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Old Rag Mountain Hike! (Shenandoah National Park)

Old Rag Mountain Hike!

Intermediate Difficulty (Strenuous at Times)

Since the government shutdown has finally ended, let's try this again!

It's time to kick it into high gear and hike one of the most popular trails in the Shenandoah National Park. First off, while the hike is beautiful and absolutely worth it, it can be strenuous at times and should only be attempted by people in reasonable shape. There is a lot of uphill climbing and you will have to navigate some rocks. That being said, last time I went, there were 12 year old kids and 60 year old ladies hiking the trail, but only you know your own capabilities. The Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group offers a nice description here.

The hike will take a minimum of 4 hours and you should bring some lunch items to eat on the trail. We will meet in the Old Rag Mountain parking lot at 10:30 am. Please note that it will take at least an hour and 45 minutes driving from D.C. It is important that you arrive on time (or better yet, early) because we will be starting promptly at 10:30 am!

Meet next to the ranger pay station in the parking lot. Due to limited cell reception, you will be unable to contact me via cellphone upon arrival. If you aren't there by 10:30 am, you'll be left behind.

Hike Info (borrowed from Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group)

Nearby City: Sperryville
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


TRANSPORTATION: You will need a car to get to the trail head. I can offer rides for up to two people in my car. Please leave a message/text me if you would like to grab a ride with me (you'll have to meet me at Twinbrook Metro station on the Red Line).

If you still need a ride, or can offer a ride, please leave a comment below. Note that you will need to get an early start to make it to the trail on time.

LENGTH/DIFFICULTY: The hike will take a minimum of 4 hours to complete. This will be an all day event, so plan accordingly. The hike can be strenuous, but if you are in reasonable shape you'll be fine.

DIRECTIONS: I am borrowing the directions provided by the Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group. Please note that it's 1 hour and 45 minutes from DC to the hike parking lot. Factor in travel time:

Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group Directions

Google Driving Directions

We will meet in the parking lot and walk to the trail head together. If you can't find us, give me a call on my cellphone.

PARK FEE: There is a $15 fee to park and use the trail. It can be paid at the ranger station at the parking lot.

CONTACT: Please do not hesitate to call or text me. My number is (301) 758-1144.

NOTE: There is limited (and at times, zero) cell-phone reception at the parking lot and on the trail. It is imperative that you be on time, because there will be no means of contacting me if you're running late or are lost.


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Wicked awesome!

    November 2, 2013

  • Bladen

    Thanks for coming out everybody! It was a beautiful day with great people.

    November 2, 2013

  • Brice T.

    Best hike I've ever been on.

    1 · November 2, 2013

  • Bladen

    Remember, we are meeting by the ranger station in the parking lot at 10:30 am. I will see you all there soon!

    November 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    As much as I love Old Rag, I'm going to have to cancel too. It'll be the last day that I can get an on the water rowing practice so I don't want to miss it.

    November 1, 2013

  • Simon

    Sorry to cancel last minute, I'm heading to the book signing by Col. Hadfield at the Air and Space Museum instead, have fun, take lots of pictures.

    October 31, 2013

  • Bladen

    Make sure you are there NO LATER than 10:30 am. The description incorrectly read 10:45 am and I have changed it. If you aren't there on time, you will be left behind. Cell-phone reception sucks and I won't be able to receive messages saying you're running late.

    October 31, 2013

  • Brice T.

    I'm located in Manassas if anyone needs a ride from there.

    October 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I can offer rides from around Reston or the Vienna metro.

    October 29, 2013

  • Job A.

    I have room. I can pick up at Rosslyn if needed.

    October 29, 2013

  • Bladen

    My car is full, but if anybody else is able to offer rides (or is in need of one), please post so here. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have space, so don't feel like you can't go because you don't have a car!

    October 29, 2013

  • Alex R.

    I'll be able to come if I can get a ride! I live in SE DC, or I can meet at any metro line, any time you set.

    October 28, 2013

  • James

    I'd be interested so long as I can get a ride there. No car for me.

    October 27, 2013

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