Dragon's Tooth Trail

HARD 298 reviews
#1 of 65 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
1227 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

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

1 day ago

rough but awesome

hiking
4 days ago

beautiful hike and challenging

23 days 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.

26 days 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
30 days 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

Beautiful views and a great workout.

1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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
2 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.

2 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
2 months ago

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

2 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
2 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
2 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
2 months ago

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

2 months ago

Perfect hike! So fun and easy.

hiking
3 months ago

Extremely cool ascent.

hiking
3 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.

3 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.

3 months ago

Love Dragon's Tooth. it's a moderate hike and I have a little depression on top of the tooth that fits like a recliner. usually eat here while soaking up the views.

3 months ago

was a great hike. The last miles is a rough. But the top was beautiful...

hiking
4 months 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.

5 months 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

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

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

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