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Riprap Hollow

Intermediate/Difficult
  4.1 ( 16 ) Favorite

Trail

9.7 mile 15.7 kilometer loop
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,949' 594 m
Descent: -1,947' -594 m
High: 3,012' 918 m
Low: 1,695' 517 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)

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Map Key

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

Larry W. Brown

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.

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Check-Ins

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
Jun 17, 2019
Ying Zhang
Jun 16, 2019
Bryan Folts
9.5mi
May 25, 2019
Shannon Green
12h 00m
Aug 25, 2018
Jordon Birman
Chimney Rock but went about a mile further before turning back 5.5mi
May 19, 2018
Ozzie Arioc

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 16 votes

#1779

Overall
  4.1 from 16 votes
5 Star
31%
4 Star
56%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
6%
1 Star
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Featured Hike Rankings

#42

in Virginia

#1,779

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80 Views Last Month
2,387 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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