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Riprap Trail

HARD 287 reviews
#13 of 194 trails in

Riprap Trail is a 9.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Crimora, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. 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: 9.3 miles Elevation Gain: 2,093 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

hiking
rocky
13 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

We went in late fall with my mom and stepdad (late fifties early sixties, frequent hikers). We went counterclockwise, north on the AT and then left on riprap trail. Well marked, read the signposts. Keep going until you reach an amazing vista point with a view into the valley below, we almost stopped early because we thought big impressive rocks were chimney hill. If you use the all trails map, it’s accurate.

20 days ago

has anyone ever mtn biked this loop before. looking for feed back.. I've hiked it but. a mtn bike would be epic

22 days ago

Hiked this last weekend. Definitely one of the best loop trails I've done in SNP. Challenging, but not brutal if you're in decent shape. It took me 5 hours with several stops...a perfect day hike. As so many have commented, hike the loop clockwise so you get the summit payoff near the end. There are several overlook rock formations as you reach the summit. I'm looking forward to doing it again very soon.

hiking
24 days ago

Definitely not for the faint hearted! Very strenuous, but amazing! Had the best day too! Agree with other reviewers to do this backwards! If you do the loop you also hit up Calvary and Chimney Rocks trail!

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful trail through and through!!!!! I had an amazing morning, the scenery is insane and changes so much throughout, I completely recommend

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Lots of woods, not many overlooks. However, peaceful, lots of medium sized rocks under the trail that were hard to navigate under a heavy pile of leaves. Crossed the creek/river several times. Lots of rain = high water.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Gorgeous trail in the fall as leaves are rainbows of colors. I agree that if you want to save the best for last (a gorgeous scenic view), travel clockwise. This trail isn't terribly challenging: the elevation gain is not overly abrupt, but is slow and steady throughout the trail (for the most part). The biggest challenge is that the trail is rocky, so take caution not to twist an ankle. Also, because the trail is long, it's best to wear hiking boots (trainers may be less comfortable for a 9+ mile hike). Took about 5 hours to go at a steady, though not overly quick pace. Bring water, bring snacks, and have fun!

hiking
1 month ago

Go clockwise to save the best for last, as you'll want to stop to enjoy spectacular views.

hiking
1 month ago

DO THIS LOOP BACKWARDS. This is a great hike, and it is best done backwards/clockwise as many people have said. You enjoy the first half along the AT then the uphill you get a water feature with three separate views for a payoff at the end. There is a small outcrop a quarter mile west of Chimney Rocks which has great northern views—stop there before the more famous Chimney Rocks for even better photos. Also, the views are mainly west and north so plan for the sun accordingly. The uphill is long but not too angled so not too strenuous. Really a 3 to 5 hour hike, not 8.5 like the sign says.

hiking
1 month ago

Good workout due to the elevation gain. All the running water at the bottom is nice. You have views in the first two miles and after that you submerged in the trees.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Did this counterclockwise, would recommend doing this trail clockwise so you can see the good views at the end. Set aside several hours to do this hike. Swimmingholes and waterfalls were nice. Wear good footwear, this trail is made up almost entirely of loose ankle-breaking rocks.

recorded Riprap Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Perfect day for this hike. Temp in the mid 70s F. Went clockwise saving magnificent views for the last part of the trip. Trail is 90% rocky, i.e. wear good hiking footwear. Not much in the way of wildlife but the stream and waterhole are soothing. The last mile of the hike was the toughest after nine miles.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Challenging from start to finish

hiking
bugs
over grown
2 months ago

swimming hole is awesome. the view at chimney rock was nice but wasps everywhere. overall the swimming hole is amazing, but this probably isn't worth 9.5 miles to get there

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Wonderful hike! The views and swimming hole were stunning! Definitely hike clockwise like the others recommend.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
2 months ago

Great trail and a good challenge. Went clockwise from Riprap parking down the AT, Wildcat, up Riprap. I recommend this. We clicked about 10.4 miles in just about 6hrs with lunch at the swimming hole and a quick dip. If you do it counter, not much to see that last 6 miles.

hiking
bugs
rocky
3 months ago

I’ve done over a dozen trails in Shenandoah and this is definitely in my top 3! I’m not sure why the trailhead marker says to expect 9 hours to complete... I average a little slower on this trail due to incline, but I still completed it in 3 hours and 40 mins. Bring a swimsuit if you want to swim! Water is nice and cold in the warm weather. I would also advise you to bring bug spray, unfortunately; it was very muggy today and they were out in force. Otherwise a nice trail with some great views. I would recommend starting left on the trail - there’s not much to look at if your headed North back up to the starting point which can be a little disheartening after you’ve just completed 7.5 miles.

hiking
3 months ago

A great day trail. Did it heading right. We finished in 3:56 with approx 20-30min in total breaks. 1st part is gradual and wooded. Saw a large owl on the left on the upper part. After putting in that time, rewards are rocky outcroppings overlooking beautiful valley and remote ridges. A long gradual descent and hike alongside a stream leads to the watering hole. Others had done the flat -.5 mi in from Crimora to get to it. Thereafter a steep and rocky climb up, shaded in August by foliage. Few switchbacks, mostly straight up, a solid workout much appreciated, save the sweat for the end of the day. Great training climb. I'd love to do it in Fall, with leaves coloring.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
over grown
rocky
3 months ago

Hiked today, went on the LEFT on AT from parking RipRap trail head parking lot. Up until swimming hole was easy -peasy - all downhill. Some people strip to underwear and go to that hole - I wouldnt, water is too cold. After swimming hole it was a mile or so pleasant walk along the stream, and then... all uphill. Its really does not matter which way you go from the beginning - left or right... The trail is going kick your butt no matter what. It is not THAT difficult, just ass-looooong. We saw a bear hiding behind the bushes - very shy one, also saw copperhead snake crossing the trail

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