Old Rag Loop
ElevationAscent: 2,362' 720 m
Descent: -2,359' -719 m
High: 3,221' 982 m
Low: 859' 262 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
Current trail conditions
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“An extremely popular hike, and for good reason, with awesome scrambling and stunning views.”— KC93 Ci
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.
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!
Land Manager: NPS - Shenandoah National Park