Explore To Do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

To Do Map
VIEW FULL MAP

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.

I did not go full length of trail, but the first third is mostly fairly level with only mild grades. My out-of-shape husband did fine. :) Occasional short stretches where trail very rocky but otherwise pretty good footing. Be aware the trail crosses the North River - bring water shoes or prepare to get wet!
Entire trail in the woods, about 1/3 in dense growth (like walking through a tunnel), rest open enough that you can see around you.
A little tricky to find the trail head, and parking is not necessarily at the trail head - we had to walk up the road a bit to get to it.
Trail shared with bikers and horses so stay alert.

Hard trail - steep with lots of skree - view in summer a little constrained but imagine late winter / early spring would open up some views- definitely go again

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.

didnt think it was that difficult to hike to the bathtub , some slippery rock and mud, but that is to be expected hiking along a creek , the water was a bit chilly but crystal clear definitely will do again

Great hike not for beginners it's up up all the way! But the 360 panoramic view is amazing.

Super easy hike and easy for anyone just beginning

A great hike! Challenging but well worth it. The view from the Cliffs is amazing! A black bear crossed the trail ahead of mean the way back down. That got the heart racing. It was a great day hike and part 2 of 3 for the Triple Crown.

Gets very crowded, try to go early

Trail is narrow for a good portion of the climb and it’s a steep, steady, incline all the way up but the view is worth it! We hiked the extra 1-1.5 miles along the ridge to the other overlook and had even better views there.

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!

It was the Devil’s Climb to Angel’s Rest, but the view was worth every bit of the 1,800 foot elevation. It was an intense cardio workout on the way up and tedious on the way down since it’s steep and rocky in some places. It is a beautiful trail with some witnesses wildlife. If you feel like you want to stop and turn around halfway to the top- don’t. Both views were great, so recommend going to both spots. My dad and I are Appalachian Trail rookies no longer!

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!

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

Amazing wildlife! We saw 3 small wolves scampering around, deer, and accidentally walked a few feet from a rattlesnake! We went counterclockwise around the loop, reaching the bathtub at mile 5. The first 1.5 miles were super steep, but all pretty easy after that. The bathtub was gorgeous. We went on a weekday and saw no one on the trail until we got past the bathtub and saw people doing the 4 mile out and back hike. You have to hop over rocks but it had been dry for a week or so and I didn't feel like I ever had to put on the water shoes I brought. definitely go on a weekday- I can see it being kinda cramped and miserable with a whole bunch of people.

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.

This trail has so much to offer! I rate it as moderate if you stay on the main trail. There are worn down trails between the switchbacks that will shorten your travel time, but I do not suggest using them. I slid on one of them which prompted a rattlesnake to go crazy right beside me and I had to scramble back up the path.

The views from on top of White Rocks is amazing, and the sand cave is a unique sight to see!

hiking
10 days ago

Strenuous uphill trail leads to amazing views on the Big House Mountain trail. Took me about five hours round trip. Extremely quiet, low traffic. Beautiful rhododendron thickets towards the top that would be lovely to see in bloom. The red marked trail at the top is quite overgrown, easy to lose the trail in some spots. There’s a run down cinderblock hut along the red trail on the ridge. It’s been vandalized and gave me the creeps, but it would be good for shelter in a storm. Will be doing this trail again.

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.

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

Loved this trail. Diverse in meadow and forested areas, hard stair climb, AMAZING views. Got sweaty and enjoyed every second of it.

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.

I went up to Old Rag via the Ridge Trail and descended down Saddle Trail and Weakley Hollow fire road.

This hike is awesome! The first 3 miles going up are okay. Then you hit the 1.5-2 mile rock scramble the rest of the way to the top of Old Rag...this part is simply awesome. Great fun, stunning views! Down the mountain is good too...beautiful forest scenery but nothing compared to rock scramble portion of the trail. Definitely worth doing again!

backpacking
16 days ago

Did this with a 40lb pack. bring at least 3liters of water. Change of socks and an extra shirt or jacket. The descent is pretty easy, but once you are all sweaty from the ascent you might get chilly. I hiked it backwards ( counter clockwise, fire trail first) as I didn't want to do the scramble in the dark.

hiking
16 days ago

Based on the google maps directions provided by this app, you’ll be driving up a tight service road for a significant amount of time until you reach a point where you may be able to park your car. Do not drive a car that rides low to the ground as you’ll basically be driving over two small creeks and many potholes. Signs for the trailhead are nonexistent, so the gps tracker on this app is absolutely essential. The actual hike is easy, with a bit of a rock scramble at the summit, where it’s a panorama view of the mountains surrounding you.

Wow! I did this hike with my husband and 9 y/o son. We’re always looking for challenging hikes and this did not disappoint! The boulder scramble is SO much fun and the view at the summit is amazing!

It is a challenging, LONG hike. Wear boots, bring lots of water and snacks. Also, be prepared for steep inclines. You need to be able to lift yourself over, and onto boulders and to squeeze through small crevices!

I suggest getting there very early - we got there before 7am on a Saturday morning and the parking lot was already half full. But, everyone was so friendly and helpful! Be aware that there’s a $15 per person fee.

We saw a rattlesnake on the trail back down to the parking lot. He warned us to stay away and needless to say we did! There are also some really beautiful water features on the way back to the car that aren’t mentioned here but really make the walk back more interesting!

If you like a challenge - this is the hike for you!
Happy hiking!

Load More