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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.

We parked on the side of Raven Rock Rd. Quick climb (<0.75mile) , then the trail levels off. Nice stroll through the forest. High rock is accessible by car. Lots of neat graffiti. Awesome view. Police did a drive-by while we were at high rock.

Well worth the switchbacks and climbs to get to the summit - spectacular views. Last bit at the summit is not dog friendly, so we took turns going out on the ridge. Horse trail was a little less rocky than AT or hiking trail. We just missed a mama bear and cubs, but saw another pair about 10 minutes before the parking lot. Keep your eyes open.

Excellent trail! Definitely difficult and I would not have packed my own water because there are plenty of water spots along the trail if you are camping. Beautiful views and a really awesome camping site at about the halfway mark.

Good level of challenging, some steep parts but such a well made path it was no problem. Ample parking (with video security), free (with donations recommended), great views and different path options. Overall great hike!

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.

Amazing trail! Very rewarding with the views on the summit. Recommended.

backpacking
6 days ago

Was a beautiful hike went clockwise and after seeing and hearing about the counterclockwise hikers journey. I was happy with my choice. I did it in two days, wanted to take my time. The views were spectacular, trails were makes well. Camped at Harper's shelter, not sure if the mileage is correct I don't think switchback are being counted for mileage, there are a good amount of them. would definaly recommend it to a friend, there was very little water on the AT portion so be careful with that if hiking clockwise bring in water to hike up, crossed one natural spring and it is a dry Aug. so far so riverbeds have dried up mostly.

The road to the trailhead is gravel, bumpy and very narrow in some spots. A van was in the ditch, as they pulled over for another car.

The trail is wide, and rocky in 2 spots. The view would be better in the fall, it is partial obstructed by foliage.

The waterfall- cross the stream, turn your body right, so it is facing upstream and to the left you will see a rough path that parallels the stream. Follow it for about 0.1mile. The waterfall is great.

Gets very crowded, try to go early

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!

Great, dog friendly hike. Two spectacular views!

Nicely marked trail for the most part. If with dog you can’t go on one of the trails but there is another next to it you can take dogs. Can’t take them to the summit, though. Although, I saw I guy walking with a pet bird! Saw a couple bears on the way down, they are out there.

Just finished hike. The swimming hole is nice. It is about 200 yards to the right when you get to loop. The view of the large water was amazing about 3 miles straight up to left. The rest of the hike is really just in the forest with the bugs. Did see rattle snake which I posted picture of and two snakes on the water fall above the swimming hole. Have to say very disappointed in the hike and think there are way better hikes at Shenandoah then this. I recommend swimming hole then drive to top and see water fall from Matthew's Trail as other poster said. Last this is not moderate, it is hard.

Great hike. Be prepared for. Rocky path.

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!

Great hike. Fairly easy, but White Rocks( north and south) has scenic views. I will agree some of the markings(blazes) were difficult to see. My wife and I did lose the trail at one point. However, given this property is part of a foundation, I am very thankful we have access to it. Worth the hike.

What a hike! I had avoided doing Stony Man because it was such a short hike and wasn’t sure it was worth the drive. But this hike has a lot of bang for its buck! The Passamaquoddy Trail is right along a ridge, offers nice views through the trees, and a natural spring. The views from the various Stony Man overlooks are absolutely wonderful! The AT section of the trail is one of my favorites in SNP. This is a great loop, and you can certainly turn it into a day with a nice picnic on one of the overlooks.

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.

You *will* wade through water, you *will* climb up and down steep surfaces, and you *will* walk over all rocks at some point. Hard to advise on footwear cause I’d want a high hiking boot for ankle security but chacos/keens/watershoes for wading.

Trail is not well marked but look for trees w/ orange paint, that helped us. Those who complain about overgrown vegetation on trails have high expectations for weekly hedge trimming at a U.S. forest... Do be mindful of trails that aren’t a the primary trail! Even if you have to wade, better to stick to the better path. One path does have a rope to aid you since the trail has washed out but there is another trail option. Small kids (ages 6-8) made it all the way to the waterfall, so it’s doable if you choose the right path!

Definitely do not advise this trail when it’s cold out - the water is very cold!

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

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.

hiking
13 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike! Definitely need waterproof shoes if you're not one to like getting your socks wet. I hiked in chacos and loved it!

I wouldn't rate this trail as moderate though. It's definitely a toughie. For inexperienced/out of shape hikers, I would recommend going straight to the waterfall. I throughly enjoy backpacking and do it often so am in shape enough for the full loop, but I was with my dad this time around and was not an easy trail for him.

View is totally gorgeous and lots of fun swimming trails too! We brought our dog and she had a blast!

Fantastic! Just did it the 9th time. Its an annual trek for since our youngest was 5 and oldest was 7. They've done it 8 times. Very wet this year. Be cautious on the rocks. Its a great day

I hiked Old Rag a couple weeks ago with several of the guys from work and loved it! Was my first time here but will not be my last.

Great trail. We did this trail last month and only saw a few other people hiking it as well. Great views at the top. Added bonus was seeing a black bear on the trail near the parking lot.

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