Hiked and climbed in the area numerous times over the years!
Full moon hike was planned but the overcast sky still provided enough ambient light for a night accent. There was some ice and snow to deal with, but nothing that required crampons or microspikes. Camped at Barry Hollow for the night after doing the loop.
Old Rag is a different kind of beast when it has a decent snow/ice pack. I'd estimate there was everything from barely an inch up to a good foot, complete with snow bridges between some boulders. The upper 500' of the mountain had a good half inch of ice in the trees, must have been a heck of an ice storm up there.
Nearly everybody I saw had no form of snow/ice protection at all. As a result, I only saw a few people after the first major obstacle, the "Entrance Crack" on the first outcrop. It was nice to have the summit area to myself. I wore my microspikes hiking up the Ridge Trail, but switched-out to crampons and walking axe for the scramble.
It was a real treat to have the upper half of the mountain almost to myself with alpine conditions.
I was blown away - I had previously thought that the reputation of Old Rag was a bit overblown. A little scrambling at the top? Sure. Now I have seen the LIGHT, and it is GOOD. Is there a more fun mountain in America?
Lots of fun.
A bucket list hike if you live east of the Mississippi
One of the most rewarding hikes I've ever done...absolutely worth all of the praise it receives! What an amazing mountain...
I do love this mountain, despite what the crowds have done to her. I reccomend picking a weekday in the winter, and start early. It's a great mountain to introduce aspiring mountaineers and climbers to the virus.
Must have been about the 40th time i have climbed this mountain. No exaggeration.
Drove up From Virginia beach On the Friday night, camped our in a friends farm for the night. Then we made a pre-dawn ascent. The fall colours were stunning.
Did the famous 9 mile loop. Probably the best hike in Virginia and a great workout. The mountain is crowded in the weekend and the parking lot might be full by early morning so be prepared to park half a mile farther. The views are great and what is unique about this mountain and given its height you are always above the cloud with great views. Be prepared for some traffic jams near when negotiating the tough rock spots. Be careful since it's common to get injured on these rocks but enjoy this great exhilarating hike.
Really enjoyed this one. Scrambling was great fun. Glad we got an early start (7am) when we got back to the parking lot if was nearly 100% full.
Great rock scrambles, trails on incline, and vert climbs. A few choke points on the path will cause delays on weekends (time most popular for hiking). Inexperienced or moderate hikers should definitely go with people who have climbed before. Take plenty of water during Spring and Summer months. Also, due to the difficulty level, this is really not a trail for children unless you are ok with not completing full loop.
Old Rag is actually a spur off the eastern side of the Blue Ridge. I've climbed it a bunch of times and never get tired of it -- the scramble to the top is great fun and the openness of the summit means you actually get to see something besides endless oak trees. It's the best hike in Shenandoah National Park.
Went with a friend who had traversed Old Rag many times. One of the best hikes if not the best hike in Virginia aside from Mountain Rogers/ Peaks Of Otter. Very crowded but the views were breathtaking and well recieved. Get there early and knock it out. I will be back yearily if only just to climb it.
Old Rag is fully deserving of its popularity. It has to be one of the best mountains east of the Mississippi River. I went up the Ridge Trail on a mostly clear day that turned out to be warmer than expected. I met some interesting people, but it wasn't terribly crowded like it can get in some days, and I enjoyed the spectacular views from the top.
Hiked the Ridge Trail on a sunny January weekday. I was worried about crowds but only ran into 2 other hikers. Despite the warm temperatures (upper 40's to low 50's) I ran into light ice on the rock scramble. The rock scramble was awesome though! Descended on the Ridge Trail rather than completing circuit on fire road. My favorite day hike so far in Va.
Interesting trail, lots of fun! one easy third class move on the ridge at best.
Fun hike/climb. We did this as part of a four day backpacking trip and hit the trail early from camp to beat the crowds. Incredible weather for late November. We had a blast.
Went up today, the Saturday after Veteran's Day; a long weekend with 60 degree weather. Sounds like a recipe for a circus, but it wasn't too bad since we went up the night before and camped out at the base. Left for the peak around 6 am, saw a handful of people along the way but had the summit to ourselves for about 30 minutes. Great weather; all the snow melted off with the exceptions of a few pockets deep in cracks where the sun can't reach.