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Old Rag Mountain! A Strenuous Hike and Rock Scramble in SNP!

  • May 5, 2013 · 8:30 AM
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Old Rag Mountain in SNP!

An 8 Mile Strenuous Hike and Rock Scramble

This adventure begins with an easy hike on a wide trail through dense forest. At these lower levels you are most likely to see wildlife. As the path steepens, the hike becomes a climb through the woods with numerous switchbacks and large boulders. After about 1½ miles the forest gives way to the rock scramble and plenty of wonderful views. From here to the summit you will go over, through, and under boulders on the Ridge Trail. Once at the summit the view is spectacular and panoramic.

You will climb through caves, between fissures, around balancing rocks, and up a natural staircase.

Click Here for Pictures of This Rite-of-Passage Hike

"The rocks of Old Rag are among Shenandoah National Park's oldest. Billions of years ago, the granite that forms the crest of Old Rag was thousands of feet underground. With time, the rocks uplifted to the point where they now perch atop this 3,268--foot mountain. At the same time, the igneous rock that once surrounded today's boulders eroded and exposed them. Seeing these rocks, shrouded in all the various weather conditions is one of the reward of hiking to the summit of Old Rag. Another reward includes completing a quick self-taught course in "rock scrambling 101" as you scramble over and under boulders. The first 2/3 of the hike is on a trail through the trees, while the upper part is open and rocky with rock scrambling up to the summit.

Trail Information

Nearby City: Sperryville
Length: 8 total miles
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Strenuous due to some rock scrambling to the summit (no special gear required for the rock scramble).
Trailhead Elev: 1200 feet
Elevation Gain: 2200 feet
Elevation at Summit: 3291 feet
Highlights: Mile long rock scramble and vistas
Wildlife: Deer, foxes, black bears, skunks, and bobcats

Weather Information
This hike is rain or shine! Click here to see the trail forecast.

Carpool Information
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station. Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.

DC Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the metro DC area, meetup at the Centerville Park and Ride. Click here for information and directions to the Centerville location. Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.

If you can drive or want to carpool from any locations such as the DC area, please post your location and needs in the comment section below. Click here for suggested carpool locations complete with directions. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!

Directions to the Trailhead

Click Here for Directions to Where We Meet for This Hike.

Hike is at 8:30 a.m.

Carpool time from Savage Station is 6:00 a.m.

Carpool time from Centerville is 6:45 a.m.

Gear Suggestions and Information
Click here for suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.

Fido is NOT Welcome on this Hike Due to Trail Restrictions


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  • Kellie C.

    Thank you Priyanga for volunteering to lead this hike!

    1 · June 24, 2013

  • Eddie Benjamin Ware J.

    Priyanga thank you for yet another great hike! Brian thank you for sweeping! Hope to see everyone on future hikes!

    1 · May 6, 2013

  • Knox

    Great hike. The rock scramble was a lot of fun.

    1 · May 6, 2013

  • Kat

    Great hike! It was wonderful meeting everyone! See you on the trails!

    2 · May 6, 2013

  • Cathy

    Thanks, Priyanga, for a perfect hike!

    2 · May 5, 2013

  • David C.

    Thank you Priyanga! It was a great hike and fun group of hikers to enjoy the day with.

    2 · May 5, 2013

  • Veronica

    Is anyone driving from Arlington or carpooling in Centreville? Happy to share gas!

    May 2, 2013

    • Veronica

      Hi Kat: I have to bow out due to skin allergy. Thanks for offering the ride. Hope to see you at future hikes!

      May 4, 2013

    • Kat

      Thanks for letting me know

      May 4, 2013

  • Thom

    Injured wrist so the scramble won't work

    May 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Would anyone like to carpool from Savage Station? It sounds like parking might be tight at trailhead. I can drive.

    May 4, 2013

  • Liz J.

    Ugg ... twisted ankle! Was so looking forward to this hike ... have a wonderful time :)

    May 3, 2013

  • Kellie C.

    How to Move from the Wait list to a “Yes” - If you are on the wait list, you will get an e-mail as slots become available. It is a “first come first serve” system for available slots. Slots are open to everyone, whether on the wait list or not. However, being on the wait list will make certain that you are notified when open slots become available as well as letting me know to look for another leader if the trails (and parking) can accommodate it and still comply with our Leave No Trace pledge. Click the following link for how to get off the wait list and RSVP “yes”, Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need further assistance as that is what I am here for.

    May 3, 2013

  • Kat

    I am driving from Herndon/Sterling area. Does anyone want to carpool and drive with me? I can fit an additional 3-4 (depending on how cozy we want to be!), email me at [masked] if you are interested and we can coordinate!

    April 23, 2013

    • Kat

      Still have 3 spaces if anyone wants to carpool! I can be flexible for where we meet.

      May 2, 2013

  • Enas

    Still not fully recovered, enjoy

    May 1, 2013

  • Priyanga

    Hi all,

    Looking forward to Old Rag on Sunday. This is a strenuous hike with rock scrambling, so please be prepared.

    Since this is a full hike with a long waiting list, please be considerate and update your RSVP if you can no longer attend so someone else can take your spot. Note that anyone can sign up for an open spot, however only folks on the waiting list will get notified by email when spots become available. Let me know if you have any questions, I'm here to help. Should be a fun hike - see you Sunday!


    May 1, 2013

  • Dao P.

    Hi Priyanga, I am a newbie in the area but not newbie in hiking. Let me know if someone drops out.

    April 30, 2013

  • Priyanga

    Hi all, we moved up the start time of this hike to 8:30am to avoid some of the congestion that comes with this popular trail in warmer weather. Look forward to seeing you there!

    1 · April 22, 2013

  • Selma H.

    I just did the Old Rag + Mount Robertson Hike. When we arrived at Old Rag Parking Lot at 9:00 am, it was almost full. The Old Rag trail was packed with people. We couldn't move at some points going uphill. Thinking it is one of the most popular hikes at this time of the year, I am wondering if you would consider revising the start time of the hike.

    1 · April 20, 2013

14 went

Your organizer's refund policy for Old Rag Mountain! A Strenuous Hike and Rock Scramble in SNP!

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 2 day(s) before the Meetup

Additional notes: 100% Refund with no questions asked if your RSVP is changed to a "NO" prior to 48 hour before hike time!

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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