Riprap Trail

MODERATE 167 reviews
#11 of 166 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.

DISTANCE
9.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,066 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! My girlfriend and I did the Rip Rap/Wildcat loop as a two day backcountry camping trip and had an excellent time. The NPS Guide recommends camping somewhere just after you turn onto the Wildcat Ridge trail off of the Rip Rap trail but we opted to get in another mile and half or so to shorten our hike the next morning. We hiked about 6 miles the first day and the remaining 3.5 the following morning. We managed to find a nice little spot to set up camp after about 6 miles, and realized hiking out the next day that we found one of the only decent spots to camp in that mileage range. You'd either need to hike almost clear to end of the loop or camp back at the trail merge otherwise. The first six miles had a few great views from the ridge line and then some cool stream crossings, small waterfalls, and a deep swimming hole as you hiked through the valley before heading back uphill again. I highly recommend bringing a change of socks as some of the stream crossings can be sketchy and there's a chance you're going to put a foot in the water... All in all, great hike, great way to see the leaves change.

hiking
4 months ago

Only managed to do part of the trail due to time restrictions, but decent hike. We went counter clockwise so had a decent amount of elevation change. Hope to return to finish the rest of the trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Definitely recommend going counterclockwise on the loop! We went clockwise and skipped right past all of the scenic parts. We had a great time but got really frustrated having to cross the river three times and the water was up to our knees. Bring water shoes!

hiking
4 months ago

Tough due to all the rocks but a good hike. Not many view opportunities but a great day in nature.

5 months ago

Was boring at times with only a couple great views. The watering hole was a lot of fun though.

hiking
5 months ago

Great views loved the swimming pond

5 months ago

Great trail, nothing too technical, elevation changes and length make the challenge. Just take your time, enjoy the views, rest occasionally, and you’ll have a great time.

hiking
5 months ago

Fun hike with at least one cool swimming hole. Just make sure you know the route if you are doing the full loop or you may end up outside of the park.

I agree with the moderate designation. There were a good amount of inclines towards the end which could be challenging for those not physically fit. There were some beautiful views, a lot of it was wooded, and a few streams. We never came across the wading pool that’s mentioned in some of the other reviews. I don’t know if it was due to low water levels or if it just doesn’t exist. All in all a great hike. Would recommend.

hiking
7 months ago

Well maintained trail. Swimming hole is pretty. But otherwise it's a pretty uneventful hike.

7 months ago

I loved this hike! The southern portion of this trail is probably the most taxing- I had the most water breaks here as the grade gets a little steep. Overall there were some amazing views and a great swimming hole I want to enjoy when I’m better prepared next time! Didn’t see any bears but there were some fresh Poo-berries all up and down the trail, so I know they are around!

hiking
7 months ago

Lovely hike with lots of variety. Deep, dark, and cool forest glenns with magnificent ferns. Hillsides full of native rhododendron, azaleas, and mountain laurel (I’d love to take this walk in June). Hot, sunny passages through sandy terrain where blueberries were ripening along the path. Stands of pine trees with needle-covered paths (so comfortable for walking). Stream crossings, a swimming hole, and several spectacular views. It wasn’t terribly busy on a beautiful July day. There were some strenuous sections—we took the Wildcat Ridge trail uphill at the end to our car, which we parked in the lot at mile marker 92, and I was pretty tired. There’s also a fair amount of uneven, rocky trail that requires careful attention.

hiking
7 months ago

Started at Riprap trailhead and went clockwise because I like hitting all the good spots near the end of the hike. It was good to get the AT section out of the way first.
Riprap completely lived up to my expectations. Absolutely loved this hike, and I’m already thinking about when to go again. Perfect distance, hearty elevation change that isn’t draining, refreshing water (bring a bathing suit!!), and gorgeous views. I can’t recommend this trail enough!

hiking
7 months ago

Very boring not much too see.

hiking
8 months ago

Riprap loop, with a bit of it done twice thanks to a brief thunderstorm that had me retreating from the ridge line to backtrack and start again going clockwise. Great hike, and requires far less time than stated here (and certainly less than the 8.25hrs the Park Service clocks it at). If it hadn’t been for the extra three miles, I could’ve come in right around the 3hr mark.

hiking
8 months ago

The highlights of the trail were all in the middle. The beginning and end of the hike was not enjoyable.

hiking
9 months 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!

10 months 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.

10 months 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 :)

hiking
11 months ago

beautiful!

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.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Excellent day trail.

backpacking
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Great views. Watch out for bears.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

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

hiking
Friday, November 10, 2017

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

hiking
Sunday, October 29, 2017

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!

hiking
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

About a 14 mike loop. Tough but beautiful hike.

hiking
Saturday, August 12, 2017

Calvary rock has an amazing view. The rest of it kind of goes down into a valley and doesn’t have big grand overviews but it is still a beautiful hike. There’s even a swimming hole in the bottom of the valley with a small waterfall. I split this hike into two days just to spend some extra time outdoors. It was a good time and if you like the outdoors you should find this hike worth your while.

hiking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

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.

hiking
Saturday, July 08, 2017

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

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