• Menu
  • Menu

Caneel Hill (Trail + Margaret Hill)

Caneel Hill Trail is one of the most popular (if not THE most popular) hikes in Virgin Islands National Park offering sweeping panoramic views

Virgin Islands National Park

Caneel Hill Trail, St. John Overview

Caneel Hill Trail is one of the most popular trails in Virgin Islands National Park on St. John featuring panoramic views of Cruz Bay, Trunk Bay, & the surrounding islands. Caneel Hill Trail (which leads to the top of Margaret Hill) is a spectacular sunset spot, perhaps the best in all of Virgin Islands National Park. The hike up to the viewpoint is moderately difficult at nearly 1700ft of elevation gain and plenty of rocks and roots to trip over.

Length:  4miles
Elevation: 1696ft
Time Needed: 2-3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

We explored Caneel Hill Trail after Hurricane Maria and cover what it looks like now in this post.

In this post we’ll cover everything you need to know about Caneel Hill (and Margaret Hill) and the hike to it including:

caneel hill trail margaret hill virgin islands national park st john sunset

Sunset Caneel Hill Trail | Virgin Islands National Park, St. John USVI

Things to Know Before Visiting Ram Head

Pack food and water for the hike, you’ll need it.
  •  TRAIL FUEL: Make sure to pack more water than you think you’ll need if you plan on hiking all the way to the bay. We recommend packing some snacks (or a picnic lunch) as well.
Closed-toed sandals or hiking boots are your friend.
  •  FOOTWEAR: We recommend wearing  hiking shoes/boots if you plan on hiking to the popular overlook featured above. While a fair section of the trail is through sand, much of it is not and could cause problems for folks wearing flip flops.
Please, Wear Sunscreen.
  • SUNSCREEN: 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 that we’ve been using for years and buy in bulk.
Depending on the time of year/day you might want to pack insect repellent.

caneel hill trail margaret hill virgin islands national park st john sunset

Caneel Hill Trail & Margaret Hill | Virgin Islands National Park, USVI

Best Time to Visit Ram Head

The best time to visit Caneel Hill Trail is in the evening around sunset. Caneel Hill Trail (to Margaret Hill) is perhaps the best place on St. John to watch the sunset. From the top, hikers can take in the panoramic views of Cruz Bay, Trunk Bay, and the surrounding islands as the sun sets.

Getting to Caneel Hill Trail

The Caneel Hill Trailhead is a 5 minute drive on the main park road (North Shore Rd) from Cruz Bay where the main island ferry lands. Visitors can use the small parking lot at the trailhead if bringing their own vehicle or island taxi service. 

This trail can be done as an out & back or an end to end with termini near the Caneel Bay Resort and in Cruz Bay itself.

Exploring the Caneel Hill Trail

The Caneel Bay Trail  is one of the most popular trails in the park and on all of St. John. The route takes hikers from sea level up through the rocky forested jungle to sweeping panoramic views of Coral Bay & St John Island above. This hike should not be attempted without the proper footwear (hiking shoes or hiking boots). Hikers will regret wearing flip flops on this trail. 

Subscribe To Our newsletter

JOIN TODAY

caneel hill trail margaret hill virgin islands national park st john sunset

Margaret Hill from Caneel Hill Trail | Virgin Islands National Park, St. John USVI

Caneel Hill Trail After Hurricane Maria

Hurricane 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 Caneel Hill Trail has been largely repaired from hurricane damage and is still 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 Caneel Hill Trail

There are many amazing spots near Caneel Hill Trail including: Francis Bay, Trunk Bay, Maho Bay, America Hill Ruins, Cinnamon Bay, and Francis Bay.




Caneel Hill Trail | Virgin Islands National Park, St. John USVI

Experience Virgin Islands National Park in 8K

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.

https://youtu.be/703bZ-5zQ2s

Explore more of Virgin Islands


SEE MORE >>

> click for the ultimate guide <

Discover

VIRGIN ISLANDS

National Park

> click for the ultimate guide <

ram head st. john, st. john ram head trail, ram head hike st. johns, ram head trail, ram head beaches, ram head snorkeling

Experience more National Parks


See More >

Will Pattiz

Co-founder of More Than Just Parks. Husband. Conservationist. Currently living in NYC.

View stories
error: Content is protected !!