Dragon's Tooth Trail

HARD 329 reviews
#1 of 66 trails in

Dragon's Tooth Trail is a 4.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Catawba, Virginia that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,227 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

scramble

The Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club maintains this section of trail and volunteers regularly pack out trash and maintain campsites to keep it beautiful. Please be mindful. Park rules and regulations are enforced: -Maximum group size, day hikes: 25 -Maximum group size, backpacking/camping: 10 -No alcohol -Dogs must be kept on leash at all times -No camping or campfires outside of 7 designated areas (north of VA 624/Newport Rd, the only legal campsites are Johns Spring Shelter, Catawba Shelter and campsites, Pig Farm campsite, Campbell Shelter and Lambert’s Meadow Shelter and campsites) -No camping or campfires on McAfee Knob or Tinker Cliffs

hiking
17 days ago

I tore my calf muscle .1 miles from the top and coming down wasn’t fun... so be careful

hiking
19 days ago

Loved it. One of my favorites.

hiking
26 days ago

Hard but amazing!

30 days ago

I have hiked this many times. Fun trail with a rock scramble near the top. It can be crowded and parking can be tough especially on weekends.

1 month ago

There is a fair amount of climbing rather than hiking in the last .7 of a mile. That being said the view is worth every inch of the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike and fantastic view from top! Started hike early on Sunday and shared the entire trail and summit with one other person. Rock scrambles in a few spots keeps this trail super fun!

1 month ago

rough but awesome

hiking
2 months ago

beautiful hike and challenging

2 months ago

Fun trail the whole way up. Will have to cross the river and depending on water levels might be good to wear chacos. Can come back on the AT but it adds 0.5 miles.

2 months ago

We had hiked McAfee and many other trails in Virginia and finally had a moment to tackle Dragons Tooth. On a weekday, plenty of parking and the trail was in great condition. The last .5 Miles was a challenging scramble but well worth the effort.

hiking
2 months ago

First time hiking this trail after a week of rain, and gotta saw it was wet, sweaty, challenging, long but totally worth it. I took my shmedium size dog (25lbs) with myself and a friend. If I didn’t have a friend with me to help scale those rocks I wouldn’t have gone to the top. It’s worth the 3 hour hike careful coming down. Plenty of dogs on the trail but if you do take a dog bring a buddy to help!

hiking
3 months ago

My 13, 10 yr old and I did this hike and it was a lot of fun! The rock scramble at the end was just challenging enough to make it an adventure. I did see a lot of people with dogs, but I'm glad I didn't bring ours. You definitely need 2 hands free to safely climb the rocks, both up and down.

3 months ago

I absolutely loved this trail. I stumbled on it while vacationing in the area just below the Carolina border. I purposely chose it because of the name and the hard rating. It did not disappoint!

If you're in the area I highly recommended it. It's worth the drive and the views are incredible. It's definitely a challenge so gauge whether or not you're up for the elevations and distance.

I recommend good hiking boots and 2 to 3 L of water depending on the heat.

backpacking
3 months ago

Started our AT section hike here at Dragons Tooth trailhead. Nice little scramble up to the Tooth. The terrain was very rocky in sections (use trekking poles) and offered a little bouldering too. View was awesome at the top. One of my favs.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing hike! It took us 3 hours exactly for round trip. Much more climbing than anticipated, but so fun!

3 months ago

Beautiful views and a great workout.

3 months ago

My favorite hike. It's a nice hike up but then you hit the rocks you have to climb and it just makes it so much better. Though it was pretty crowed. We didn't have a lot of options to rest and look at the view with everyone else in the way.

hiking
3 months ago

My first time hiking this trail, I was not disappointed. I enjoy hikes where I can push myself. Beautiful spring morning, as usual I hike mornings to beat the crowd. I saw some wild flowers, a Bellwort, another first. Great views from the top, ate lunch and rested a bit before heading back down. Only 45 minutes from Blacksburg, I will go again soon.

3 months ago

A fun hike. I don't think I'd classify as "Hard" but there's a bit of rock hopping. It does have a pretty unique summit. Fun for pretty much the whole fam. Littles may need to be carried for 1/3 or more of the hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail to hike! Especially in the morning and it was a quick one too considering how I did this one right before my friend’s wedding in the evening. Took me about 5 hours to and back. The hike to the top consists of about 1.7 miles of uphill climb followed by 0.7 mile of climbing over rocks. Word of caution, there is no cell reception until you get to the top, so it’s advisable to hike with someone for safety.

4 months ago

Super fun hike! Several stream crossings and lots of rock scrambling towards the top. A bit tricky towards the dragon tooth but that's what makes it fun. Took us about 2:30 round trip.

hiking
4 months ago

very uphill! fun if you love climbing rocks- i mean LOVE climbing rocks. saw many people with dogs!

4 months ago

Unbelievably funnnnn trail with the rock scramble! We were so nervous to try it out but sooooooo thankful we didn’t chicken out! Best hike everrr! It’s an absolute full body workout once you get to the scramble! You need good shoes, hands free and plenty of water. And you gotta get back down the same way so be ready for that!! Best day ever!! You gotta do this hike!!

hiking
4 months ago

A nice trail in and a great summit & view. The problem is that this peak was busier than last weekend's amusement park visit. Use the boy scout trail and the AT for a more technical, less traveled, and better hike. Would visit again when college kids are in class or not in session.

backpacking
4 months ago

After hiking in from Pickles Branch Shelter up to the summit and then having to climb down this trail was a real kicker. Not for sissies or old guys like me. Hiked this with a 40 lb pack down ladders, narrow ledges hugging the rocks and tight spaces. Would discourage anyone from doing this if the rocks were wet. The short hike off the trail down to Dragon’s Tooth offers some great views of the rock formations. Mother Nature at her finest.

hiking
4 months ago

Loved this hike!! Loved the steep terrain and rock climbing/walking!! Worth doing again!!

4 months ago

Perfect hike! So fun and easy.

hiking
5 months ago

Extremely cool ascent.

hiking
5 months ago

The trail links up with the Appalachian Trail then branches off from the AT when you reach the summit. The trail to the AT is moderate to difficult. The trail is a well marked single track that had a moderate elevation gain. Once you reach the AT at Lost Spectacles Point, you are around 0.7 miles from the summit. This is when the trail gets difficult. Be prepared for a lot of rock scrambling. If you are in wet weather, this difficulty is increased. Once you reach the summit, you will come off the AT for a very short hike to the tooth. This is an intriguing rock formation and the area was under the ocean around 400 million years ago (oceanic fossils have been located here). Take a moment to read the signs at the bottom at the trail head to learn the history of the area. Climbing the tooth can be a little tricky but you don’t need to climb it to enjoy the area. There is plenty of room to camp out but please follow the Leave No Trace rules.

5 months ago

Great hike! The distance is not difficult. The last .7 miles includes several areas in which you must climb rocks. If you hike fairly often or have decent knees it is not difficult. It could be slick if wet. The views at the top are beautiful and it’s fairly easy to climb up on the “dragon’s tooth”. Adequate parking and well marked trail.

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