This approach involves accessing the WhiteOak Canyon trailhead from Skyline Drive as opposed to the OldRag trailhead on Rte600. First head toward mile marker 42.6 on Skyline Drive(11 miles south of ThortonGap Entrance Station or 24 miles north of SwiftRunGap Entrance Station).
Approximately half way between the 42 and 43 mile marker you will see signs for parking for WhiteOakCanyon. Go ahead and park there. The parking lot is rather small and fills up fast.
Follow the WhiteOakCanyon trail south for approximately 1/2 mile. You will then reach the OldRag FireRoad. Follow the OldRag FireRoad E-SE for the next 3 miles. You will then reach the intersection of OldRag FireRoad and the Berry Hollow and Weakly Hollow FireRoads. Stay on the OldRag FIre Road and continue heading SE up OldRag for another 1.5 miles. At this point you have reached the top of Old Rag, but the fun has yet to begin. The next mile involves traverssing the class 2+ - 3 Old Rag Ridge. After traverssing the ridge, descend down the mountain towards the Rte600 Parking.
You're now ready to begin the long trip back to your car. Begin by heading west on the weakly hollow trail for approximately 1 mile. You will then reach the intersection of the Robertson Mtn Trail (Shortly after the intersection with the Corbin Hollow Trail). Take the Robertson Mtn Trail W-NW over Robertson Mountain until it merges approx 2 miles later with the Old Rag Fire Trail. Continue on the Old Rag Fire Trail for another 1.5 miles until merging with the WhiteOak CanyonTrial which will take you back to your car.
The total mileage for this hike is approximately 15 miles with considerable elevation gain and loss. You begin at the parking lot at 3500 feet from which you will descend to 1900 feet at the base of OldRag. You then climb up Old Rag to about 3250 feet in a short mile and half. Then you descend back to 1900 feet climb back to 3300 feet at the top of Robertson Mountain. You descend back to 2500 feet as you go down Robertson Mountain and then back up to 3500 feet towards your car.
Note: Old Rag itself is very crowded on "nice" weekends. You probably won't see too many people on the first part of the hike, but OldRag itself tends to be very crowded.
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