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Shenandoah National Park encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state of Virginia. This national park is long and narrow, with the broad Shenandoah River and valley on the west side, and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east. Shenandoah's Blue Ridge Mountains are covered by hardwood forests that are home to tens of thousands of animals. The Skyline Drive and Appalachian Trail run the entire length of this narrow park that has more than 500 miles (800 km) of hiking trails along scenic overlooks and waterfalls of the Shenandoah River. The highest peak is Hawksbill Mountain at 4,051 feet (1,235 m).

Awesome Hike, one of the best in Shenandoah. Try to arrive before 7:30am to avoid a crowd and backups at the pinch points.

First hour or so is a steady incline to the top, moderately difficult. A few nice outlooks.

You hit a false summit with a great view and a good place to stop for a break. Then it’s up, down, around and over rocks to the true summit. None of the scramble is too exposed, so if you have a fear of heights it’s not bad at all.

There’s a second false summit with prayer flags, this was my favorite spot to get on top of the rocks for a 360 degree view and less people than the actual summit a little further.

Walk back down is easy, fire road is a nice walk through the woods but unremarkable.

Even though it’s not on skyline drive, it’s still $15/person or $30/car to hike this trail. Annual pass is worth it because you get access to all of Shenandoah.

Definitely recommend.

Road to the base is washed out about 2 miles from the trailhead as of 3/23. After rain, you may have to go around to Skyline Drive to access this hike unless it’s been dry the day before.

Great Hike, nice waterfalls. Wasn’t too strenuous or muddy, though can be difficult to keep your shoes dry if it’s rained recently. The area between high and low white oak falls is a little steep, but it’s not too bad. Plenty of spurs to go off the main trail and get up close to the water. Plenty of flat rocks to relax and have lunch on.

Great Hike, nice waterfalls. Not too strenuous or muddy. The area between high and low falls is a little steep, but it’s not too bad. Plenty of spurs to go off the main trail and get up close to the water. Plenty of flat rocks to relax and have lunch on.

Got a late start because the road at the base was washed out so you have to go around to Skyline drive if it’s rained recently.

lots of walking and walking

hiking
1 day ago

I walked this trail with my two year old son riding in my pack. It was a little more treacherous than I would have liked, considering such. The rain washed out a good portion of the road and it gets pretty slippery. But the ruins were really neat and worth the short hike.

Such a beautiful trail... fun for all the family

Good steady uphill hike. Trails are very well maintained, steep initially then eased up. Unfortunately the mountain was fogged-in so we were at the highest point in the Shenandoah with a 50-foot View. Even though there wasn't a view the beauty of the rock formations and area was gorgeous.

beautiful hike, lots of fun. It's a bit of a climb but I did not find the trail particularly difficult. Would definitely recommend.

This has a tag for hot springs but it doesn’t mention them in the description. Does anyone know if there is hot springs there?

Beautiful waterfalls, hike back up was challenging!

Done this trail a few times now. Last 2 times I went up the rock scramble and back down the rock scramble. Hands down its a much better hike than taking the fire road back.

Going back down the rock scramble is much harder than going up. I highly suggest it. You def have to have good upper body strength to go back down over the rocks. But it is worth it.

Took me around 4 hours with a 20-30 min break at the top for lunch.

I highly recommend this trail.

Admission is $30 a car load but you can get an annual pass for $55. Get the annual pass.

There is no river or creek. It’s a nice hike up a mountain and then down the other side.

The ascent in the beginning was a continuous uphill anticipation of the rock scramble. And we saw very few bugs. The rock scramble was physically difficult and challenging but I’m so glad I did it. Strength, momentum and good hiking shoes all really help. I’m 56 and in decent shape but I needed a little help twice. It was more learning how to maneuver the boulders than not being able to do it. However there is a fabulous sense of completion and exhilaration when you get to the top. Bring lots of water and start out hydrated. Smaller backpacks work much better through some of the crevices.

Did this today- well, i'm currently camping along it at the moment,- was recommended by a ranger as a less crowded trail, and that was the case today, but still saw 4-8 folks. Crossing the stream at Big Rock Falls before the Rapidan Camp was a little perilous with some distance between river rocks - I'm a long-legged 6'0 and I had to jump a bit to avoid getting a wet foot. I would NOT recommend this trail if heavy rainfall was recent. History buffs may be interested in Rapidan - it's a little mountain lodge that Herbert Hoover had made in the late 1920s (most buildings are no longer standing). Nice unmarked camp areas along the creek shortly after Fork Mountain trail branches off this loop - but had some difficulty finding a decent bear bag branch

Did it today visa the Lower Hawsksbill parking lot and Salamander trail. Lots of amazing views! The rocky outcropping at the summit is a fun (optional) scramble. This one seemed to be a popular one for families

hiking
6 days ago

What a hidden gem! We did the trail as a late afternoon filler hike and we are so happy we chose it. We stayed at Skyland numerous times and never once even heard it mentioned. We only encountered one other family on the trail, out and back. Fairly short trail but it was a fun trail for the kids with lots of rocks to climb down and up, pretty untamed, but you never felt unsafe. The view was spectacular. With the vantage point being out on an outcrop, the view was at least 180 degrees, including being able to look back toward the mountains. The first portion of the trail is pretty lame with there having been a cell tower, lots of cleared trees, and a road running parallel for the first 500 feet. I thought we made a mistake at first in choosing this trail, but it soon became pretty neat. In my view, it's at least as good as Stony Man, the main attraction at Skyland. If you have walking issues, then this is not a trail for you, but my kids are generally bored on an overly groomed trail. The directions are pretty bad on this site (but that doesn't warrant giving THE TRAIL a one star, which is just ridiculous), but the confusion may be in part because of the fairly new *gravel* road. Park on the grass at the Skyland Amphitheater, walk back to the *paved* road you drove in on, take a left, walk 100 feet, look to the left, and, Voila!, there's the sign for the trail (right across from the nearest Skyland cabins you see from the Amphitheater).

We did it today in a little over 5 hours but we stopped for lunch and multiple water breaks. The 2.5 mile fire road was a bit disappointing but the trail and rock scrambling were great!!

Explored Old Rag this past weekend. Such a great hike. It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t too hard either. I would hike it again but definitely during a week day. The trail was so crowded and we had to wait a lot during the rock scramble.

With the crowds, I found it really hard to soak it all in. The views were incredible. I really hope to go back and experience it in a different season.

View and falls were awesome. Swimming hole at the bottom of the trail looked potentially refreshing. After that, it was an ordinary walk up a hill. Recommend hiking the loop clockwise to leave the falls until the end of the hike

Love this hike! It’s challenging and gives you a great workout. The rock scrambling is fun and helps me learn to have more confidence in my body - especially my feet. The views are amazing. The maintenance road on the end of the loop is a bit annoying - 2.5 miles in the woods is pretty but when combined with the final 0.8 miles to the parking lot on pavement, it’s a haul! We saw two black bears about 0.5 miles near the summit very close to the trail.

backpacking
7 days ago

This is a very challenging hike but worth the effort! Saw a black bear and many deer! The Rock scramble portion is really fun and challenging!

hiking
7 days ago

We started at the parking lot then hit up Knob cutoff trail first as we thought to get the climbing done first. The climb in this route is shorter but sharper and will get you breathing nicely. The hike along the ridge is a good workout but no views to speak of with all the foliage. Our plan was to come back around on Jeremy's run and camp for the night but we made the decision to press on and do it all in one day. Stellar workout and the trail through the water (many times!) on the way back is very pretty. Three things to watch out for: 1. Ticks. As previously mentioned I'd recommend regular inspections for you and your canine companions. Right now they are everywhere. 2. Bears. WE saw a gigantic mother bear with 3 cubs just after getting onto Jeremy's trail. Biggest darn animal I've ever seen in the wild. Awe inspiring but please keep your eyes and ears open and don't stumble upon them. 3. The entire loop is actually more like 15 miles than as mentioned in this trail description. Not a huge deal but something to be aware of if you decide to do the entire thing with a big backpack like we did. Those last few miles will push your legs :) All in all a great epic day out and we saw another bear on the way home. But this isn't one if you like wide open sweeping vistas.

hiking
7 days ago

Took my two dogs and though it was tricky at points to navigate had a blast!

My boys had a lot of fun and the trail traffic was very light while there were many cars at the entrance. It’s a very rocky trail at times so watch for lose rocks but overall it wasn’t a big deal. Unfortunately I could only go 1.7 miles in but what I did get to see was very nice.

hiking
8 days ago

So this is a great hike—my new favorite in SNP. Make sure you go left at the start and not down the fire road. Two things to know. First, out and back is 4.5 miles. The trail is 2.9, but there’s .5 before you reach it to the left and 1.1 on the fire road on the way out (or vise versa is you start the other way). Second, the uphill on the last 2 of the trail is a fairly strenuous uphill. My 9-year-old has no problem with it and neither did I will a 30 lb pack. Can’t say the same for others on the hike. If you’re out of shape, this will help with that, but you will likely hurt a bit tomorrow.

Beautiful trail with amazing views on the way. Be prepared to scramble and hop.

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