The Reef Bay (and L'Esperance Trail) hikes, guided by a Virgin Islands National Park Ranger, are some of the most interesting and enjoyable visitor experiences on St. John. Each year the Friends helps to manage the hikes in partnership with the park by assisting with booking park visitors through our website. Currently, the hikes are off the calendar for the duration of the 2018-2019 season. Please check back in the fall of 2019 when the hikes will resume to book your hike. We thank you for your patience as our park continues to work to rebuild and restore its capacity after the devastation caused by the two hurricanes in 2017. 

Reef Bay Hike

Reef Bay Hike

Join National Park Service Rangers for the premier hiking experience

in Virgin Islands National Park!

  • Reservations and purchase of transportation vouchers for the Reef Bay and L'Esperance hikes, led by Virgin Islands National Park Service Rangers, is done through the Friends of the Park Store located in the National Park Visitor Center in Cruz Bay ONLY.
  • Vouchers for transportation will need to be purchased at the time of reservation for $40 per hiker.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  Reservations for each Hike are held once payment is confirmed.  You will receive an email confirmation once your payment is complete and your reservation will be held.  If you do not receive an email confirmation within 24hrs of submitting a payment online please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • The maximum number of hikers on any given trip will be 31.
  • Vouchers for the Reef Bay Hike will be available on the day of the hike on a space available basis; but this is a very popular activity and advance reservations are highly recommended.
  • For hike reservations, please CLICK HERE to be taken to the calendar. Once there, select your date and click "Book Now" button.
  • All inquiries for the hikes are made at the Friends of the Park Store- NPS Visitor Center location only
  • The taxi to the trail head will depart from the NPS Visitors Center promptly at 9:30am and the boat will return to Cruz Bay between 2:00pm - 3:00 pm.
  • Vouchers must be picked up from the Visitors Center
  • You must have your vouchers in hand to board the taxi at 9:00 am from the NPS Visitors Center and to board the boat.

Please read the following message from the VI NPS Rangers with important hike info:

Reef Bay Trail

Step back in time while experiencing a moist tropical forest as you hike down the verdant Reef
Bay Valley. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to learn about the people who have
called St John home and about their relationship to the natural world.

Sugar plantation ruins, stone walls from cattle grazing, and ancient rock carvings left behind by
the pre-Colombian Taino can be found along the trail. This evidence from the past is a reminder
of changes over time on the island.

The oldest and tallest trees on the island can be found in this valley, creating a canopy of shade
for hikers and a habitat for a variety of wildlife. Throughout time, people survived using vines,
trees, flowers and fruits that are now preserved and protected for future generations.

Come Prepared for a Fun Adventure

Most visitors hike these trails without incident and have a wonderful time. Be aware that these backcountry trails are steep in places and are uneven and rocky, and can be slippery even when dry – you’ll need sturdy, closed-toe shoes and a sure foot. Take plenty of water, some snacks and a lunch, and a hat. Mosquito repellent is a good idea, too, and a swim suit if you’d like to take a dip in the ocean down at the beach. From the trailhead to the beach is about three miles one way. These guided hikes go at a reasonably steady pace with occasional stops for the ranger to offer insight about the historical and natural features along the trail.  The hikes take about three and one half hours from start to finish.

Both hikes end with a 40-minute boat ride back to the Cruz Bay Visitor Center. As you cruise back, you can take in the scenery of Virgin Islands National Park, with forested green hillsides meeting white sand beaches and clear turquoise water.

It is extremely rare, but weather or other factors may prevent the boat from picking up hikers, requiring a trek back up to the trailhead. Park rangers will assure everyone makes it back up, but it will take extra time and delay your return to Cruz Bay.

Please take a moment to evaluate whether these hikes are appropriate for you and your family, as there is NO REFUND for any reason within 24 hours of the hike. Rain or shine—we go hiking!

Quick Check List

  • Sturdy footwear
  • Water (2 liters per person)
  • Lunch or a Snack
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Repellent
  • Allergy Medications
  • Parking Permit? (if parking at the VC! Get it at the front desk) Parking at Mongoose Junction is not permitted.

Cancellation policies are as follows:

  • If the hike is cancelled by the NPS, voucher-holders will receive a full refund or may rebook the trip at no additional charge
  • If a reservation is cancelled more than 24 hours before the start of the hike you may rebook the hike at no additional charge, or receive a full refund
  • There are no refunds for "no-shows” or cancellations for any reason (unless cancelled by NPS) within 24 hours of the trip. (i.e., after 9:30 am, the day before your scheduled hike).
  • Call the Friends of the Park Store at 340-693-PARK for last minute questions or to cancel your reservation.


If parking at the National Park Visitors Center during the event - A parking permit is mandatory!  Ask for a parking permit at the front desk of the Visitors center.  You must park only in the designated "NPS Parking Permit Required" lot as shown in the map below.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask the staff at the Visitors Center when picking up your parking pass.  
Thank you for your cooperation.
Get a PARKING PASS inside the Visitors Center

Event Properties

Event Date 10-12-2017 9:00 am
Event End Date 10-12-2017 3:00 pm
Capacity 31
Available places 29
Cut off date 10-11-2017 3:00 pm
Individual Price $40.00
National Park Visitors Center
Nat'l Park Headquaters
National Park Visitors Center

Venue Information - National Park Visitors Center

National Park Visitors Center.

$40.00 29
We are no longer accepting registration for this event

Location Map

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