Explore the most popular Backpacking trails in Shenandoah National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
rocky
scramble
22 hours ago

This is a beautiful trail that is almost certainly the pearl of Shenandoah. As a result it is PACKED on the way up, so if that’s not your jam you may want to look elsewhere. If you don’t mind the company it actually makes for some great camaraderie once you get close to the top. The beginning is mostly switchbacks that eventually turns into a more rocky type scramble once you get a little closer to the top. BE AWARE of the arrows when making your way through the rocks, the trail is not always labeled well in this section and we got lost for nearly 20 minutes following others that were going the wrong way. Definitely do the loop because it is different scenery and the fire road is easier on the knees. Enjoy the stunning views at the top!

BEST hike in the park for sure! We got an early start, and had to walk a while to get to the trail head, but once we started we were in the woods until the ridge. It was uphill, but the switchbacks made it feel more moderate than it actually was. The entire ridge up to the summit (1.5 miles maybe??) was all a rock scramble which was SO MUCH FUN! It was challenging for sure, but the scramble was so interesting I was very distracted. Not suitable for everyone, but if you're somewhat active you should be okay!

Moderate trail, and probably one of the best in the area. Take food and plan according to get back down before dark. Views are of the whole Shenandoah valley.

my first hike! was challenging and super worthwhile. i enjoyed the rock scramble especially.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 days ago

Great views, and definitely a workout! Lots of hikers joking at the scramble about the “how hard can it be?” - thought they had when reading the reviews. More challenging than we thought, but super rewarding, and everyone finished. Due to active bears in the area, we had to listen to a ranger talk before getting on the trail. We didn’t see any bears on our morning hike.

hiking
scramble
4 days ago

hiking
scramble
4 days ago

Amazing trail! The rock scramble was a ton of fun! The descent was a bit long and monotonous, but well worth it for the ascent and the views

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 days ago

Completed in 5.75 hours. I am not an avid hiker or athletic, boyfriend works out 2-3 times per day and helped push me through. Definitely harder in the first two hours than what I was expecting but I did read a lot of reviews that warned for overall difficulty. First two was rocky trail with switchbacks up to the rock scramble. A few beautiful false summits along the way. Next approx hour was boulder scramble which was super fun. Takes your mind off of anything else but hand and foot placement. The view was absolutely incredible. Only stayed for a short time because of a storm blowing in. An hour or a little less down rocky trail before you hit the fire road. I’d say the sign lies about 2.5 miles and it’s closer to 3.5 but that’s just by my pace guess - it was miserable my boring. Overall an amazing hike - didn’t run into many people or get slowed down. Definitely doing this one again.

hiking
scramble
4 days ago

This hike is no joke. Very difficult and totally worth it! If you are not in good physical shape do not attempt this hike. The rock scramble has sections that we need to be able to lift yourself up. Make sure you wear good grippy shoes so you do not lose your footing.

I've done my share of tough hikes, but this one is easily one the hardest I've ever done. It's challenging physically and mentally in a way that a heavily trafficked trail in a busy national park seldom is. Going up is taxing, so by the time you get to the rock scrambling you are tired just as it's getting to be where you need to be sharpest. I wouldn't say any of the scrambling is dangerous, but being tired makes it all the more hard. Getting to the top feels like a genuine accomplishment which is always a good thing for a hike. The hike down the mountain is anticlimactic as you might imagine, but can't anything from the ascent. I went in the height of summer, I bet it's a lot more pleasant in October!

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 days ago

This is definitely the most rewarding hike I’ve ever completed. The views were unbelievable, however it is extremely challenging. There are many parts of this trail that will really test you-jumping and climbing rocks with no room for error if you are to fall. At the end of the hike, I could not believe how sick I felt but also how happy I was that I was able to finish it. So all and all, amazing experience.

hiking
bugs
rocky
5 days ago

An enjoyable hike. We did the loop clockwise because we didn’t want a long uphill on tired legs, but it’s really a matter of personal preference. I saw a post by a previous reviewer and decided to wear long pants and bring a pair of clear safety glasses for the bugs. Worked out well. The trail was overgrown in some places, but easy to follow. The hike along the water was enjoyable and you will have to cross several times. You will get wet feet, so either carry water shoes or have dry shoes waiting for the trip home. There was some evidence of foraging along the trail, mostly in the form of overturned rocks, but we didn’t see any bears. Overall, a good day of hiking.

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
6 days ago

Amazing trail. When we started hiking it was poring. When we started the rock scramble the clouds were amazing. Very beautiful and challengingly fun.

This was the first hike of my life (went with someone I was dating and they convinced me I would have fun!!), and it was incredibly difficult. I’ll never forget the challenge and how sick I felt. This was 8 years ago. I have since then hiked and backpacked the gnarliest of trails. I would love to go back to old tag one day and hike it with grace. The boulder hopping up top is fun.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
over grown
6 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 days ago

hiking
rocky
7 days ago

I hiked this trail all the way to the other end parking lot. Most of the trail did not allow camping so I had to camp at the other end and hike back the next day. Other than that it was a great hike....hard but I really like hiking next to a creek and constant water source. I could drink all the water I wanted and cool off in the water as well. There were a few good swimming holes but I wasn’t sure how to use the app so didn’t mark the spots. The hike was tough. Steep and long down and up hill. If they lift the no camping restrictions I’d hike it again.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
8 days ago

I did this trail counter clockwise because down hill is harder on me, and it was the right move. A few nice views on the way down, but no water access until you get to the bottom. Found a cool campsite next to the creek and had a nice evening. No bears or snakes sighted. The trip back up would have been nice except for the numerous creek crossings that I had to wade across. Some were mid shin deep so shoes were soaked. That wasn’t too bad, but the bugs, mainly the no-see-ums! There were some mosquitoes but I just pulled my buff down to cover my ears and sprayed down my arms and legs and was fine. There must have been 2 billion noseeums, and they all wanted to get in my eyes! Ruined the hike out for me. Constantly swatting at them. I put my sunglasses on to at least keep them out of my eyes but it made the going tough as there was a lot of shade. The trail was overgrown on both the decent and accent and my legs got brutalized by the stinging nettles. Near the top there was a park ranger/trail maintenance guy who said it’s really tough to keep this trail groomed. I won’t do this hike again.

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