on the northernmost section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take I-64 eighteen miles west of Charlottesville to exit 99. The trailhead elevation is approximately 2,375'
There is no red tape, just park and hike.
You can climb Humpback Rocks year around. In the summer expect hot and humid conditions, also bring bug spray, water and watch out for snakes and thunderstorms. Spring and fall are the best times of year for the clearest and most pleasant conditions. Winter can be very cold, snowy and icy and the least crowded. The area can be crowded at other times.
Camping is available nearby in the Sherando Lake Recreation Area in the George Washington National Forest off 664 on the Blue Ridge Parkway a few miles south. Coming from the north on the AT there is the Paul C. Wolfe shelter, usually reserved for through-hikers.