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Old Rag Loop

 4.8 (164)
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Map Key

Length


8.9 Miles 14.3 Kilometers


2,362' 720 m

Ascent

-2,359' -719 m

Descent

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

3,221' 982 m

High

859' 262 m

Low

Shared By KC93 Ci

Conditions


All Clear 6 days ago
Mostly Dry - Very little mud. The few icy sections have melted for the most part and it's all clear. History

Getting forecast...

An extremely popular hike, and for good reason, with awesome scrambling and stunning views.

KC93 Ci

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife

No camping above 2800 feet.

General Park Pass Info
  • Shenandoah Annual Pass - $40
  • Shenandoah Single Vehicle Fee (7 days) - $20
  • Shenandoah "Per Person" Fee (walk-up/7 days) - $10
  • Shenandoah Motorcycle Fee (7 days) - $15
  • Campground Fees (per site/night) - $15 to $20

Camping Information

Overview

This trail is totally worth it, but make sure you are ready for a lot of people because this is so close to a bunch of cities it gets a ton of traffic even on less than ideal days. Do not let this deter you, as this is a classic hike. Just be sure to get an early start.

Need to Know

This is a popular rock climbing spot. Do not throw things off of the cliffs. Check out Mountain Project's Shennendoah National Park climbing beta if you're interested in climbing in the park.

Big backpacks can be cumbersome. The NPS recommends a fanny pack, but a small backpack would be fine. Squeezing through those boulders might just be a tad bit harder.

Description

Park at the Old Rag parking lot and pay the Park fee (see the Restrictions notes). Ridge Trail is the most popular way to get to the top of Old Rag. It is steep, long and requires a lot of rock scrambling. If you get hurt here it can take hours to be rescued so only do this hike if you are prepared.

Follow the road about 0.8 miles to the trailhead, which should be marked in blue. If you continue straight, you'll go onto Weakley Hollow Fire Road, which can be taken to do this loop in the opposite direction. To complete this loop as mapped, turn left onto Ridge Trail, which starts as a fairly gradual uphill to the first viewpoint, in approximately two miles. From here, the trail becomes rockier until the second viewpoint. After this, the hike quickly turns into more of a climb. There are often tight passages between rocks and stone staircases. If your backpack is too big it might require you to remove it in order to squeeze through the rocks.

After another mile, you'll reach the summit, which is especially fantastic in the fall. There can be rock climbers around the summit, so please do not throw things off the cliffs. After enjoying the view, head down the southwestern side of the mountain via the various staircases leading to a day-use shelter called Byrd's Nest.

Head down the stone stairs for another mile or so. From there, you'll reach Old Rag day-use shelter which has an outhouse you can use. Continue down the rest of the way until you reach an intersection with Berry Hollow Fire Road and Weakley Hollow Fire Road.

Turn right and head down the yellow-marked Weakley Hollow Fire Road. You'll pass a few trails on your left, but just stay straight. On your way back you'll see the Ridge Trail off to your right and eventually you'll be back at your car!

Flora & Fauna

You are likely to see deer and other wildlife, as well as a steady profusion of wildflowers during the spring, summer, and fall. Watch for changes in vegetation as you gain altitude.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Mar 18, 2019
Trevør Hylånd
Hiked it solo and in counterclockwise or reverse direction, beginning with the fire road. This trail has a different vibe in the opposite direction. 9.1mi — 2h 54m
Mar 13, 2019
Trevør Hylånd
Hiked in clockwise direction with my father. Second time doing the trail. Beautiful clear day with sun and great visibility. 9.8mi — 5h 21m
Feb 14, 2019
Marc Carlson
Feb 4, 2019
Santhosh Naikar
Feb 2, 2019
Tressa Czysz
JTRL 10mi
Jan 12, 2019
Jpietr03 Pietropaolo
Jan 6, 2019
Ethan B
0900-1315 Hiked with Kate. Class IV climbing on the way up. Good views from the peak and on the ascent. Climbing nearby if we return. 9mi
Jan 6, 2019
Kate E
8.9mi

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 164 votes

#8

Overall
  4.8 from 164 votes
5 Star
79%
4 Star
20%
3 Star
1%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#1

in Virginia

#8

Overall
687 Views Last Month
20,661 Since May 28, 2015
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54%
8%

Photos

Lou Poulas
Lake Hopatcong
Lou Poulas   Lake Hopatcong
The rock scramble section (Ridge Trail) is a 5-star hike, 5+ stars. So much fun, especially now that it is over. The return leg via the Fire Road is exactly what it sounds like, so I rated the overall hike 4 stars. But please, don't let this deter anyway, the hike is incredible. Aug 22, 2017

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