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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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



Location: 38.1783066, -78.7644043

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


Location: 38.1677742, -78.7716675

Lush overlook of Riprap Hollow


Location: 38.1530495, -78.7740479

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


Location: 38.1597481, -78.7920685

Small brook rushes dwonhill to uppersection of Meadow Run


Location: 38.1631851, -78.7986145

Turn R @ T onto Riprap Trail


Location: 38.1703987, -78.7932053

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


Location: 38.1837654, -78.7861557

Trail gently moves N-NW to airy ridgeline


Location: 38.1864662, -78.7767639

Chimney Rock; big rocky outcrop looks over Shenandoah Valley


Location: 38.1855125, -78.7738647

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


Location: 38.1826668, -78.7620316

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