Guide to Photographing the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia

Bear Rocks by Marc Andre

The Dolly Sods Wilderness is located in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. The 17,000-acre wilderness includes high plateaus, rocky plains, bogs, and amazing vistas. It is located a short drive from Blackwater Falls State Park, so if you are in the area be sure to set some time aside for visiting Dolly Sods.

→ Related reading: Photography Guide to Blackwater Falls State Park

Getting Around

There are 47 miles of hiking trails available within the wilderness, with many of them following old railroad grades and logging roads. You can learn more about the trails from this brochure. The main roads for driving in Dolly Sods are Forest Roads 75 and 19. They are rough, unpaved roads, but in normal weather conditions they don’t require a four-wheel-drive, although a vehicle with high clearance would be ideal. In winter the roads are impassable due to snow.

→ See More of The Best Places to Photograph in West Virginia

Guide to Photographing the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia

Forest Road 75 by Marc Andre

Bear Rocks

One popular location within Dolly Sods is Bear Rocks. It is located at the north end of the wilderness just off of Forest Road 75. This rocky summit provides a great view of the surrounding area and is one of the most photographed locations in West Virginia. I recently visited Bear Rocks for some sunrise photography.

Guide to Photographing the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia

Bear Rocks by Marc Andre

Guide to Photographing the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia

Bear Rocks by Marc Andre

Guide to Photographing the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia

Bear Rocks by Marc Andre

In autumn the colors are amazing and the area is even more popular with photographers.

Guide to Photographing the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia

Bear Rocks by Nicolas Raymond / CC BY 2.0

Beautiful Wilderness

Dolly Sods is home to a lot of beautiful trees and plants that are perfect for photographing.

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Guide to Photographing the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia

Dolly Sods Wilderness by Marc Andre

Guide to Photographing the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia

Dolly Sods Wilderness by Marc Andre

If you want to see, experience, and photograph Dolly Sods you can explore some of the trails throughout the wilderness, or simply drive on the forest roads and pull over when you see something interesting. The photo below was taken along the side of Forest Road 75.

Guide to Photographing the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia

Dolly Sods Wilderness by Marc Andre

Photo license link: CC BY 2.0

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