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Today was beautiful for a hike!

hike is great, but dogs are not permitted at Old Rag - please correct your information!

It was great!! We ended up starting at Hawksbill Gap parking lot because the Whiteoak lot was closed. We also went all the way down Nicholson Hollow to link up with Old Rag instead of going south on Indian Run, but the trail was absolutely stunning. We set up camp next to a stream and the sound of the water at night was so relaxing. I would suggest doing more miles on the first day because if you do the loop clockwise, most of your energy will be spend hiking Old Rag and Cedar Run. Old Rag is the most strenuous hike in the park and pretty challenging but doable with a 50L pack. Cedar run is straight uphill. Pretty much like climbing stairs for a few hours.

If you can start at whiteoak parking lot, I would suggest doing that so you can start with cedar run and end with old rag. I would just highly suggest doing those two trails on separate days.

There was some great camping spots all along Nicholson hollow. We camped about a mile or so past Corbin Cabin (a completely random cabin in the middle of the woods).

All in all, AMAZING hike and would definitely do it again!!

The mountains were so blue!! The views did not disappoint!

If you are looking for a challenging, easy to navigate with plenty of vertical, excellent waterfalls and is in the mid 20s mile overnight, this is an absolutely wonderful trek. Some pretty fine Appalachian vistas, wind sucking climbs, periods of solitude mixed with clumps of tenderfoots and tourists keep it ever amusing. Then comes that close out rock scramble up Old Rag giving this adventure a "something to remember me by signature."
A few items if you plan to do this as an overnight. (1) Water. Assuming you carry a purification system, the only exception to plenty along the way are the stretches from the base of Hawksbill to Indian Run (about two miles after you leave the AT) and of course once you start climbing the Rag until you finish. Other than those stretches you can fill about a liter at a time and be fine. (2) Something about "Stoney Man" was a must do for this 60 something Dead fan. The top was fittingly cloudy but certainly worth the side trip. (3) Try to time your adventure to NOT hit Old Rag on a perfect weather weekend as It can make for more people around than you care for. I had the pleasure of a clear, 70ish degree July Saturday and although the folks were always pleasant, helpful and smiling it made for a bit of congestion and hollywooding. Nothing however can take away from the physical challenge and beauty that is Old Rag. Bottom Line, DO it !!

hiking
5 months ago

Thanks to Christian who did a great and help full review! I followed his suggestion and did the loop in clockwise. Good thing about this loop is that you get to see everything on the center section of the Shenandoah. Bad part is...24 miles up and down the valley was no joke! Below is my part of the review and tips for future hikers.

Water: I carried three bottles of Smart Water(1L) and it was enough for two days. There is water resources everywhere and if you carry a Sawyer you wouldn’t have a problem.

Camp: finding a dissent campsites was pretty hard. I was using a single man mountaineering tent which doesn’t take much space to setup. And I was doing solo. But if you’re planning to use a bigger then a two men tent or hiking with a group, this could be hard. I camped out at the Nicholson Hollow Trail. (close to the junction of Indian Run ) *There were no camp site at Corbin Cabin so don’t bother to go all the way down there. I left some Pin marks on the map that I thought will be a good site for future reference.

Bears: I personally did not see any. Although, I was told that there’s a bear on the side of the trail from the southbounders on the AT. Hoping to see one but did not encounter.

So, who is this loop recommended for? Some one who would like to take their time and see the breathtaking sights of the back country. This loop will count up to 11 trails and plenty of stream crossing. Be prepared and keep on hiking!!

backpacking
7 months ago

This was an awesome hike that I did as a 2 day 1 overnight backpacking trip. Following is some information that I hope is helpful. I would recommend doing it clockwise so you get to go up the boulders of Old Rag and end on the Fire roads. Note the bouldering is difficult with a full pack, I had to take it off about 10 times to go around, over, under, through the boulders. I was very lucky that I had awesome people around me that helped me lift my pack up a few times on some more challenging sections. Still possible alone, but definitely saves time. Very fun!
Water: There's lots of water along Cedar Run Trail and some fun river crossings until you get to Skyline drive. Then there's not a lot of water until you get to the bottom of Nicholson Hollow Trail. There's a nice stream there you cross 2x. There are also a lot smaller streams after you make the climb up Indian Run Trail, but I'm not sure how consistent they are during dry spells (it rained the day before I went). There's lots of water again along Corbin Hollow Trail.
Camping: I hiked about 14 miles day one, 10 miles day two. You may be able to camp at Corbin Cabin, I think that cabin is more than just day use but not positive. There were a bunch of camping spots on Indian Run Trail. I camped at a great spot just a little before Old Rag Fire Road. There may have also been some spots that followed back country camping rules at the beginning of Corbin Hollow Trail and off of Weakley Hollow Fire Road.
Note, at least this weekend there were a lot of people along the whole trail except for Nicholson Hollow Trail until I got closer to the Old Rag Parking area.
An amazing hike! I think next time I want to hike up Old Rag without a pack! :) ENJOY and Happy Trails!!

An awesome hike and great adventure...One of the best hikes I have ever been on!!

Tryin to decide north to sout or visa a versa ?? Any comments

backpacking
Saturday, October 28, 2017

My buddy and I took a long weekend and tackled this section of the AT as our first trip. A good amount of diversity among the trail, some awesome views, and a great first hike. Highly recommend!

backpacking
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tackled this section with two friends this past Summer. It was my first intro to the AT and I caught the hiking bug. Came back with some really great stories and desire to do more section hiking in the future.

hiking
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Did this as a day hike and it took 10:30 hours, I started walking down some wrong paths and taking some detours to see some lookout points so ended up being 26.6 miles. I saw 4 bears, you may want to wear bells or something. It was a great hike overall!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Working on plannign this hike, can't find anything on it outside this website and need to learn about camping options and leg length (by day). Hoping to do it in two days, planning on driving out THU night and hiking, full day of hiking friday and saturday, leave sunday morning early. If anyone has advice I'd appreciate it.

backpacking
Friday, April 21, 2017

white oak canyon boundary up cedar run to hawksbill, do loop salamander to hawksbill peak. hop on the trail north to stony man. will pass skyland. strony and little stony til you get to nicholson hollow. take nicholson all the way to base of old rag and then hit old rag. 4 peaks can be done in less than 2 days. Corbin Cabin off nicholson a fair halfway point. Can add robertson peak to the trip. Superb mix of creek, river, waterfall, peak, scramble, views. Everything is breathtaking.

scenic driving
Wednesday, February 03, 2016

We have driven this several times. I still never tire of the views.

hiking
Monday, November 18, 2013

Great hike with good elevation changes and lots of great views.

The only time ever hiked this section in one piece was eleven yeas ago but I come up here several times per year. I have hiked the AT which parallels Skyline Drive and played along the way. There are so many beautiful side trails to big views and to waterfalls.

scenic driving
Sunday, January 30, 2011

We drove this section in the winter (dec/jan). It was beautiful and we were thankful it was open. Some days it is closed due to weather.

5 months ago

hiking
Saturday, September 02, 2017

hiking
Saturday, September 02, 2017

hiking
Friday, August 04, 2017

scenic driving
Tuesday, June 06, 2017

scenic driving
Thursday, December 15, 2016