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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.

23 hours ago

Easy hike going down. Pretty steep coming up.

Nice hike. Not as hard as I thought, it's a pretty gentle slope. Great views from the top!

After heading down the trail (which, due to being a bit steep at times, was a little rough on the knees ... but otherwise enjoyable) we took time to sit and listen to the cascading waterfall at the bottom of the trail. (Along with about a billion other people ... okay, not really that many, but when you're trying to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature ... it kinda looked and sounded like it.

Awesome trail. I did it with my wife and 3 teenage daughters we all had a great time.

My Wolfpack and I conquered this trail... The river runs down beside the trail the entire way to the waterfall, are you strong enough to join my Wolfpack?

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.

hiking
3 days ago

Lewis Falls trail is a loop and we did the full loop, but if you don’t think you are up for a steep climb then head to the falls by starting out to the left from Black Rock and then return the same way. It will keep this trail at a moderate level for you because the steeper elevation climb is on the other half of the trail. We did the whole loop at went up the steepest part (not down...last time I trust a tip from some guy in the parking lot). There wasn’t anything magnificent to see on that steep side so if you decide to double back to make the trail easier you won’t be missing anything exciting. When you are at Lewis Falls you will see hikers at the upper falls to your right, but do yourself a favor and go left. There is a trail marker near the water. Cross over and there is a very short trail that will take you down to an observation point for the lower falls. It’s worth the few minutes it takes to see a different view of the falls.

nature trips
3 days ago

In every season this trail is absolutely stunning. I enjoy this trail the most during Autumn season.

I went through on a Monday morning around 6:30 am. No one around until I was on my way out. Nice loop. Beautiful scenery and sounds of the falls.

well traveled hike. a lot of foot traffic. easy down. moderate up.

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.

hiking
5 days ago

This is such a beautiful hike. Its fun going down it and it only takes like 15-20mins but once you’re ready to head back up its a bit of a climb. However it is really beautiful. The water fall goes all the way to the bottom right before the Rose River trail starts. Its a must see.

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!

If you go now, the water levels are as high as they have ever been in a long time and it is amazing. bring water shoes or prep to get wet. went yesterday from the cedar run lot to the byrds nest lookout past skyline, and back again.

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.

Completed 8/6 going counterclockwise- not the hardest hike in Shenandoah but nothing to laugh at, probably earns its “hard” rating. Very entertaining hike- the water on this this trail does not disappoint. The 6 or so waterfalls that range in size and look often have space to explore underneath and appreciate the view if you desire. Basically 7 out of the 8 miles on the loop are following one of the 2 rivers- switching from swift running waterfalls and rapids to slow moving, deep green pools.

Took me about 6 hours to complete, taking my time and going for a short swim in one of the natural pools (would highly recommend.) This loop can easily be done quicker if you’re in decent shape and not stopping frequently.

Side note: the waterfalls and pools are popular and attract a decent crowd on a nice summer day. It’s not overcrowded, but if you’re looking for solitude this is probably not the hike. That being said this is one of my favorite I’ve done in Shenandoah and has some of the best water features & scenery in the park. Definitely should be on everybody’s Shenandoah to-do list.

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!

easy short hike. Spectacular views from the summit. Lots of hawks riding the thermals.

I don't know if there's been a recent rockslide since the people who claimed this was only a "moderate" trail, but there were parts that didn't even look like a trail anymore when we went today. We also went counter clockwise and glad for that choice as the worst parts were definitely on the northern tract. Good cardio workout on the climb back up, wouldn't push it if you're not in somewhat good shape

hiking
10 days ago

The falls are lovely but this is a highly trafficked trail and many people go down this trail to see the falls and struggle hard to get back up. It won’t be a problem If you’re in good shape/hike a lot and it is definitely worth seeing. If you are taking small children, older family members or injured hikers with you, consider going to the lower falls via the horse trail. It is much easier with a pretty flat trail in and out. The lower falls are quite as spectacular but still pretty and much easier to access.

This was a beautiful trail. There are waterfalls and swimming holes everywhere and the water is very clear. There was a big rattlesnake along the path on the rocks (posted a picture) so keep an eye out. This was strenuous, but worth it. This states pets allowed, but it should state not recommended. I have a jack Russell that hikes long hikes with me, but this was way too rocky for her. We carried her most of the way and her paws are still irritated.

Great Hike. Did it counter clockwise and highly recommend that. Slide on way down was awesome. Must do! Elevation is a lot but once you hit the fire road it is a gentle climb. would highly recommend. Did with 4 kids 17-10 in age and had no issues. You will get wet on this hike. We took our time started at 9am and finished 4:30. Lots of swimming and eat lunch.

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.

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