Have done Old Rag several times out of home in the DC area. Did the trailhead loop a few times then went up from the White Oaks Canyon area and the parking back there (not the Skyline Drive area).
I've climbed this mountain six times over the last 6 years (1998-2004). Most recent time was September 25, 2004 with Yan, Tyler, Kyla, and Chad. It's the best hike in Shenandoah park.
Date Signed: April 28, 2005
Nice hike and great rock climbing. We hit a perfect November day and the trail was busy with a back up at the first rock climb and quite a few people lunching at the summit. Long hike for my 6 year old son Aaron and his friend Andrew. Darryl
Beautiful day, great hike. Up the ridge trail and back the fire trail. The morning weather was clear and cool, sweatshirt weather. Warmed up through the rock scramble and then cooled down by breezes at the summit. 3 adults and 3 kids.
Day hike. Lots of people. Need to get there EARLY to avoid (some of) the crowds. Lots of bottle necking where people were having problem negotiate 3rd class terrain.
I can't believe no one else has posted about going up the slide and headwall?! Its so much fun--forget the regular trail! The bushwacking sucks to get to the slide, but it is awesome--its like a mountaineering testpiece. The slide is not technical, but the headwall has a slew of technical routes. There is also a pinacle we managed to solo up that sticks out before the slide. If you want to hike and have a little mountaineering in virginia, screw the trail and go up the slide and headwall!
Besthike on the Shenandoahs! Not necessarily for the beginner. Bring plenty of water and a camera. Lots of scenic overlooks. Best time of the year to hike would be mid fall.
One of the most fun trails I have ever been on. It's like being a kid again trapped inside a labyrinth. It's a fair bit of work, but you don't even notice.
Nice hike with great views!
Beautiful day, 60 degrees, a few hundred people on the mountain. This mountain is wonderful and fun, with lots of boulders to climb. Great views of Hawksbill and Stony Man.
Wow! Despite the crowds, this is a pretty amazing hike. Like caving, but without the cave. Like Mahoosuc Notch (NH/ME) but on top of a mountain. I can see why it is so popular.
A lot more fun than I expected to find in VA. I did this loop several times in fall of 2002, concluding with a winter hike Outstanding autumn color and abundent deer. Very fun, excellent in winter conditions.
I talked my wife into coming along with me on this trip....had wonderful weather and great views from the summit ridge on. The scramble up the last several hundred feet was memorable and I would recommend this climb to anyone. Note: If you are going on the weekend, it would be wise to get there early to avoid congestion on the summit ridge. Enjoy!
My firend Michael and I decided to climb this mountain largely thanks to this website. I had not even heard of Old Rag before! It was definitely the best mountain climb I have ever done in Virginia. I can see why so many people like to climb this one. Lots of fun scambles near the top and many fun boulders to try and climb. Round-trip this hike is about 7 miles, 2,200 vertical-foot climb. I recommend climbing this mountain on a weekday, as weekends can be crowded and bottlenecks in certain scrambling sections are likely to occur.
This was my second trip to the top of Old Rag and I was able to do it with my 9-year-old son. He did a great job and I was very proud of him. We had great weather with a quiet summit. I hope to go back for a winter climb this year.
Had a great day with the mountain essentially to myself early on a Monday morning. I started at 8 and reached the summit by 10. I spent almost an hour alone on top without a soul in site. I was impressed by the amount of scrambling I had to do to get over some of the boulders going up. I took the Weakly Hollow Fire Road down. It added about 1.5 miles to the trip, but was well worth it. About 1/2 a mile from the upper parking lot I encountered a young black bear. We startled each other and he/she ran up a tree about 15-20 feet off the trail. As my heart rate decreased, I got some great digital pics and some video shots after I looked around carefully for momma bear. I'm looking forward to doing the climb again, hopefully deeper into the fall when more colors are coming out in the trees.
The views were amazing for someone used to western PA rolling hills. This was a great trail for a beginner - challenging, but possible.
Too many people.
A freak thunderstorm stopped us right below the summit and forced us to turnaround! Darn!
**Note** For the especially daring, recommend climbing the mountain in the late afternoon, watching the stars come out from the summit and then making your way back down the rock scramble with only headlamps. Scary and dangerous? You bet. Exciting and challenging? Absolutely!
At that time (before having moved out west) this was by far the coolest hike we've done!! Hand assists, minor rock scrambles - we were very impressed!!! Fog/drizzle all the way - good for lack of crowds, bad for lack of views.