Dragon's Tooth Trail

HARD 252 reviews
#1 of 59 trails in

Dragon's Tooth Trail is a 4.3 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
4.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1187 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

scramble

Please leave no trace and be mindful of trash. This trail sees a large number of traffic and has been having problems with rising trash, illegal camping and misuse of the area. The Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club maintains this section of trail and volunteers regularly pack out trash and maintain campsites to keep it beautiful. 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
12 days ago

This is a fairly moderate hike -- for the first 3/4 of the trail, at least. It lives up to its difficult rating in the final stretch, however, with a number of top-notch rock scrambles sure to challenge even the most seasoned hiker. Yes, your thighs will burn, and you may even be gasping a bit by the time you reach the peak. Views are quite good from up there, though not as expansive as Tinker Cliffs or McAfee's Knob. Word to the wise: knock those two classic hikes off your list before taking on The Tooth.

All in all, we -- two late 20-somethings in fairly good shape -- were in-and-out in about two hours and 15 minutes. However, we were slowed considerable by substantial ice and snow on certain stretches of the trail. On a nice day, I'd probably be possible to knock it out in under two hours.

Note: Dogs are allowed, though they may not be able to make it to the top. We brought a young, athletic lab with us, and there's absolutely no way he'd have been able to traverse the final rock scramble.

1 month ago

my friend danny irving goes here to VTtech and talks about this trail all the time wow whatta good guy and a good trail he talks about all the time yup he do does

1 month ago

Great hike, the last few 100 yards are quite technical, loving it

1 month ago

Great hike! Stunning view from the top and very cool.

2 months ago

Awesome trail! The rocky part of the trail is challenging and a lots of fun, the view from the tooth is beautiful.

2 months ago

A great day. Trail was hard. steep rocky climbs. Good view from the Dragon's Tooth. I would include this section in an overnight AT hike!

hiking
2 months ago

I have to say this was a spur of the moment hike and was hard. Im 41 and it took me a while because i stopped a lot. Overall wonderful day spent with hubby and would reccomend this hike. The rocks are a bit treacherous but a can do day.

3 months ago

Fun trail, shorter in miles and steeper rocks at the top. Climbing up on the “tooth” was an amazing view.

hiking
3 months ago

Took the Boy Scout blaze to the AT north to dragons tooth and back down the alternate blue blaze. Was definitely tougher than if we had reversed it. Nice day, rocks were challenging, would be hazardous if wet.

hiking
3 months ago

The rock climbing is the most challenging part of this trail. It is a little concerning in some areas. I seen someone roll an ankle at the peak. So be careful and take your time. The views are great!

hiking
4 months ago

On this sunny mid-October day, the last 0.7 mile trail before the summit was hot and breezeless. I was glad I carried 2 liters of water with me. Once on the top the cool breeze was a welcoming relief.

hiking
4 months ago

great hike, good views, a little crowded at times but not a problem

4 months ago

I loved the rocky elements most of the way on the AT section of the trail. Made an extra challenge and boosted my energy because I love rock hopping! I would definitely recommend a shock-absorbing insole if you plan to go a little faster, because jumping down from the rocks will wear on you after a couple miles. Also bring layers if hiking late summer or in autumn: when I was hiking I was in tights and a tank, but when I got to Dragon’s Tooth and stopped to eat lunch, I was wearing a hat, tights, tank, base layer, and vest and was still chilled.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike - had fun climbing up the rocks.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike today with spectacular view!

5 months ago

Great hike with great views at the top.

hiking
6 months ago

I agree with the reviewer below who said this is the least gratifying view of Virginia's triple crown. It's still amazing, but do Tinker and McAfee AFTER this one (and in that order). That being said, it's still a lovely and gratifying hike. I haven't done much scrambling, and that made the climb really fun and that much more enjoyable. I went alone on a Thursday in August and though there were others on the trail I had it mostly to myself. It was a bit of a cloudy day and I was very happy to have had a raincoat in my pack to have lunch at the top because after being sweaty from the climb it was quite chilly. The roundtrip 4.6 miles took me about an hour and 45 minutes, not including lunch, and I went through 1.5 liters of water. So grateful for whomever blazes these trails (first blue then AT white). They are incredibly well-marked and as a solo traveler I never had a moment's doubt which way to go. Enjoyable.

hiking
6 months ago

This is a fun hike, but it has the least exciting view out of the three Triple Crown hikes. The trail is uphill, but it is not challenging until you get to the rock scrambling. The rock scrambling is really fun, just make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear. I definitely recommend hiking boots or tennis shoes. I wouldn't wear anything like Chaco's. Once you reach the tooth, there's some pretty cool spots to have lunch, and you gotta climb the tooth!

6 months ago

Hike is a little misleading in that the first 2.5 miles or so are not very difficult. The rock scrambling to the top is more challenging. My cousin got to the top with a broken wrist though so it's not impossible.

6 months ago

Awesome hike! Be prepared to "climb" a bit towards the end (around 0.7 miles left, that is because you pass through really rocky areas and need to use your arms)

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