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backpacking
2 days ago

A great hike with numerous stream crossings make this an adventure in early December with Pennzoil. We traveled counter clockwise. Some experiences worth noting on your hike: shoes will get wet, be prepared for cold and think ahead to how to endure hiking with wet feet. One crosses the creek too many times to take time to bring water shoes and remove / put them on each time. There is a great site at Jerry's Run as you head up toward the ridge (lots of widowmakers) and only a couple more sites after. Once the trail steepens you won't have but one or two sites to choose from and I don't recommend night hiking as the top portion is difficult to follow (even with daylight). The ridge camping spots are numerous with water close by -- looks to be very popular from the number of fire rings and trees-as-benches. This is the last area for water for some miles. We camped the second night at the intersection of Jerry's Run Trail where there was a site on the ridge and another on the left under the large hemlock (lots of space there and a fire ring too). Water was found about a 1/4 further on the trail trickling out from above and left of the trail. There are no more camping spots beyond Jerry's Run Trail area as the trail returns hugging the mountain side. All downhill making an enjoyable return to the parking lot. Other sites note the huge amount of thistles and poison ivy on this trail in warmer months -- no issue in early December with either.

TONS of water and high water crossings on Nov 25th. Had to take our shoes off and wade knee deep in ice cold water. Make sure you take poles and water shoes for water crossings on this hike! Lots of climbing up front which was awesome. We added another loop to make it a 9.5 mile hike. Took our large group 5.5 hours to complete.

This our favorite trip to date. The ponies were at almost every turn of the trail. The views and experience from the open pasture areas really make this trip cool. From the starting point we went clockwise. Which made the last half of the Mount Rogers trail a nice slow enjoyable descent to the parking lot. This is one you just have to go and do.

So I’m not opposed to fire road trails and this one is about half and half pretty rocky with lots of stream crossings. Be aware the All Trails map calls the entrance fire road Jinny Gray Road, but the trail markers and signs call it Kayseri Run Fire Road.

Today was beautiful for a hike!

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

Lots of stream crossings (20+)

Great climb. Hiked up from little devil stairs parking lot. Glad I had poles, water crossings a bit dicey at times. Nice walk down with some views!

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!!

hiking
2 months ago

We started muster after the mile maker 19 and parked. Walked down the fire road all the way and then came back up the Devils stairs. There are several creek crossings which are doable. Look for the blue marks on trees or you may miss where you should cross. Stable shoes (not sandals) are a must. It gets steep at points and you will have to actually use hands and feet to step up and climb.

I’m very active and it was a good workout. My counterpart had some difficulty with the steep inclines and elevation. However, you can stop and rest. It was mid 70’s and sunny. We were sweating hard and definitely bring water.

I loved the various fungi and water fall spots. Didn’t see any wildlife, not even birds but I found it to be a very beautiful and a peaceful hike.

We did see a few dogs along the way, one with 3 legs even! But bring water for them. Not sure they should be drinking the creek water even though it’s crystal clear.

I’d recommend this hike. It took us 4 hours but could have easily been done in 3-3.5 with my normal hiking partner.

A great weekend trip. We definitely underestimated the number of river crossings. I suggest water shoes or be prepared to stop and take your boots off and put them back on once you cross. The crossings were an inconvenience but they made the trip interesting. I will do this one again.

2 months ago

lots of cross stream path, and climbing rock part is real fun!

ATENCION:: EVITEN IR CON PATAS SUCIAS::: estuvimos 2 dias perdidos. Es una empresa que no tiene ninguna resppnsabilidad. Puede poner su vida en peligro!! no les importa la seguridad!

backpacking
2 months ago

Ruta con grandes vistas. Durante la ruta se atraviesan muchos arroyos donde se puede descansar y disfrutar del sonido de agua, durante las noches la temperatura descienden considerablemente hasta unos 8C. Gran experiencia.

Good hike but no views. Post hurricane the water was flowing strong and the rocks were slick. Busier than I thought. Not in a rush to do it again but certainly not a bad SNF hike. Good for dogs that love water (and can navigate some rocks aka my black lab)

backpacking
2 months ago

excelente ruta. recomendada.

Increíble vista, buen trayecto !!

Great trail! I did the hike backward by accident, so make sure when you park at the lot you start by going downward and not up the fire trail. But if you want an added challenge of hiking up a 3 mike gravel road, would recommend doing it in reverse!

Really fun to hike along the stream and waterfall. No real “views” of the valley, more of a pure nature and challenging hike with rock scrambles

Fantastic hike with several water crossings and quite a bit of semi-rock scrambling. Lightly trafficked so it’s wonderfully quiet. Definitely better to do after it’s rained recently, as the falls are fairly small. Not great for waterfall views but very strenuous and fun to rock hop across the streams.

Great hike - rocky hike up the side of a waterfall/creek for the first 1.75 mi, with several stream crossings, then about .25 miles of trail until you reach the fire road. Fire road is a little over 3 miles with good tree coverage and an old cemetery near the base. Went on a weekend and saw a total of 8 people on the trail. Took an 1:45 with minimal stops for water. With all the rocks and the stream crossings I was happy I wore my waterproof hiking boots, but I saw others wearing trail shoes and running once they hit the fire road.

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

An excellent hike! Your thighs will be burning by the time you reach the top of the waterfall! I did the complete loop -- anticlockwise -- which takes you up the waterfall, and back around to the parking area (at the boundary, not Skyline Drive) via the fire road. Next time I'll take the advice of other reviewers and come back down the waterfall. The fire road did seem to go on for a long time -- still in the beautiful forest, but with nothing much to look at. It was an unusually cool day -- around 70 degrees -- but it was very humid hiking up the waterfall. I can't imagine what it would be like on a sweltering August day! So you might consider a change of shirt for when you get back in your nice vehicle. And maybe a change of pants in case your run into a bear. :)

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 !!

This is an awesome trail! What a unique experience to be able to hike up a waterfall. We decided to do the hike up and back because others suggested that this route was more scenic than the fire road loop. The ascent (2 miles) is a steep incline with a bit of rock scrambling and scattered steps. You cross over the water multiple times, zig zagging your way up. You gain the nearly all of the elevation in the first 1.7 miles up, so get ready to work! When you reach the top there is no view or summit, just an option to continue down other trails. Coming back down is steep, so take your time! For up and back the trail is 4 miles: as an experienced hiker, without stopping, this hike took me 2 hours. It was an awesome opportunity to hike in a bit of different scenery, it was so beautiful! Would definitely suggest!

Completed this hike counterclockwise as recommended on a 100 degree day in DC- was very HOT even inside the forest. We appreciated the shade and cold water it provided though for the first hour along the waterfall. We completed it in little over 2 hours...if going again will definitely try to go up by the falls and come back down via the falls. The downhill walk felt super long and on gravel.

hiking
5 months ago

One of the best hikes I’ve found in this part of the country. I did it a little different than most people, instead of the circuit I started from the top and climbed down to the bottom before turning around and climbing back up. I thought it was even more challenging that way as you skip almost all of the flat terrain going around.

It’s great that they allow dogs, just make sure your dog is an experienced hiker. My dog is a very experienced hiker and even he is really sore and tired today (as am I). I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone inexperienced person or dog.

The way-finding is decent, but not always the most intuitive. That plus a lack of good views gives it 4 Stars in my opinion, but I rarely give 5 Stars out. It’s a very good trail and I would certainly recommend it for anyone looking for a challenging hike. Certainly one of the best in the region.

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!!

Beautiful trail. Changing landscapes, rhododendron meadows, ponies, cattle. Some up and down challenging climbs, but nothing too technical.

Hi there fellow nature lover :-)...are you up for a 3-hour adventure you will probably not forget anytime soon? Then you should go ahead and check this one out!!! fun! Go ahead---eat some yummy carbohydrates and just do it!

RAWGs review=

!!perfect day for this one! 60 degree weather and it just got done raining. I actually got a little chilly after doing all of the climbing. Be advised, do this one counterclockwise. You would not want to come down the Falls, it's much better to go up them. yes -you easily climb over a thousand feet in the first 1.7 miles!!!. if you are brand new to hiking, this one might be tricky for a first-timer:-)
The trail (blue blaze first half -yellow second half) is very clear the whole way except for some portions criss crossing the waterfalls--- rock scrambling included. Would not bring young children on this hike ---unless they are half monkey and/or just badass :)

The RAWG recommends using the following equipment: at least one trekking Pole, ankle supported shoes or boots. (the more waterproof the better :-)

Very beautiful hike-that's the bottom line... & a very very peaceful hike, did not see a soul, except my trekking pole (haha) At mile 5.1 ... just when I thought this was a kinda bland part of the trail...a black bear scrambled down a tree and scared the doggoned Dookie out of me haha. but as I turned my music down, he just scrambled up the hill. (guess it was a boy, I did not see his name tag :-)

In summary--- you will climb for about the first two miles or so. Then you will come to a nice widening of the path.
(which is where I took my snack break... also drink one 3 Liter Camelback on this trip)
Then it's a very wide service road the whole way down. A nice old ass cemetery at the very end of hike- with a "blue" poem sign. I didn't let sadness felt throughout the poem bother me, as life is all about change anyway. you know :-) time marches on.

Again---Very very beautiful hike. especially the first two miles, lots of picture taking and videos. The first half, AKA The Climb...the sound of water will keep you company... the second half AKA The Descent, The Sound of Silence will accompany you.

ñjoy the journey. yes, this one is a blast.:-)

The original RAWG-11jun18

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