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Dragon's Tooth

Difficult
 4.7 (27) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

4.8

Miles

7.7

KM

Lollipop

2,889' 880 m

High

1,774' 541 m

Low

1,162' 354 m

Up

1,174' 358 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Unknown

Features River/Creek · Views

Overview

This fun loop hike is a great way to

Description

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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Hiking Project Staff

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 27 votes

#312

Overall
  4.7 from 27 votes
5 Star
78%
4 Star
19%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#14

in Virginia

#312

Overall
106 Views Last Month
4,223 Since Feb 1, 2016
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
0%
96%
4%

Photos

Fog clearing from the valley below.
Feb 2, 2020 near Salem, VA
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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All Clear 22 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Nov 7, 2020
Vickie Lee
Jun 25, 2020
Kevin Holmes
5.2mi — 3h 48m
Jun 23, 2020
Christopher D
Took ~4 hours with long break at top to enjoy the view. First 2 miles were a breeze but this trail gets very difficult on most of the AT sections
Oct 21, 2019
Anna Moore
4.8mi — 3h 08m
Oct 12, 2019
Joy Granados
It was a slow off day, but beautiful views at the tooth 4.8mi — 4h 00m
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
4.9mi