Access Special Backpacker.com Features, Register Now!

Shenandoah National Park: Old Rag Mountain

Navigate switchbacks, boulder scrambles, and rock mazes on this 8.6-mile loop that ascends Old Rag Mountain, one of Shenandoah’s most famous peaks.

Rating

Weaving around car-size boulders to the summit of 3,268-foot Old Rag Mountain is the quintessential Shenandoah thrill–and its airy precipice is also the best place for 360-degree views (especially for leafpeeping in early November). But unknown it is not, so pack a headlamp and set out on this 8.6-mile circuit three hours before sunset to enjoy a crowd-free summit. Take the Ridge Trail up shady switchbacks to an open ridgeline and two miles of scrambling to the Big Whoa–a sweeping panorama of mountainsides. Descend via the Saddle Trail and Weakley Hollow Fire Road to close the loop.

More Info: Shenandoah National Park, (540) 999-3500; nps.gov/shen

-Mapped by Ivan Levin

To Trailhead

From Sperryville, VA take US 522 SE for 0.5 mile and turn R on VA 231. Continue 7.3 miles and turn right on Sharp Rock Rd. Go 1.2 miles and turn right at Nethers Rd. Continue 2.2 miles to the lower parking lot and trail fee station. The upper parking lot and trailhead is 0.5 mile up the road.

Leave a Reply