Old Rag mountain is a beautiful hiking destination, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Shenandoah National Park. This 9 mile circuit offers breathtaking panoramic views the entire way and is a favorite of many hikers. Sorry no pets.

Be prepared to deal with crowds, especially on the rock scrambles, which tend to cause a bottle neck. I would recommend starting out early, around 6 or 7 am to avoid the crowds. Definitely arrive no later than 9:30am, as the parking lot fills up quickly.

From the parking area, walk about a mile up SR600 following it as it veers left. From there you will be at the beginning of the park boundary. Look for a post with a blue mark to indicate the Ridge trail. This trail has a slightly steep incline and will lead you through a green luscious forest. About 2 miles in, you will reach your first view point. Be sure to have your camera ready! From there, the trail gradually becomes more rocky and the last mile before the summit is a challenging, but very fun, rock scramble.The trail during the scramble tends to get backed up because there are some narrow and tight spots that can only fit one person at a time. However, you can take advantage of your waiting time by snapping some great photos of the 360 degree view. When you reach the summit, you will realize why you hiked and scrambled 4+ miles to get to the top – IT’S BEAUTIFUL! I would suggest packing a lunch for the summit, so you can sit back, relax, eat your sandwich and enjoy the scenery. If you ever get lost or are unsure of which way the trail goes, just keep an eye out for the blue marks that line the trail.

To finish the circuit, follow the signs posted at the summit to Saddle Trail. This trail will lead you past Old Rag Shelter to Weakley Hollow Fire Road, which you will follow for about 2.5 miles back to the parking lot.

If you ever get lost or are unsure of which way the trail goes, just keep an eye out for the blue marks that line the trail.

If you’d like a nice glass of wine to enjoy afterwards, check out Sharp Rock Vineyards, located on the foot of Old Rag Mountain at 5 Sharp Rock Road. It's just a short drive from the parking area and is a perfect place to unwind after a long hike!

Pack List

  • Park pass
  • Hiking boots/shoes
  • Plenty of water
  • Camera
  • Optional: lunch for a picnic at the summit
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RT Distance 9 Miles
Elevation Gain 2510 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Winter Hike On Old Rag

Great place to hike and a great workout! Completed 7.5 mike loop in 4 hours. Going up was the most difficult part; following Ridge Trail is pretty easy with several switch backs until you hit the 2800 ft mark and enter the “Rock Scramble” here the trail becomes a little more difficult to follow and your workout begins, at times you may find yourself doing a little bouldering / rock climbing. Due to the frigid temps, it was a bit slick at times and took additional time to complete the rock scramble. My camelback insulated hose actual froze during the hike. Once you reach the summit your reward is stunning views of the various peaks within Shenandoah. Heading back to the parkinglot it’s easy, all down hill following Saddle Trail then Weakley Hollow Fire Rd, aprx 5 miles, overall very rewarding hike

Be Ready

Great hike and great views bring snacks water and a camera it’s hard going up but going down is a breeze definitely worth It

Go Do It.

Simply the best. Full body workout, pack water, and be prepared for 4-6 hours.


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