Old Rag Mountain Trail is a 9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Syria, VA that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
This hike is considered to be THE best in Shenandoah National Park. It is pretty hard climb, but when you make it about 3/4 of the way up, then you have some rock scrambling that makes your pace a little slower. There are alot of switchbacks, so you will not be going straight up, but the trails are still at a steep grade. The descent, which is a longer distance than the ascent, is a much more gradual grade, ending on a fire trail. This hike begins with a one-mile walk up the road to the original Old Rag Parking lot (port-a-pots here.) Turn left onto the Ridge Trail and begin your approximate two mile ascent with switchbacks before reaching the boulder scramble section. There are handwritten numbers below the blue trail blazes throughout the trail. You’ll be going up, down, in between, around, and underneath granite boulders throughout the scramble. While going through the boulder scramble, keep your eyes open for the blue blazes, as sometimes they are in the strangest places. If you have a fear of heights, or jumping across crevasses, this will challenge you and encourage you to overcome your fears. Each time you think you’ve reached the summit – you haven’t! This mountain likes to play with you and has several false summits. You’ll know that you’ve reached the top when you see the Old Rag Mountain brown elevation sign. Find a lovely rock with a fabulous view for your lunch spot here, before starting your descent on the back of the mountain by way of the Saddle Trail. Rock hopping down, you’ll pass two shelters. First the Byrds Nest Shelter, then the Old Rag Shelter (privy here) before hitting a cross-roads. Stay to your right to continue back on the Weakley Hollow Fire Road for about four miles to return to the parking lot. This section can seem like it’ll last forever. You will pass through beautiful forests and see Brokenback Run that leads into the Hughes River.
Lots of fun. Great views. But be warned: this trail can get incredibly busy. Incredibly.
old rag mountain trail is the best!!
try this trail.. you would not regret it.
finish it in 4 hours!!
We hiked this with our 6 year old daughter and 9 year old son. There were a few tense moments but everyone completed the 9 mile loop under their own power! Great day and great hike!
First time hiking. Really a good trail and it is hard with the rock trail.
My favorite so far. Tough, rock scrambling, amazing views, varied hiking. Crowded at times but nothing too bad at if you time it right. Not for people that can't walk hard up elevations for hours, but great fun for couples, friends or families. I'd say wait till your kids are 7 or 8. Wear good shoes, expect it to be colder and windier than sea level, bring a tasty meal for the summit, water, and plan on devoting a whole day.
This is the toughest hike I have done so far. Some rock scrambles are tough with very little grip and there are chances of injuries. I saw two people with scraped knees and elbows. There were at least two points where the thought of giving up came to my mind but then there are plenty of beautiful views on the way to keep you motivated. This is the only hike in this area where you'll use plenty of upper body strength to pull yourself up. Overall, I would say that I loved every minute of this hike and would consider doing this again.
Bring gloves for the rock scramble- wear a small thin backpack of water and snacks- don't try to complete when it's wet- really fun hike
Fun rock scramble at the top, crowded, get there early or pay extra for parking.
Awesome rock scramble and loop.