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Riprap Hollow

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.2 (19) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This moderately difficult hike winds through pools and small cascades with several stream crossings.


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Map Key

9.7

Miles

15.7

KM

Loop

3,012' 918 m

High

1,695' 517 m

Low

1,949' 594 m

Up

1,947' 594 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Swimming · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This hike drops west from Skyline Drive to Meadow Run and then slowly climbs north and east along the Riprap Trail back to the Drive, three miles north of the start-point at Wildcat Ridge Trailhead parking. Be ready for a number stream crossings and lots of water features to explore.

Description

The trail begins at the Wildcat Ridge Trailhead parking area, south of Moormans River Overlook. It heads west, crossing the AT: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PA/MD/VA/WV) after a couple hundred yards and then switchbacks along Wildcat Ridge, down toward Meadow Run. There are a few spots along the descent that provide a view ahead, through the trees, of Turk Mountain and Crimora Lake toward the southwest.

Follow the ridge line down for another half-mile to where the trail turns sharply to the right (north). The trail drops along the ridge, crosses the stream, and then bends to the left and passes through a section of woods. Not long after you cross the stream again, it feeds into a larger stream that flows down through Riprap Hollow.

The trail fords the stream and continues to the intersection with the Riprap Trail, which was built as a fire road next to the stream. The Riprap Trail has been rerouted because of high water damage during floods so that it skirts along the ridge up higher on the west bank.

You can still see traces of the old road/trail along the way. After about a half-mile on the Riprap Trail, look for one of the park's biggest swimming holes. On the far left side of the stream is the site of the Riprap Shelter which was removed in 1977 in accordance with wilderness area policies.

Continue heading north as the trail climbs gradually, turning east, back toward Skyline Drive. Follow a small section of the AT: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PA/MD/VA/WV) south to the Riprap Trailhead parking area. You have the option to end your hike here if you have someone to pick you up at this trailhead. Otherwise, take a right onto the AT to make a loop back to your car at the Wildcat Ridge Trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Look out for rhododendrons with their arge, showy, violet-colored flowers that bloom during the last half of May.

Contacts

Shared By:

Larry W. Brown with improvements by Twenty Hoover

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 19 votes

#961

Overall
  4.2 from 19 votes
5 Star
37%
4 Star
53%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
5%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#35

in Virginia

#961

Overall
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3,893 Since Apr 19, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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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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Check-Ins

Nov 14, 2020
Anthony Vitola
Oct 10, 2020
Ashlee W
Great fall hike! Overall the trail is rocky 9.7mi — 6h 52m
Aug 19, 2020
Rachel Affleck
Feb 29, 2020
Paul Karns
Great hike with a descent amount of ascent, but nothing crazy. 9.8mi — 5h 00m
Feb 18, 2020
Amanda Robertson
What a lovely hike! The trail was maintained, but definitely not beaten. Much of it follows a beautiful creek. Would be fantastic in summer. 9.8mi
Sep 18, 2019
Donovan Fitzgerald
A whole lot of elevation change on this one. A pretty challenging loop! I did it CCW to save the hardest climb for the last.
Aug 31, 2019
Nick Johnson
I would recommend completing the trail clockwise for an epic overlook at the end of the hike. The wildcat trail was the most difficult part with lo… 9.7mi — 7h 15m
Jun 21, 2019
Sam Toso