This popular hike can be undertaken on your own (with the help of a park service map), or you can join a guided tour led by a park service ranger. The distance is 2.5 miles each way; the trail is... Read More
This popular hike can be undertaken on your own (with the help of a park service map), or you can join a guided tour led by a park service ranger. The distance is 2.5 miles each way; the trail is mostly shaded by jungle vegetation but is quite rocky so sturdy shoes are required. The trail starts at the highest point on the island and winds downward toward the sea to Reef Bay in about two hours. A slight detour takes you to the ancient petroglyph site, with ancient rock carvings. The remains of a sugar plantation can be found at the end of the trail, as well as the lovely Reef Bay beach, which offers good snorkeling. If you opt for the ranger-led tour, an experienced guide will identify the trees, plants and animals along the way, and give a history of the Reef Bay Plantation and the petroglyphs. The guided trip also features a boat ride back to Cruz Bay. Self-guided hikers are on their own as far as getting home. You either have to hoof it all the way back to the top, or take a nearby trail to Lameshur Bay, where you can hitch a ride to your hotel or call a taxi. To reserve a spot on the guided hike, you must call Friends of the Park well in advance, as spots fill up quickly. The cost is $30 per person, and the meeting point is in front of the National Park visitor center in Cruz Bay.