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Dragon's Tooth

Difficult
 4.7 (29) 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 29 votes

#322

Overall
  4.7 from 29 votes
5 Star
76%
4 Star
21%
3 Star
3%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#15

in Virginia

#322

Overall
46 Views Last Month
4,908 Since Feb 1, 2016
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
7%
89%
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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Check-Ins

Oct 25, 2021
Kirk Larrabee
A really cool place! Great scenery. Trail is kinda moderate at first before it gets real rocky and the difficulty kicks in at the top. 5.4mi — 3h 20m
May 16, 2021
duksoo hwang
May 1, 2021
CM Sershon
After the first 1.7 mi from the parking lot the trail breaks away from the creek and there is no where to refile water till you come back down. 4.8mi — 7h 30m
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