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Beautiful overlooks throughout, challenging rock scrambles and a well maintained fire road on the way back

What an amazing trail

Amazing hike! The ascent isn't too bad until you get to the boulder scramble and then it gets a little challenging; definitely requires a little strength, agility and balance. Hiking footwear recommended. There were places where simple running shoes would have been less than desirable. All in all, once you get to the top, it couldn't be more worth it. One of the most rewarding experiences of my life to date.

on Crabtree Falls Trail

hiking
3 days ago

Went today with my 3 little dachshunds. The falls were a beautiful sight to behold. You can only follow the Loop A path right now and then return the way you came after reaching the falls. I initially tried following Loop B but it lead me back to Loop A. After arriving at the falls, another couple had told me that the path leading from the falls and back to the parking lot was closed (to make the actual loop). My dogs and I headed back the way we came.

I would say that at this time of the year, it is more of a moderate hike. You go downhill all the way to the falls, and walk uphill upon your return (since the loop is closed). It is very steep in one section and a little slippery when wet. There are 3 steep stone staircases. Dachshunds’ (hot dogs) backs are not good for going down the staircases so I held two while going downhill. It was a little slippery for me and I consider myself to be really fit with my HIIT workouts and surfing...lol. So be careful and hold the rail. Another person suggested walking sticks, I think that’s a really good idea at this time of year.

Overall it was a breathtaking experience and the people we passed with other dogs, large and small, were SO kind and considerate. We all let each other know when we were rounding corners. My dachshunds get nervous on a leash and we all respected each other’s spaces and were able to flow past each other and share peaceful vibes :)

This is my second time hiking this trail and its one of my favorites. I love the challenge. This is a difficult trail that involves climbing over, through, and down boulders. It’s not for the weak at heart, children, or dogs.

Was only about 40 degrees today but felt lots colder at the top in the wind. Beautiful day, great hike!

amazon hike! arrived 9am on a saturday and had to park in the neighboring lot for $10. GO EARLY. not only will you get to park in the normal lot but there will be wayyyy less people to wait behind when you get to the top rock scramble. we made it to the top in 1 hr 20 minutes but took almost 1-1.5 hrs to go through the rock scramble portion cause there were so many people, many of who do not hike often. however, even with the line it was so worth it and so fun. tests your strength to go through the scramble. walking down was easy.

Beautiful absolutely breathtaking

This is probably the most beautiful waterfall that we’ve seen yet and is definitely worth the hike. Going from the campground parking lot take the trail by the amphitheater and you can choose trail A or trail B to begin your hike. Both lead to the falls. For a shorter hike choose trail A and you can back track up trail A after seeing the falls. We had two kids and they were fine with the climb back up after seeing the falls. Be careful toward the bottom of the trail if it has recently rained. The rocks on the trail are very slippery. Overall, this is a fun hike and the benefits of seeing the falls is worth it!

best hike ever

This was an amazing hike. Of course the highlight of the hike is the rock scramble and spectacular views! Started our Hike Saturday morning about 9:30am. The lot was full and we had to park in a private lot for $10. We did not get back to the truck until 6pm. The crowd and backups in the rock scramble slowed us down. Would love to do this hike on a weekday with no crowd. I am a short guy so that made it more difficult LOL. I have also done “Humpback Rock” and “MaCafee Knob”. This was definitely the most challenging.

hiking
9 days ago

The hike is well worth it! It is recommended for the novice hiker to use a walking stick to help with foot support when walking over the smaller wet rocks located on the trial. Well worth the hike.

Third time summiting Old Rag. I really believe it is Virginia’s best hike...assuming you avoid the crowds. We arrived at 6 AM on a Sunday, with 15 or so other cars in the lot. We only saw a handful of folks on our way up, and only had to contend with 3 or 4 people on the rock scramble in its entirety (no waiting!). At the summit, there were maybe 5-10 other people, but we easily found a private spot to enjoy the views and lunch for 45 minutes. The descent down the backside of Old Rag and the fire road is a nice reprieve from the arduous hike and scramble up. We arrived back at our car at 11:15 AM to hordes of people and cars arriving (the Old Rag lot was full and there were dozens of cars parked at the private lot next door). If you value quiet and privacy over camaraderie, I highly recommend getting here early!

10 days ago

I walked this trail with my 14 year old son. We come from Montana and found this to be an easy hike. We thought that the tree roots spray painted orange took away from the scenery. But all in all very pleasant family friendly hike. We will return and train to jog then run it.

10 days ago

The downsides are that some sections of the trail are basically a fire road. The top is so amazing though; it’s really worth the so-so scenery beforehand. Camping at the top just before the rock is great fun too. The you can get a view of the sunset when the crowds have died down.

The southern part of the trail is excellent. No more can be said than that. Just go....however, the scramble and boulder stair case gets so backed up that you could be there for hours if you decide to go late in the morning. I saw one poor bastard that walked from the northern section of the route get stuck in the blasting wind.

walking
11 days ago

Great hike with an amazing view!! Tough start, but totally worth it. So much fun climbing the rock to get to the end!

I highly recommend downloading the area on Google Maps beforehand as there is no/limited cell service there.
Otherwise, to repeat others: go EARLY (and also maybe not on the last nice Saturday of the season when the trees are in peak color); I planned to arrive by 7am but I snoozed on my alarm clock. Lot had just filled up when I got there at 8:40am, so I was one of the first people to park at the adjacent private lot and paid $10 to the lady there. From there the walk was a bit tiring and crowded getting up to the rock scramble. Just pace yourself here.
Rock scramble: If you are out of shape, I wouldn't recommend it. I work out, so it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I was bit worried as some reviews said it was really hard. It was more like a really good workout. If my two friends could do it high and if Tina Fey could do it at night, I figured I'd be able to hike it. 3 spots we had to wait in line to pass and people were helpful (if you need assistance). After the summit, the downhill is easier and turns into a less exciting trail back to the lot. Finished in about 5h50min.

hiking
11 days ago

Very fun hike! I’ve done this circuit a handful of times. Took my 8 year old son and he was able to complete. It did however take us all day. Great views! The scramble at the top is always the best part. Like an adult playground. Depending on the time of year and day you go, it can be a little busy. I prefer weekdays during late fall.

hiking
13 days ago

Does anyone know if the Fish Hatchery Route is open or if you can hike up the private road?

Well maintained trail! Beautiful views!

This is such a beautiful trail. I’ve driven from VB to walk or run this trail several times. It’s just so pretty and well kept up!

I've done this hike twice and it doesn't get any easier the 2nd go. I always have a hard time finding where to park because my GPS cuts out before I get there. Once you start hiking it's pretty steep but I wouldn't suggest hiking poles unless you really need them because the rock scramble at the top definitely uses your upper and lower body. both times it took me about 4 hours from start to finish and that's even with asthma. The views are so worth every bit of temporary pain. Go do it!

A great hike with a few challenging moments in the rock scramble. My father and I were carrying backpacks (we way overpacked with sweatshirts and hiking poles we hardly used) which made some of the narrower spots in the scramble difficult. It was extremely chilly at the summit, but the midday view was amazing. Not too crowded. We lunched at the Byrd’s Nest Shelter, and the entire trip took us 5.5 hours. This was our second hike (ever)— wish there was more scrambling!

hiking
16 days ago

This is such a beautiful waterfall. Amazing to see such a lovely display after a short hike. There's a lot of small rocks in the trail and some steep staircases but if those minor obstacles don't bother you this is a "must do" hike if you're in the area.

Challenging incline going to the summit. The rock scramble is serious fun. Some upper body strength required. Great views and pic opportunities.

I really pushed it and did it in 3.75 hours.

Highly recommended. Get there early too. Before 8:30am You don’t want to get stuck waiting in the scramble.

Put us to work, it’s a full body workout in some of the rock scramble. Worth it all for the view at the end. Fellow hikers were great and helped us along in some spots. Great trail!

Great hike. The scrambling is difficult for shorter people. I'm 5 foot and needed help from my husband and another fellow hiker in 2 spots.

Trail has stairs and rocky sections. The uphill back to parking is not overly strenuous. One mile hike to falls with option to continue another 1.7 on loop. Plenty of rocks and a bridge to hang out on and take in the beautiful falls!

hiking
24 days ago

Easy downhill going into the falls, narrow path with lots to step over and around. There are a couple of benches along the way and a bridge for taking pictures and admiring the falls. We saw families and small children and lots of dogs. Would go again if we were ever in the area.

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