Riprap Trail

MODERATE 135 reviews
#9 of 140 trails in

Riprap Trail is a 9.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Crimora, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from February until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.4 miles
2066 feet

dogs on leash




nature trips

rock climbing

trail running






wild flowers



8 days ago

Great hike. We did get lost at one point extending the hike by a mile or too; saw a bear (who wasn't very afraid) and at one point had trouble passing a very large hornet's nest handing mid trail. Made it all the more exciting however!

1 month ago

One of my favorite trails in the area. Gorgeous little swimming hole. Splendid views towards the end (or beginning depending on which way you hike). Could spend all day by the water on this hike on a hot summer day. Water is definitely a bit nipply tho.

1 month ago

Oustanding trail! Did the loop clockwise in 2 days so we could have Chimney Rock to look forward to at the end. Multiple water crossing that will even get experinced hikers boots wet, bring extra socks :)

2 months ago


If you're not in pretty good cardiovascular shape (guilty), this trail can be challenging. The last leg of it is uphill (climbing out of the beautiful gorge) the whole time. The rest is moderate. This trail offers a lot of variety of views, moss and lichen covered rocks, plenty of woods etc.

3 months ago

Excellent day trail.

4 months ago

Great views. Watch out for bears.

5 months ago

Lots of leaves on the trail when I went. Be careful of your footing.

6 months ago

A beautiful saunter on a crisp day. Lots of nature and a couple of great views to enjoy.

6 months ago

2 or maybe 2.5! There are very few clear sections of visibility (other than the cliffs for about 500 feet. The “waterfall” is less than 2 feet although it’s part of a nice book. Pleasant and it parallels Skyline Drive for part of the hike so you hear the cars. Much better views are available on Skyline drive and other hikes!

7 months ago

About a 14 mike loop. Tough but beautiful hike.

10 months ago

This trail is the best. My boyfriend and my dog and I went clockwise and near the end were able to enjoy the stream that lead us to the natural pool. It was so hot until you got to the stream and we had to ration our water because we didn't bring a filter. There was a lot of foot traffic on this beautiful Saturday afternoon. We really took our time on the loop and we're able to enjoy the sunset at the summit. It took us about 7.5 hours and my walking app said we traveled 13miles total. I don't know if it was accurate. There were plenty of blueberries and blackberries side by side so be careful which ones you eat (I don't eat them at all). This app said the trail was dog friendly and mentioned nothing about leash laws. Although we let our dog hike without a leash, you are NOT allowed to have your dog off leash. Even though this trail is very narrow and at times too steep for a leashed dog. All in all I had a wonderful day.

Shenandoah Entrance Fee: $25 for 7 day pass
I did not find the camping permit location but several people were camping at the bottom of the trail near the stream.

10 months ago

We did it the reverse way and enjoyed having the views at the end.

11 months ago

Fun hike. We did it clockwise so we hiked the AT & Widcat Ridge portion first. This section was mostly uphill but at a very gradual ascent. There wasn't much to see or do and the trail was very narrow (throughout the entire hike). None the less it was a nice hike through the woods (we went clockwise to do this part first and save the waterhole and views for the end). We did pass some hikers that encountered a bear and a rattlesnake not far from we were but we didn't see either. The swimming hole was refreshing on the hot day and the view points were a nice place to chill for awhile. Some steep uphill climbs to get to those views but it was worth it.

Friday, May 05, 2017

even my kids made it to water hole and back

Friday, April 14, 2017

Views, stream crossings, swimming hole, dog-friendly, well marked, what's not to love?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Walked this trail in april. Trail was moderate . At summit you reach rocks that you can sit out on and get a great view from. Wasnt anyone on trail when we were there. Very enjoyable trail.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

This trail is gorgeous! Went for a mid-day hike, began at noon and finished around 5:30-6:00. We went left at the trailhead and enjoyed the gentle hills for the first stretch of the trail. When we turned right onto (wildcat?) trail, the descent became much steeper and we were met with a beautiful creek at the foot of the mountain. The creek is perfect for cooling one's feet and filling up water bottles (I am not condoning this practice but a through hiker told us it was a good spot to rehydrate). The trail continues alongside the creek for a few miles and the views are extraordinary. The swimming hole is crystal clear and FREEZING, but we jumped in nonetheless. The final ascent is moderately steep, but the multiple overlooks along the way kept my group motivated. It is rather windy at the top so bring a sweatshirt for optimal warmth while enjoying the views. From the final overlook it was a bit over a mile back to the trailhead. HIGHLY recommend this hike for any group of moderately fit hikers.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Strenuous, great diversity of creekside hiking to views of the valley. A decent amount of elevation gain/loss, so strap up and grip it and rip it!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I loved it there it's. a nice place to go

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

First off this trail is actually 9.8 miles. Whomever added this must not have recorded the whole loop. That said, it is a great day hike. We started off counter clockwise to Calvary Rock. The almost 60-foot scramble to the top is well worth the 360 degree views, then on to Chimney Rock and the downhill trek to a small waterfall and a swimming hole. The water was a tad bit cold .. but nice to soak the feet in for a few minutes. If you are brave, as my companion was, you can even take a plunge into the waters (I have video - it's hilarious - LOL!) The climb back up is definitely challenging. Definitely recommend!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

start from the bottom and it's an easy hike for all ages

Saturday, September 03, 2016

One of the best loops in Shenandoah. Good distance, variety, and views. If you're only doing one decent hike in the south park, this is the one I'd do.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Riprap loop is a great trail. With only ~2000 ft of elevation change over nearly 10 miles it is very approachable and you can really push the pace if you desire. It also includes a ton of diverse scenery: Rocky outcropping, small caves, scenic ridge lines, river crossings, and waterfalls.

I was able to do the loop in 3:11 with a 40# pack, but I only stopped once for a trail lunch (about 10 minutes). Figure 4-8 hours depending on pace and how much stopping to enjoy the wonderful scenery.

Friday, August 19, 2016

*the loop is actually 9.8 miles*
the sign says it'll take 8.25 hours, but a friend and i did it in 6!! it has really pretty overlooks, and the waterfall is cool (you have to go off the path to really see it), but the hike back up is a bit challenging for sure. bring lots of water and food!! and watch for snakes!!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Five of us went out on this hike on a Monday in July and we absolutely loved it! Challenging hike but do able! We camped near the swimming hole at a nice camp site! The nearby stream was great! We took the route where you see the chimney rock first and would recommend going down the AT part first, camping, and then visiting chimney rocks on your way out for an easier hike! I would highly recommend this trail!

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

It was a beautiful day and the walk was very easy. We started at the bottom in crimora. The kids and I only wanted to get to the water hole. It was beautiful and cold.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Probably one of my most favorite trails!

Friday, June 24, 2016

We did the whole circuit. If I had it to do again, I´d skip the AT and Wildcat trail and just do the Rip Rap in and back. All the good views, some nice cascading waterfalls and a swimming hole are on it. Parking area is at mile marker 90 on Skyline Drive.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A nice long hike with great views. Be prepared to walk through some rivers.

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