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First time hiking Old Rag on Veteran’s Day (Sunday 11/11). Arrived around 8am. Parking lot was pretty empty. My friend and I took the first few miles at a quick pace, passing families and the more leisurely hikers. Rock scrambles were challenging, required arm strength and strategic foot placement. At one point, a line formed at one of the trickier scrambles. Last 3 or so miles of the loop is a flat service road, slightly boring... until you get close enough to the stream near the end. Total time for 4.5 hours for us, even with some waiting in line. Would love to do again!

A great hike with a rock scramble (from a crawl to a climb). It has switchbacks up the mountain until the rock scramble, then a nice descent with some hop in it until you get to a flat(er) road that leads back to the parking lot.

We did this hike with our dog last weekend and it was amazing! We got there at 7:30 am on Saturday and got the last actual parking spot in the lot, so definitely get there early. We did the trail up and the fire road back. Trail is definitely more difficult but it’s fun for the way up. The views at the top are absolutely amazing and definitely worth it!

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

The day was fogged in, so unfortunately we didn’t get any of the awesome vistas. But we could imagine them. We did however still have a great hike. The leaves are gone at the upper elevations now but there is color (every shade of green) in the moss, ferns, and undergrowth. Still quite amazing. I’d rate the trail as moderate, and found it a nice leisure hike. We stopped at the shelter for a bite to eat and were greeted by a die and two fawns grazing in the reeds in front of us. That was our ‘10’, along with the shades of green undergrowth. We decided to head back from there since there was no expected view from Charlie’s Bunyan ; we’ll be back on a clear day. I rated 5 stars as I didn’t want to down rate it for the weather. This has all the makings of an awesome trail.

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.

Beautiful views. We took the fire road up and back. Overall took just under 4 hours with breaks and time at the summit. Very crowded in the parking lot, so make sure you get there early so you don’t have to park on the side of the road and get a ticket as I saw others getting.

Good hike for a day trip. We took the fire road up and down because it was easier. I overpacked and should have only carried extra water snacks/food, and layers of clothes. It took is 3 hours or so up and back. Rested at the top for an hour. Beautiful views from the top. The rest of the route had limited views. I got a parking ticket for parking on the side of the highway since the lot was full ($15 fine). Pretty crowded on the trail.

This was a great trail ... 5 hours and done

well maintained trail with easy access from the parking lot. Took about 2 hours each way with minimal difficulty and plenty of photographs. The ridge above the main trail is worth walking. Once you make it to the overlook you won't be disappointed even in foggy conditions!

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.

Loved it! I went for a sunset hike in October during peak foliage and it was beautiful! Lots of pretty scenery and rock formations to climb on. Sunrise would be better because the rock at the top faces east. But still super incredible!

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.

hiked up late on Friday. The clouds blocked our view. Camped near Cambell shelter, braved the rain, wind and cold weather and a much better view in the morning.

Didn’t get a chance to do the trail. Cops were ticketing everyone that wasn’t in the parking lot. Going right down the line with tickets. Be careful where you park. Guess I have to find another hike now.

best hike ever

12 days ago

Love this hike! Its the second time I've hiked it and the waterfalls just never get old. Beautiful scenery!

One of the first hikes I did of the weekend! It was definitely a challenge and pretty long but well worth the hike up! Weather was beautiful, part of the mountains were frosted off from the sun not hitting them just yet. The views are to die for! Keep your speed steady.

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.

Went for the second time and did the lower trail. It was very hardcore! Nicer views and close to the run off but I’m so glad we took the less difficult trail back. Very confusing at some points I wanted to try and get back on other trail but glad I didn’t because the views were extraordinary. My pup conquered it no problem but we were plum wore out. Burned those calories!

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!

Breathtaking views! Worth the mud and narrow parts of the trail. Steady hike but could use more trail markings.

The most beautiful view!!

Really worth it when you see the view! Kids might think this is “moderate” but this old dude w bad knees and a pacemaker says it is most definitely worthy of a “hard” rating! But a great hike!

Location
The trailhead starts in the Newfound Gap Overlook parking lot. It's on the left side right next to the bathrooms! It is labeled Appalachian Trail. Nothing about Charlie's Bunion is listed.
About 1.5 miles in there is a spit in the trail. Go left!
Still no mention of Charlie's Bunion haha.

Splits in the trail
Whenever there is a split in the trail choose the Appalachian Trail side. I believe the next split is at mile 3 or so. Choose to go right there.


Views
On your way to the Bunion you have lots of views and even a chance to check out a shelter. Be mindful of thru hikers who may be using that as a resting spot.


The Bunion is better than any picture so hike it yourself! We even did a shoot off to the Jump Off and wow!!!

Moderate is right
We were exhausted from the constant climb up to the Bunion and are legs were sore Dr the long walk back down (burning calves). Moderate is an accurate listing for this trail. Not super technical, but definitely a work out.

Time it right
We got on the trail around 7:30 and had it mostly to ourselves. We passed at least 50 hikers on our way down though, so get there early!

Conditions
It is wet/icy and VERY windy!

A lot of incline but the views were incredible. We started around 12pm and there was a little bit of ice on the trail but overall a great hike.

Super steep, but our group of mostly-out-of shape hikers, 2 young kids, and dog made it no problem. The only issue was all of the acorns on the descent. 2 adults and both kids took pretty bad spills. I definitely would bring walking sticks next time.

I like this hike, a bit long but totally worth it.

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