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great hike

great hike! had to stop along the way as it was hot, humid and I'm not in the best shape but the view was well worth every minute! will be back with my dogs another day

I’ve hiked Old Rag many times. Today I saw 5 bears. Two on the actual path. I was nervous to walk by, so just waited until he moved.

One of the bests hikes we have been on, the scrambles were a lot fun. The walk back down the fire road a little boring, but not a big deal.

Went with a group of 8. Stopped quite a bit for food/water and overlooks on the way up. About 2-3 miles up to the summit which took about 2.5 hours and then about 5 miles down which another 2.5 miles. Bring about 2L of water per person. You'll spend about 5 hours hiking, but worth every effort.

I loved that place to walk. It is a good place to go with friends and family. Amazing.

This hike starts on the road for a little less than a mile before reaching the trailhead, the path is rocky at the bottom and becomes a series of scrambles after several miles. The views are amazing, the entire hike was really pleasant, and it was quite windy and beautiful at the top. My 11 year old joined me and had no trouble at all, he is an avid hiker and loves rock scrambles. It will be a few years before I take my younger children. Parking is $15 for a week, or use tour national park pass. No camping in the parking area or at the higher elevations on Old Rag (basically when it becomes really rocky). Parking area has trash and porta-potties.

This trail was absolutely gorgeous and exceeded my expectations. Sam’s Point was a nice but very crowded lookout point. Once you get to the top past Sam’s Point the landscape is really interesting with all the dwarf pitch pine and wild plants lining the paths. The ice caves were really awesome and that was a nice short trail, but again, it was really crowded. Once we got onto the footpath for the falls it wasn’t nearly as crowded. We did pass some hikers along the way but it was mostly private most of the way. And the scenery is gorgeous. There are also lots of delicious wild blueberries lining that open part of the trail. You’re on an open mountain side overlooking the mountains ahead for most of the trail leading to the falls and the views are amazing but you’ll be exposed to the sun so coverup and wear sunblock if it’s a sunny day. There’s a point where you go through a little faerie fern forest and I thought it was just magical. Afterwards you go through a patch of white birch and then the falls are spectacular. We didn’t do the entire loop. We just went to the falls and back the same way but I plan to go back and finish the loop. Overall I thought it was a beautiful trail with some interesting terrain changes which kept the trail exciting. And if you’re like me and are really into plants you’ll love checking out all the different plant life along the way.

Well its nice and cornfusing at same time lol... wanted to do the whole loop but didnt make the right when i should have . my fault . seen the overlooks and going back and doing loop!!!

hiking
5 days ago

Great challenging hike. Got there late and had to book it up to the outlook before sun down, which is NOT a good idea. Large incline in a small amount of distance. Take your time, plan accordingly. Only thing is was we got the lookout at around sundown and there was a timber rattlesnake den about 50 yards before the lookout on the trail. Saw about 6-7 in a span of 10 feet, which is what we could see. Lots of ledges, and downned logs for them. Those suns of guns were rattling at us and we couldnt even see them. Very nerve wracking to go back through that in the dark, but yet it made you feel so alive. Remember NEVER jump away from a rattlesnake. They have heat pits that can sense if there is 1/10th of a degree change to their surroundings. & they can only attack/lunge at you when they are coiled, be cautious and safe, or as my friend said before we headed back "Stay frosty"

Awesome workout! Treacherous hiking! Short trails, beautiful falls.

hiking
6 days ago

This was my second hiking and yes it was tough being a newcomer. It's a steep hike of 3 mile with an awesome view in end. Then downhill was quick. Please take bug repellent. Overall very nice adventurous , good view, marked properly. Only go if you are fine with tough uphill hike. This is not a simple one unless you are one of my buddy who was running uphill 1500ft.

Great hike, the rain made the falls magnificent. Glad we did what was recommended and went up the steeper side and wearing a great pair of waterproof hiking boots is essential.

set aside the whole day so you can enjoy this bad boy. there are plenty of false summits so don't get your hopes up. enjoy everyone. i would advise against bringing younger kids as the rock scramble can get sketchy at times. if you think yourself to be a more athletic outdoorsman, get to the trail early. there are bottlenecks that sometimes confuse and slow down hikers. there is a $15 charge to every hiker looking to enter. bring bug spray!

my friend and i started at around 11:30 and ended our trip back at the parking lot at around 4.

Gets very crowded, try to go early

Very well marked now that you have a new start/end point. Rocky uphill climb but the views at the top are definitely worth it!

Aug 10 2018: This is my 2nd time completing the Old Rag loop. 3 hours to get to Summit. Took me 6 hours from/to parking. I like to start early so started around 6:15. I had to spray several times as the bugs were plentiful. Just be aware that Black Bears are active in this area as I saw one about 100 feet away in my last hour. Luckily, it didn’t follow me but it did make me put an extra pep in my step!

We completed the Slide-Cornell-Wittenberg out-and-back starting from the West. Mostly an uphill hike on the way to Slide Mountain. Between Slide mountain and Cornell Mountain there are some rock scrambles and climbing that is required. Overall, a really nice trail with some great views as long as the clouds don't roll in.

hiking
10 days ago

Golden eagle trail is steep, but worth the views from the East Rocks and Lookout Trail.

Awesome hike and one of the most challenging in Shenandoah! Start early to avoid the crowds. I started at 6 AM and had the whole morning to myself going up. It can get a little crowded on some of the boulder sections closer to the summit so plan accordingly! Obviously a very well known hike and people flock to it for sure. Regardless it is absolutely worth doing if you’re up for the challenge and don’t mind a little company.

I unfortunately had my hike cut short and was unable to finish the loop on account of me dropping my iPhone off the literal top of Old Rag Mountain. Probably a good idea to use two hands while taking pictures up there.

I’d recommend packing on the lighter side for this one, it’ll make some of the tricky maneuvering much easier. I overpacked in a big 50L backpack and learned that lesson. This hike is absolutely worth it. The bare rock face summit of Old Rag is breathtaking and gives one of the best views of the park. The summit is somewhat of a ridge so there are ample spots to soak it all in.

awesome!! Challenging. Marked very well, but rock scramble and the uphill hiking can make this hike difficult. False summit and summit are so worth it though. One of my favorite hikes!

Moderately difficult trail. Definitely wear boots. Wet and slippery in several areas. Do the Orange trail to the left to go up. At the top turn right at the fire pit and take the Red Trail. Ironically the first marker you see is a Blue Marker. This is the Red Trail even though the first market is Blue. Several sections could use a grab wire or rope. One slip and you are over the edge. Winter time be prepared for lots of ice.

What a spectacular place to hike! I definitely agree with others' recommendations to park at the Route 118 lot and head out from there, going clockwise around the loop. The steep steps are easier to climb up than to descend. Wear appropriate footwear, as everything is wet and can be slippery. Where the Falls Trail and the Highland Trails meet, we took a short walk to the Lake Rose parking area in search of picnic tables. We didn't find any, but instead sat on the ledge of the pavilion to eat. There are restrooms there, and trash cans in the restrooms. The descent takes you very close to the edge of some of the falls, and the steps are still a little steep, so if you have a fear of heights- as I do- prepare yourself for that. Swimming is prohibited, although that didn't stop several people from getting in the water (insert frowny face here). It did feel good to splash some cold water on our faces, though! We departed the parking lot around 10 am, and since I stopped multiple times to take pictures, it took us around 6 hours. Crowds weren't too bad for the first half, but increased as we went down the East side of the Falls Trail. I imagine if you go during the week, or get started even earlier, it probably isn't too bad. All in all a fantastic day!

Great, scenic hike. Take a waterproof backpack, wear proper hiking boots, bring water and a snack. On very nice days it can get busy and there are a lot of people who don't hike with proper attire, but it didn't bother us. People were very courteous and friendly. Take the Orange trail to hike up the falls, it's nice and cool, lots of great waterfalls! We didn't hike the whole Orange trail, once we got to the top we cut over to go down on the Blue marked trail. It is very rocky, slippery in some spots, but the adventure is fun!

Did the trail counter clockwise and with a pack. I don’t advise doing either. The backcountry campsite opportunities are limited and nothing special. Carrying a heavy pack affects balance and makes scrambling up and down the rocks very difficult. Doing the trail counterclockwise exacerbates the problem, as it is more difficult in this direction, with most of the scrambling downhill rather than uphill.

The dangers are real. I narrowly avoided serious injury after a handhold slipped. I lost my balance, and fell backwards into empty space. Somehow I managed to land on my feet on a rock 5 feet below.

Notwithstanding all that, Old Rag was one of the best hikes I’ve ever done. The views are outstanding, the rock scrambling is fun, and it is quite a workout! But please learn from my mistakes and do it as a clockwise day hike.

P.s. Bring gloves and a lot of water. Once you get into the boulder area there are no water sources.

Loved this hike! Rock scrambles were hard but very rewarding.

I think this may have been the most beautiful hike we’ve ever done in PA!

Fantastic hike. Very difficult climb and certainly dangerous at many spots along the climb. We took our 15 year old and 6 year old (who is tough as nails). They did really great. Do NOT attempt this climb without hiking boots and pants. We were crawling in spots and on all fours going up. Worth the hour to the top. The falls are breathtaking! I was amazed at how many people were climbing back down the same way they came up. Seriously dangerous! When you get all the way at the top of the last fall you’ll find a fire ring. The trail on your right takes you back down a very easy decent right into the parking lot.

Just near the AT museum there's a road to the right, old shippensburg rd where you follow that all the way to the end. There's some parking there where you meet to trail head.
The climb was a great steepish uphill to the top. Unfortunately, I had to turn around at the second rocks bc of a big black bear greeting me. That was fun! A copperhead was laying in some rocks at the top too so they are around. Beautiful hike what I could do though! Near the parking there's a turn to the AT also that walks by a river.

All around great hike. There was plenty of scenery and places for some very nice photos of the valley.

I think I over packed, as this was my first time doing this hike. I had a 2.5L water pack (which was the perfect amount), snacks (which I personally didn't use), some extra socks and shirt, and a few other odds and ends. All this was packed in a 36L Osprey Pack which was too bulky for this hike, but do able. A smaller 18L or so would be easier, especially during the rock scramble (which I will talk about later).

The beginning of the hike was all up hill and shaded. Raises your heart rate but nothing too crazy. after a few miles you'll hit a few false summits which provide amazing photo ops and good rest points.

After the false summits you'll start the rock scramble. I read reviews on various sites prior to picking this hike that all mentioned a "small rock scramble". While it is nothing too crazy, it is not a "small rock scramble". As long as you have the upper body strength to do dips and step up and some semblance of balance then you will be fine. The biggest issue was the back ups at the rock scramble. I hit it around noon and at some points there was a string of people waiting to move.

The summit is absolutely breath taking and well worth the hike, you get a full 360 view of the valley and there's tons of photo ops and plenty of places to have lunch.

The first 2 miles of the decent are mostly stone steps and is shaded and was cool. There are a lot of little water run offs so I would suggest footwear that would accommodate that. Nothing too deep. The last 3 miles are along a fire trail and gets sort of boring after a bit, but there are a few waterfalls and a river crossing near the end that is a nice break up for the monotony,

All in all this is a fantastic hike and will challenge you.

My suggestions: around an 18L sized pack with water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, and maybe an extra shirt (I was soaked by the time I got to the summit). Also I would suggest above ankle hiking boots for traction and ankle stability (especially during the rock scramble and the decent). I did see a lot of people doing it in running shoes, but I would be to worried about turning and ankle or something.

Hope this helps someone and see you on the trails.

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