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Dragon's Tooth

  4.7 ( 20 ) Favorite


4.8 mile 7.7 kilometer loop


Ascent: 1,162' 354 m
Descent: -1,174' -358 m
High: 2,889' 880 m
Low: 1,774' 541 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)


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Trail shared by Hiking Project Staff

A trail to an aptly-named outcrop of Tuscarora quartzite straddling Craig and Roanoke Counties!

Hiking Project Staff

Features River/Creek · Views


This fun loop hike is a great way to


Parking is directly off VA 311. From the Dragon's Tooth parking area, head towards the information kiosk and restrooms located at the rear of the parking area. The blue-blazed Dragon's Tooth Trail begins at the kiosk.

Go about 0.25 miles, crossing two small bridges before arriving at the intersection of the yellow-blazed Boy Scout connector trail. There are a couple of camping spots at this intersection, and if the creek is running, they are the only camping spots on the whole trail with a water source. You'll use the Boy Scout connector trail on the return trip. Bear to the right on the blue-blazed Dragon's Tooth Trail.

For the next 1.4 miles you'll cross the creek or creek bed about 7-8 times on a steady but easy climb to the intersection of the white blazed Appalachian Trail (A.T.) There are some great camping spots (no water source) at this intersection. Turn right onto the A.T., heading south towards the Dragon's Tooth.

Now the fun begins! The next 0.7 miles is one of the toughest parts of the A.T. that we have taken. The trail becomes very rocky, climbing multiple series of rock steps, the trail seemingly clinging to the edge of the mountain at times, near the top at two different places you'll use a series of U-shaped iron bar steps embedded in the rock due to the steepness of the trail, and a few overlooks to give you a breather prior to reaching the intersection of the blue-blazed Dragon's Tooth Spur Trail, bear left. Imagine doing this part of the trail as an A.T. thru-hiker with 25-35+ lbs on your back!

From there, it is less than 0.3 miles to Dragon's Tooth on an easy path. Keep your eyes open on the left for a paths leading to overlooks prior to reaching Dragons Tooth. Be sure to circle behind the Tooth, as there is a crevice that makes it possible to climb onto the Tooth. It is not the easiest climb, and if you don't feel comfortable, don't do it, be safe! There are plenty of good views without climbing the Tooth.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, History & Background


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Oct 2, 2019
Faadhil Moheed
Really hard at end — 2h 30m
Sep 8, 2019
Jason Cromer
6.8mi — 3h 06m
Jul 26, 2019
Tommy Curry
Jul 13, 2019
Jason Kelly
Jun 30, 2019
Stan L.
At trailhead
Jun 15, 2019
Katie Thacker
gorgeous weather! glad we didn't bring the kids this time around but will soon! 5mi — 3h 27m
May 15, 2019
Jason Hall
Apr 6, 2019
Beth Goodson

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 20 votes


  4.7 from 20 votes
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in Virginia


153 Views Last Month
2,712 Since Feb 1, 2016



The top brings incredible views of the surrounding area as a reward for your effort.
Apr 6, 2017 near Salem, VA


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