Old Rag Loop

 53 votes

8.8 Miles 14.1 Kilometers


70%

Singletrack

2,378' 725 m

Ascent

-2,377' -724 m

Descent

3,233' 985 m

High

855' 261 m

Low

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Unknown

Update

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

KC93 Ci

Overview

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
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.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Views — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs

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.

Contacts

Rate Featured Hike


   Clear

4.7 from 53 votes


Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Sep 16, 2017
Christopher Harris
Sep 4, 2017
Sarah Garner
Sep 3, 2017
Catalina Bonilla
Sep 3, 2017
Dan Tessar
Aug 27, 2017
Anthony Carey
Awesome view! 9mi
Aug 26, 2017
Jack Salgado
Aug 26, 2017
Ukonthon Birnbaum
Aug 19, 2017
Shammy S

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 53 votes

#11

Overall
  4.7 from 53 votes
5 Star
74%
4 Star
26%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#1

in Virginia

#11

Overall
696 Views Last Month
5,745 Since May 28, 2015
Difficult Difficult

0%
0%
4%
23%
60%
13%

Conditions



Getting forecast...

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


Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking