America Hill Ruins, St. John Overview
The America Hill Ruins in Virgin Islands National Park are among the most beautiful and most intact ruins on all of St. John. Getting to the ruins requires a hike (starting at Cinnamon Bay) but it is well worth the effort. From the top, hikers are treated to spectacular panoramic views of Maho & Francis Bays.
We hiked this trail after Hurricane Maria and we think the views from here were actually improved by the hurricane (at least there’s one positive impact).
In this post we’ll cover everything you need to know about America Hill ruins and the hike to them including:
- America Hill Ruins Hike Tips & Things to Know
- America Hill Trail Information (Cinnamon Bay Trail)
- Best time to visit America Hill Ruins
- Getting to America Hill Ruins
- America Hill Ruins post-hurricane Maria
- Photos of America Hill Ruins & Cinnamon Bay Trail
America Hill Ruins – Virgin Islands National Park, St. John USVI
Things to Know Before Visiting America Hill Ruins
Hiking boots or shoes are your friend.
- FOOTWEAR: We recommend wearing closed-toe sandals or hiking shoes/boots if you plan on hiking to America Hill Ruins. Flip flops will not cut it here as there are lots of loose rocks and roots.
Pack water and a snack.
- FUEL: The hike is not too long but it is steep so be sure and pack water along with a snack for the top!
Please, Wear Sunscreen.
- SUNSCREEN: Many sunscreens have been outlawed in the Virgin Islands due to reef-damaging ingredients. Goes without saying but we’ll say it anyway – wear sunscreen! The Caribbean is unforgiving on unprotected skin. We’ve made that mistake enough times to make lathering up a top priority. We highly recommend this one (which is reef-safe).
Depending on the time of year/day you might want to pack insect repellent.
- BUG SPRAY: We didn’t have any trouble with mosquitoes on our hike to the ruins but enough people do so you may want to be prepared with sunscreen. We recommend this eco-friendly, DEET free insect repellent we’ve been using for years.
Where to Stay
Visiting Virgin Islands National Park? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on visiting Virgin Islands National Park for tips. Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite place to stay on St John.
Due to the long term closure of Caneel Bay (the only resort in the park destroyed by the 2017 hurricanes) and the ensuing battle with the park service over the future management of the property, the closest hotels & resorts are back in Cruz Bay.
America Hill Ruins – Virgin Islands National Park, USVI
Best Time to Visit America Hill Ruins
The best time to visit the America Hill Ruins is in the morning around sunrise to capture the light sweeping across the hills and illuminating the waters of Maho & Francis Bays below with vibrant blues and greens. With that being said, we visited in the late morning and captured some spectacular results so there probably isn’t a “bad” time to visit.
Getting to America Hill Ruins
The Cinnamon Bay Trailhead (which is used to get to America Hill) is a 15 minute drive from Cruz Bay where the main island ferry lands. Visitors should use the Cinnamon Bay parking lot if bringing their own vehicle or island taxi service.
America Hill Ruins Trail Information (Cinnamon Bay Trail)
The trail up to the America Hill Ruins is steep, rocky, and root-ridden so be sure to sport adequate footwear. Hikers headed to the ruins will use the Cinnamon Bay Trail accessed across the road from the Cinnamon Bay parking area.
Trailhead: Cinnamon Bay
Length: 1.8 miles
Time Needed: 2 hours
Best Photo Spots – America Hill Ruins
The best spot to photograph The America Hill Ruins is on the left side of the ruins to capture both the ruins with Maho & Francis Bays in the distance. There are many other great spots from the ruins including views looking toward the direction of Cinnamon Bay.
America Hill Ruins After Hurricanes Irma & Maria
Hurricanes Irma & Maria had a devastating impact on the Caribbean islands, especially St. John, home to Virgin Islands National Park. Many of the photos of the park you’ll find feature locations that have been totally changed since the hurricane hit the island in 2017.
With that being said, the America Hill ruins are still very much in tact and stunningly beautiful – well worth the trip!
*all of our photos of the park feature it in its current condition, post-2017 hurricane Maria damage
Nearby America Hill Ruins
Watch the Virgin Islands Video
VIRGIN ISLANDS 8K is a visually stunning journey through one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, Virgin Islands. Journey with More Than Just Parks as we explore this tropical paradise located on the outskirts of the Caribbean Sea.
Swim with sea turtles, explore ancient jungle ruins, relax on white sand beaches, and soak in the island beauty. This is Virgin Islands National Park.
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