Shenandoah National Park Loop

HARD 20 reviews
#30 of 147 trails in

Shenandoah National Park Loop is a 24.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Oldrag, Virginia that features a waterfall. The trail is only recommended for very experienced adventurers and primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
24.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
7,158 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

trail running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

scramble

The mountains were so blue!! The views did not disappoint!

hiking
1 month ago

If you are looking for a challenging, easy to navigate with plenty of vertical, excellent waterfalls and is in the mid 20s mile overnight, this is an absolutely wonderful trek. Some pretty fine Appalachian vistas, wind sucking climbs, periods of solitude mixed with clumps of tenderfoots and tourists keep it ever amusing. Then comes that close out rock scramble up Old Rag giving this adventure a "something to remember me by signature."
A few items if you plan to do this as an overnight. (1) Water. Assuming you carry a purification system, the only exception to plenty along the way are the stretches from the base of Hawksbill to Indian Run (about two miles after you leave the AT) and of course once you start climbing the Rag until you finish. Other than those stretches you can fill about a liter at a time and be fine. (2) Something about "Stoney Man" was a must do for this 60 something Dead fan. The top was fittingly cloudy but certainly worth the side trip. (3) Try to time your adventure to NOT hit Old Rag on a perfect weather weekend as It can make for more people around than you care for. I had the pleasure of a clear, 70ish degree July Saturday and although the folks were always pleasant, helpful and smiling it made for a bit of congestion and hollywooding. Nothing however can take away from the physical challenge and beauty that is Old Rag. Bottom Line, DO it !!

hiking
1 month ago

Thanks to Christian who did a great and help full review! I followed his suggestion and did the loop in clockwise. Good thing about this loop is that you get to see everything on the center section of the Shenandoah. Bad part is...24 miles up and down the valley was no joke! Below is my part of the review and tips for future hikers.

Water: I carried three bottles of Smart Water(1L) and it was enough for two days. There is water resources everywhere and if you carry a Sawyer you wouldn’t have a problem.

Camp: finding a dissent campsites was pretty hard. I was using a single man mountaineering tent which doesn’t take much space to setup. And I was doing solo. But if you’re planning to use a bigger then a two men tent or hiking with a group, this could be hard. I camped out at the Nicholson Hollow Trail. (close to the junction of Indian Run ) *There were no camp site at Corbin Cabin so don’t bother to go all the way down there. I left some Pin marks on the map that I thought will be a good site for future reference.

Bears: I personally did not see any. Although, I was told that there’s a bear on the side of the trail from the southbounders on the AT. Hoping to see one but did not encounter.

So, who is this loop recommended for? Some one who would like to take their time and see the breathtaking sights of the back country. This loop will count up to 11 trails and plenty of stream crossing. Be prepared and keep on hiking!!

backpacking
3 months ago

This was an awesome hike that I did as a 2 day 1 overnight backpacking trip. Following is some information that I hope is helpful. I would recommend doing it clockwise so you get to go up the boulders of Old Rag and end on the Fire roads. Note the bouldering is difficult with a full pack, I had to take it off about 10 times to go around, over, under, through the boulders. I was very lucky that I had awesome people around me that helped me lift my pack up a few times on some more challenging sections. Still possible alone, but definitely saves time. Very fun!
Water: There's lots of water along Cedar Run Trail and some fun river crossings until you get to Skyline drive. Then there's not a lot of water until you get to the bottom of Nicholson Hollow Trail. There's a nice stream there you cross 2x. There are also a lot smaller streams after you make the climb up Indian Run Trail, but I'm not sure how consistent they are during dry spells (it rained the day before I went). There's lots of water again along Corbin Hollow Trail.
Camping: I hiked about 14 miles day one, 10 miles day two. You may be able to camp at Corbin Cabin, I think that cabin is more than just day use but not positive. There were a bunch of camping spots on Indian Run Trail. I camped at a great spot just a little before Old Rag Fire Road. There may have also been some spots that followed back country camping rules at the beginning of Corbin Hollow Trail and off of Weakley Hollow Fire Road.
Note, at least this weekend there were a lot of people along the whole trail except for Nicholson Hollow Trail until I got closer to the Old Rag Parking area.
An amazing hike! I think next time I want to hike up Old Rag without a pack! :) ENJOY and Happy Trails!!

camping
3 months ago

An awesome hike and great adventure...One of the best hikes I have ever been on!!

hiking
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Did this as a day hike and it took 10:30 hours, I started walking down some wrong paths and taking some detours to see some lookout points so ended up being 26.6 miles. I saw 4 bears, you may want to wear bells or something. It was a great hike overall!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Working on plannign this hike, can't find anything on it outside this website and need to learn about camping options and leg length (by day). Hoping to do it in two days, planning on driving out THU night and hiking, full day of hiking friday and saturday, leave sunday morning early. If anyone has advice I'd appreciate it.

backpacking
Friday, April 21, 2017

white oak canyon boundary up cedar run to hawksbill, do loop salamander to hawksbill peak. hop on the trail north to stony man. will pass skyland. strony and little stony til you get to nicholson hollow. take nicholson all the way to base of old rag and then hit old rag. 4 peaks can be done in less than 2 days. Corbin Cabin off nicholson a fair halfway point. Can add robertson peak to the trip. Superb mix of creek, river, waterfall, peak, scramble, views. Everything is breathtaking.

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hiking
Friday, August 04, 2017