Old Rag Mountain Loop Trail

HARD 486 reviews
#1 of 111 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
2493 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

This hike is considered to be THE best in Shenandoah National Park. It is pretty hard climb, but when you make it about 3/4 of the way up, then you 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 lot (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. Each time you think you’ve reached the summit – you haven’t! This mountain likes to play with you and has several false summits. You’ll know that you’ve reached the top when you see the Old Rag Mountain brown elevation sign. Find a lovely rock with a fabulous 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
7 minutes ago

My favourite trail !!!

1 day ago

Such a fun hike!!! Definitely go on a weekday because the rock scramble can have a long line when there are crowds. Bring snacks and have a wonderful time!!

2 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

Incredible views comes with a cost. Carry water and food. It takes around 6-7 hrs to complete the loop. It has some of the best views from the top and it's quite an adventure. you will be Superman going on top and underneath the rocks. Hiking gear is highly recommended for this hike.

8 days ago

One of the best hikes I have ever been to. It's a must visiting hiking place who loves to find some crazy adventures along the path. The panaromic views are amazing to watch and totally worth it.

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

Crowded in the fall (we had to wait in line in some areas) but totally worth it to see the colors.

10 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

One of my very favorite trails in Virginia. A nice pretty hike for a while then a super fun scramble to get to the top. I always take the saddle trail to the fire road back-after getting to the top I like a nice easy decent

11 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

Great hike. this lives up to the hype!

hiking
11 days ago

Incredible views with a challenging hike to get there. Word of advice: that extra water bottle that you think you won't need? Take it and your 13 year old will be much happier. :)

12 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

Hiked Old Rag on 4/13/2017. Great hike!!

13 days ago

14 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

15 days ago

Did it yesterday. Beautiful saturday weather. Get there no later than 8! We still had to wait to get up rocks and at the summit had the most people. Very challenging during the scramble but you can physically do it if you feel comfortable crawling or shimmy yourself down a rock. I would not have done it by myself and I would do it again with some hand gloves, my hands are a little roughed up.