Old Rag Mountain Loop Trail

HARD 827 reviews
#1 of 133 trails in

Old Rag Mountain Loop Trail is a 9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Syria, Virginia that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
9.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2355 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

This hike is one of the most popular hikes in Shenandoah National Park. It is a challenging hike, but when you make it about 3/4 of the way up, you will then have some rock scrambling that makes your pace a little slower. There are alot of switchbacks, so you will not be going straight up, but the trails are still at a steep grade. The descent, which is a longer distance than the ascent, is a much more gradual grade, ending on a fire trail. This hike begins with a one-mile walk up the road to the original Old Rag parking area (port-a-pots here.) Turn left onto the Ridge Trail and begin your approximate two mile ascent with switchbacks before reaching the boulder scramble section. There are handwritten numbers below the blue trail blazes throughout the trail. You’ll be going up, down, in between, around, and underneath granite boulders throughout the scramble. While going through the boulder scramble, keep your eyes open for the blue blazes, as sometimes they are in the strangest places. If you have a fear of heights, or jumping across crevasses, this will challenge you and encourage you to overcome your fears. When hiking Old Rag Mountain, each time you think you’ve reached the summit – you haven’t! This mountain has several false summits. You’ll know that you’ve reached the Old Rag Summit when you see the Old Rag Mountain brown elevation sign. Find a lovely rock with a fabulous 360 degree view for your lunch spot here, before starting your descent on the back of the mountain by way of the Saddle Trail. Rock hopping down, you’ll pass two shelters. First the Byrds Nest Shelter, then the Old Rag Shelter (privy here) before hitting a cross-roads. Stay to your right to continue back on the Weakley Hollow Fire Road for about four miles to return to the parking lot. This section can seem like it’ll last forever. You will pass through beautiful forests and see Brokenback Run that leads into the Hughes River.

hiking
8 minutes ago

I’m a novice hiker, but LOVED this trail!

I went in December, not expecting it to be snowy, boy was I wrong! The trail was extremely icy and slippery until the rock scramble, but the views were well worth it. This was my first time ever experiencing a ‘rock scramble’ and it was definitely exciting! There were a few tricky places and I definitely recommend going with someone who has already been before as I would have been lost by myself towards the summit.

DO NOT BRING A BULKY BACKPACK as you will be squeezing between rocks quite often. Do wear rough pants as it was easier in some places to slide down rocks instead of risking breaking an ankle.

We hiked about 11 miles from 8a-2p.

4 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

9 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

Breathtaking sights, and a great workout.

hiking
9 days ago

This was an amazing hike that me and a few friends did in the spring and the fall, both times were beautiful! The leaves at the summit are breath taking and the rock scramble was the best part!

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

she is called a old rag for a reason. But a good scramble

hiking
14 days ago

My favorite so far

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

I’ve hiked this trail many times and each I never get bored hiking this trail!! Make sure to plan a lunch and enough water for all day.

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

Very busy at certain times of the year, so try to go on weekdays if possible. This is my favorite hikes in the area. I would recommend it to everyone I believed was fit and agile enough to do so. Much of the hold up on weekends is due to people who are not comfortable scrambling.

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
20 days ago