Dove Crags lies within the Eastern Fells area of the Lake District at an elevation of 792 m (2,598 ft) above sea level and with a prominence of 50 m (160 ft). As well as being listed as a Wainwright, it is also classed as a Hewitt and a Nuttall; and its parent peak is Hart Crag.
The fell is topped with an imposing series of rocky crags and perhaps the best view from the summit is to walk to the edge of the crags and look down into Dovedale. A cairn marks the highest point of the small rock platform that tops the fell and there is a dry stone wall which crosses the summit around 15 m to the west.
Wainwright chose the ascent of Dove Crag from Ambleside as the first one he recorded in his Lakeland Guides. Many people use this as the starting point for the Fairfield Horseshoe beginning at Ambleside and bagging eight Wainwright fells in one long, hard day of walking: Low Pike, High Pike, Dove Crag, Hart Crag, Fairfield and back to Ambleside via Great Rigg, Heron Pike and Nab Scar. A lesser known, but worthwhile, ascent begins in Patterdale and takes in the valley of Dovedale, which offers a spectacular view of the crags on approach.
Dove Crag’s scarps are an extremely popular destination for climbers and boulderers. The crag stretches around 75 m (246 ft) in height and there are a selection of classic climbing routes such as Fast and Furious and Extol. It is a recognised site for bouldering on the large rocks that have become detached from the main crag. It is also a known site for wild camping in a cave named the ‘Priest’s Hole’, concealed within the crags, where there is even a guest book to record your stay.