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“The LONG (9) mile(s)” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Old Rag Mountain Hike

Old Rag Mountain Hike
Shenandoah National Park, VA
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Type: Caverns/ Caves, Forests, Mountains, National Parks, Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Parks, State Parks, Hiking Trails, Trails, Outdoors
Attraction details
Stafford, Virginia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“The LONG (9) mile(s)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

I should have known what I was in for after we had to walk (uphill no less) from the parking lot to the hiking trail! It was grueling, especially with the heavy back-pack I let my wife pack. The rock scramble was a lot of fun. We did a guided rock scramble in Vegas at Red Rock Canyon and as nice as that was, we enjoyed this one even better. You should be in relatively good shape (be honest with yourself) to even attempt the scramble and the 9 mile loop. If you are a large person YOU WILL NOT FIT through some of the holes you'll need to crawl through. I can't qualify what "Large" is though b/c a 275 lbs person might make it... it all depends on body type and where you carry the weight. just beware. No dogs allowed. And I would not bring young kids on this hike either. only 14 and up, I'd say. Afterwards, I felt very accomplished, and the view from the Tippy top is special but the journey up the mountain was even nicer (in retrospect). Tips: Free for Active Military (they would have charged me $15 at the lot w/o my ID); Use the port-a-potty at the lot before you leave. Bring a back=pack but pack light (plenty of water and some sandwiches and a snack). Start the hike out by going left (NOT straight)... you want to return on the Fire Road.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • English first
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English first
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“a great hike, but you need to be in shape”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

We have hiked Old Rag several times. It is about a 9 mile trip hike with aggressive rock scrambling for about a mile near the top. You can avoid the rock scramble if you go up and down the fireroad (counter-clockwise to start) but this makes it about an 11 mile round trip. This part is challenging for people that are not used to this kind of hiking. But the views from the top and on the way up are amazing. Take plenty of water!!!!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“FANTASTIC HIKE”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

This is not an easy hike but it is well worth it if you are in shape and enjoy scampering up rocks. Best to start in the early morning and take 3 water bottles per person. The trail down is longer and easier but it makes for a nearly 10 mile hike before you are back to your car. We saw 2 brown bears along with trillium, lady slippers and wonderful views!

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wallingford, Connecticut
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
70 attraction reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
139 helpful votes 139 helpful votes
“Fun & challenging hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

The Old Rag circuit is about 8 miles. When you factor in the roundtrip walk from the parking area to the trailhead you can add another .8 miles each way for a total distance of 9.6 miles. Go clockwise up the mountain. First follow the blue-blazed Ridge Trail to the summit of Old Rag, then descend down the Saddle Trail (blue blazed) and finish on the Weakly Hollow Fire Road (yellow blazes) which brings you back to the road that leads back to the parking area. It is a steady climb up the Ridge Trail to the summit of Old Rag. When you get close to the top, the granite can get a bit slick (especially early in the morning when dew is on the rocks) in places so you have to be careful. I would not recommend this hike on a wet day, I think for the average person, it would be a bit too slippery on the upper portions of the hike. There is also a place where you have to scramble over and under rocks and one place where you drop down roughly 12 feet into a narrow, vertical cleft/fracture in the rock. The views from the summit area are very beautiful of the surrounding Virginia countryside. The hike took me about 5 hours, I probably could have taken less time, but I took a lot of pictures on this hike.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunnyvale, CA
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
41 attraction reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
“Definitely not for whimps”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

Most of the hike is on nice trails, albeit quite steep. The part that is difficult is just the last bit - maybe half a mile - where you are basically bouldering. Make sure you have shoes with rubber soles for good traction: a lot of the high-traffic boulders are quite smooth from, well, high traffic,

Once you get to the summit you'll be happy you toughed it out.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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