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blue Rock Creek Park Loop: Western Ridge to Valley Trails

  4.0 ( 19 ) Favorite

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Trail

8.8 mile 14.2 kilometer loop
Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 484' 147 m
Descent: -485' -148 m
High: 305' 93 m
Low: 73' 22 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Map Key

Trail shared by Doug Hay

A beautiful loop through Rock Creek Park, a D.C. Metro Area oasis.

Doug Hay

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

A complete natural escape from the busy streets of Washington, DC. The rugged and rocky terrain of the Valley Trail - South, and the smooth horse trail of the Western Ridge Trail, make for a solid hike in the middle of the nation's capitol.

Need to Know

There are lots of unmarked trails that take you out of the park, so be sure to follow the blazes.

Description

From the parking area, head straight up the steep hill and into the woods on Western Ridge Trail. Western Ridge Trail is a mostly smooth trail traversing the entire western side of Rock Creek Park. Eventually, you'll cross over Military Road.

Continue on the bike path for roughly .25 miles before jumping back on the dirt up to the Maryland border.

At the border, cross the road/creek to pick up the Valley Trail - North and eventually Valley Trail - South all the way back to the parking area. These wonderful trails run along Rock Creek up to the Maryland border for about 5.6 Miles, but don't be fooled by the word "valley" in their names. The trails have plenty of elevation change as they twist and turn alongside the river.

Contrary to the Western Ridge Trail, the Valley Trail's path is a bit more rugged. Watch your footing through rocks, roots and narrow passages. While you'll find fewer hikers along the Valley Trail, this is probably the most popular trail in the park and a great place to see wildlife like deer and black snakes.

This is the best that Rock Creek Park has to offer!

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Check-Ins

Apr 18, 2019
Robbyn Brown
Apr 7, 2019
Maria N
10mi
Mar 24, 2019
Richard Gear
Mar 15, 2019
M Powden
Jan 26, 2019
Cynthia Lao
Construction and trails are blocked but you can get around 3.5mi
Jan 26, 2019
Ingrid Seggerman
8.2mi
Jan 12, 2019
Mr M
Malvika & Me
Nov 27, 2018
Fab Cor
By bike

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 19 votes

#1082

Overall
  4.0 from 19 votes
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#1,082

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8,238 Since Jan 9, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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