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This is easily one of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done. Weather was perfect, very low traffic. The hike was smooth until the rock scramble and then I only had to slow down for a few couples who I followed for a bit to get acclimated to it as I had never done that much scrambling. Luckily they noticed I was moving at a fairly quick pace and happily let me pass once I got comfortable with navigating the boulders. A few false summits but the views there were great. I didn’t realize how gorgeous the view from the true summit was but it totally didn’t disappoint. The walk down the fire road was longer than I thought it would be but it wasn’t unbearable by any means just a little less exciting than the actual trail. 10/10 would hike again but definitely only in late fall/early winter.

Wow! Perfect hike for a fall day. Ranger station said 9.5 miles, app said 8.5 miles, GPS said 9.5 miles. We ran into quite a few hikers, which we didn't mind. I recommend going with someone as some spots were quite difficult. The rock scrambling section was a lot longer and harder than expected. I am 5'9" and I feel like some sections would have been much more difficult if shorter. If you need hiking poles, I don't recommend this hike. You need both hands to help with scrambling and some upper body strength. Wear hiking boots or trail shoes that have good grip, especially if it's wet. Overall great hike, but intense!

The earliest you start the better. The more people on the trail the longer the bottleneck line is!

This is an awesome trail with beautiful mountain views. The rock scrambles were challenging and the trail had many unique features. The hike took us about 5 hrs and 15 minutes to complete. We started at 8 AM. Almost 3000 ft of elevation gain. We had enough energy to do a shorter hike afterwards.

Hike this trial yearly. Trail can get really crowded with inexperienced hikers causing long lines at the rock scrambles. I recommend hiking in in the off season or at night to catch the sunrise and to avoid crowds. If you do the sunrise hike it takes about 2-3 hours, depending if your hiking abilities, from the parking lot to the submit. I do not recommend this hike to those that are not physically fit, or able to do some minor rock climbing.

The trail itself is very good. The loop runs adjacent to the river for a while and the waterfall section is beautiful and a great place to sit down and take in the scenery. However, the trail isn't marked too well and you can miss the route for the falls pretty easily. Overall though the trail is nice, easy, and family friendly (just watch the kids around the falls).

Beautiful trail. Had to cross a few streams but nothing to serious. Will definitely go back again. The waterfalls are breathtaking.

This is definitely a hard trail. Mostly for the rock scrambling part. You can still get to the summit without the rocks if you park at the other parking lot and walk from the Berry Hollow fire trail. The rock scrambling is lots of fun and lots of work for a short woman like me. But totally worth it!

Very nice views during fall time. Definitely recommended!

awesome views!!

Our favorite hike of all time!!

Little crowded with hikers but totally worth the hike. Wish I spent more time at the summit relaxing because the view is stunning

Map has factual and attribute error, attribute bias. Trails all run together and overlap. Highlighted trail is not soapstone trail. All trails overgrown and mostly unmarked. Really sad.

Best trail EVER.

First time hiking Old Rag on Veteran’s Day (Sunday 11/11). Arrived around 8am. Parking lot was pretty empty. My friend and I took the first few miles at a quick pace, passing families and the more leisurely hikers. Rock scrambles were challenging, required arm strength and strategic foot placement. At one point, a line formed at one of the trickier scrambles. Last 3 or so miles of the loop is a flat service road, slightly boring... until you get close enough to the stream near the end. Total time for 4.5 hours for us, even with some waiting in line. Would love to do again!

A great hike with a rock scramble (from a crawl to a climb). It has switchbacks up the mountain until the rock scramble, then a nice descent with some hop in it until you get to a flat(er) road that leads back to the parking lot.

Beautiful overlooks throughout, challenging rock scrambles and a well maintained fire road on the way back

What an amazing trail

Amazing hike! The ascent isn't too bad until you get to the boulder scramble and then it gets a little challenging; definitely requires a little strength, agility and balance. Hiking footwear recommended. There were places where simple running shoes would have been less than desirable. All in all, once you get to the top, it couldn't be more worth it. One of the most rewarding experiences of my life to date.

This is my second time hiking this trail and its one of my favorites. I love the challenge. This is a difficult trail that involves climbing over, through, and down boulders. It’s not for the weak at heart, children, or dogs.

amazon hike! arrived 9am on a saturday and had to park in the neighboring lot for $10. GO EARLY. not only will you get to park in the normal lot but there will be wayyyy less people to wait behind when you get to the top rock scramble. we made it to the top in 1 hr 20 minutes but took almost 1-1.5 hrs to go through the rock scramble portion cause there were so many people, many of who do not hike often. however, even with the line it was so worth it and so fun. tests your strength to go through the scramble. walking down was easy.

best hike ever

This was an amazing hike. Of course the highlight of the hike is the rock scramble and spectacular views! Started our Hike Saturday morning about 9:30am. The lot was full and we had to park in a private lot for $10. We did not get back to the truck until 6pm. The crowd and backups in the rock scramble slowed us down. Would love to do this hike on a weekday with no crowd. I am a short guy so that made it more difficult LOL. I have also done “Humpback Rock” and “MaCafee Knob”. This was definitely the most challenging.

Third time summiting Old Rag. I really believe it is Virginia’s best hike...assuming you avoid the crowds. We arrived at 6 AM on a Sunday, with 15 or so other cars in the lot. We only saw a handful of folks on our way up, and only had to contend with 3 or 4 people on the rock scramble in its entirety (no waiting!). At the summit, there were maybe 5-10 other people, but we easily found a private spot to enjoy the views and lunch for 45 minutes. The descent down the backside of Old Rag and the fire road is a nice reprieve from the arduous hike and scramble up. We arrived back at our car at 11:15 AM to hordes of people and cars arriving (the Old Rag lot was full and there were dozens of cars parked at the private lot next door). If you value quiet and privacy over camaraderie, I highly recommend getting here early!

Nice hike very dog friendly. Not marked well.

The southern part of the trail is excellent. No more can be said than that. Just go....however, the scramble and boulder stair case gets so backed up that you could be there for hours if you decide to go late in the morning. I saw one poor bastard that walked from the northern section of the route get stuck in the blasting wind.

I highly recommend downloading the area on Google Maps beforehand as there is no/limited cell service there.
Otherwise, to repeat others: go EARLY (and also maybe not on the last nice Saturday of the season when the trees are in peak color); I planned to arrive by 7am but I snoozed on my alarm clock. Lot had just filled up when I got there at 8:40am, so I was one of the first people to park at the adjacent private lot and paid $10 to the lady there. From there the walk was a bit tiring and crowded getting up to the rock scramble. Just pace yourself here.
Rock scramble: If you are out of shape, I wouldn't recommend it. I work out, so it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I was bit worried as some reviews said it was really hard. It was more like a really good workout. If my two friends could do it high and if Tina Fey could do it at night, I figured I'd be able to hike it. 3 spots we had to wait in line to pass and people were helpful (if you need assistance). After the summit, the downhill is easier and turns into a less exciting trail back to the lot. Finished in about 5h50min.

hiking
1 month ago

Very fun hike! I’ve done this circuit a handful of times. Took my 8 year old son and he was able to complete. It did however take us all day. Great views! The scramble at the top is always the best part. Like an adult playground. Depending on the time of year and day you go, it can be a little busy. I prefer weekdays during late fall.

Love this trail! Beautiful and fun!!!

Well maintained trail! Beautiful views!

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