Shenandoah National Park: Riprap Trail

Gurgling mountain streams and peaceful vistas line this 9-mile loop in southern Shenandoah National Park
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Gurgling mountain streams and peaceful vistas line this 9-mile loop in southern Shenandoah National Park

Want it all? Try the Riprap Trail. Located in southern Shenandoah National Park, this 9.1-mile loop–with optional Appalachian Trail extension–highlights the park's two best features. Start at the Riprap Trail parking area off of Skyline Drive, tracking the AT south. Turn right onto Wildcat Ridge and descend 1,500 feet. Turn right onto the Riprap Trail and ahead pass the park's largest swimming holes and a temple of cliffs called Calvary and Chimney Rocks. Continue on Riprap to the AT. Turn right and close loop at car. Optional: To tag a peak, take the AT south to 2,981-foot Turk Mountain, adding six out-and-back miles to the circuit.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 14.7

Waypoints

ATR001

Location: 38.1783066, -78.7644043

Follow spur trail for 200 yds., Turn L onto AT

ATR002

Location: 38.1677742, -78.7716675

Lush overlook of Riprap Hollow

ATR003

Location: 38.1530495, -78.7740479

Turn R @ 4-way onto Wildcat Ridge Trail, begin 1,500 ft. descent

ATR004

Location: 38.1597481, -78.7920685

Small brook rushes dwonhill to uppersection of Meadow Run

ATR005

Location: 38.1631851, -78.7986145

Turn R @ T onto Riprap Trail

ATR006

Location: 38.1703987, -78.7932053

Old location of Riprap Shelter; look for swimming holes in nearby creek, then continue straight to Cold Spring Hollow

ATR007

Location: 38.1837654, -78.7861557

Trail gently moves N-NW to airy ridgeline

ATR008

Location: 38.1864662, -78.7767639

Chimney Rock; big rocky outcrop looks over Shenandoah Valley

ATR009

Location: 38.1855125, -78.7738647

Fun group of scrambling rocks; begin ascent to Skyline Dr.

ATR010

Location: 38.1826668, -78.7620316

Turn R @ T, return .4 mi. to parking lot