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Riprap Trail

Intermediate

Trail

4.6 mile 7.5 kilometer point to point
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 101' 31 m
Descent: -1,543' -470 m
High: 3,012' 918 m
Low: 1,570' 479 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Larry W. Brown

A moderate descent past Chimney Rock down along Cold Spring Hollow to the western edge of the park.

Larry W. Brown

Features Birding · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly The grades aren't too steep, and the kids will enjoy stopping at the swimming hole along the way.

Description

To access the blue-blazed Riprap Trail, head uphill from the Riprap Trailhead parking area and turn right onto the white-blazed AT: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PA/MD/VA/WV). About four-tenths of a mile from the start, look for a left turn onto the Riprap Trail. It continues along generally descending to a talus slope that crosses the ridge. The trail bends to the right, then swings left with a number of white rocks on the right that mark the Paine Run watershed down below.

The rock tower ahead is Chimney Rock. In front of you, Trayfoot Mountain bounds the far side of the hollow. The trail continues to Chimney Rock.

From Chimney Rock, after around three-quarters of a mile, the trail bends to the left and begins to drop into Cold Spring Hollow. A little more than a mile further and a stream merges in from the left, and the trail joins Riprap Hollow. One hundred feet downstream is a small but very picturesque cascade.

The trail crosses the stream and continues for another hundred yards until a side trail heads off to the right, crossing the stream toward the Riprap Shelter site, which is next to one of the biggest swimming holes in the park. The Riprap Shelter no longer exists, as it was removed when the area became a wilderness. From the shelter site, you can continue downstream for a couple hundred feet to merge back onto the trail.

A short distance ahead the trail forks. Bear right, heading along the relocated trail as it stays on higher ground that avoids flood damage. The trail continues for another half-mile or so until the intersection with the Wildcat Ridge Trail. The Riprap Trail continues for three-quarters of a mile to the western limit of the park.

Thanks to Larry W. Brown, for sharing this trail description. If you’re interested in learning more details about great hikes, weather, camping / lodging, wildlife, and scenic drives, check out the comprehensive Guide to Shenandoah National Park.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna

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Check-Ins

Sep 18, 2019
Donovan Fitzgerald
Pretty rocky and tough on the knees all the way down. Some excellent views before at at the chimney rocks
Aug 19, 2019
Phil Manger
Just to Chimney Rock, then back to Skyline Drive 3.2mi
Nov 9, 2018
Jeanette C
Out to Chimney Rock and back.
Feb 17, 2018
Jill Breitwieser
trail run in the sleet and snow! 10mi
Nov 18, 2017
Donovan Fitzgerald
This trail has it all. Great scenic views up top and creek crossings down below. 4.6mi
Sep 17, 2017
Elizabeth Newton
Trail with Tori. Nicest weather, ever. Blue Point Brewery after hike.
Jan 7, 2017
Alborz Zafari
Leaving at 8:50am to do the rip rap loop 14.4mi
Oct 14, 2016
Rebekah Gregory
11mi

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#17303

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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3 Star
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Trail Rankings

#433

in Virginia

#17,303

Overall
91 Views Last Month
1,946 Since Apr 19, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

View of Shenandoah Valley from Calvary Rocks.
Aug 23, 2019 near Crimora, VA
View northeast towards Blackrock from Chimney Rock.
Aug 23, 2019 near Crimora, VA

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