One of the best ways to explore Shenandoah National Park is by hiking one of its spectacular trails – and none is more popular than Old Rag Mountain. This Virginia peak is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is known for its rocky summit composed of Old Rag Granite and its challenging terrain. If you make it to the 3,921-foot summit, you'll be rewarded with some of the most incredible panoramic views of Shenandoah Valley.
As one of the most popular hikes in the Mid-Atlantic region, Old Rag Mountain can get very crowded. Plan to arrive early in the morning on a weekday if possible to get the most enjoyment out of your trek. If you're a seasoned hiker, you can follow the nine-mile circuit hike on the Ridge Trail, which includes a rock scramble with narrow passages and hand-over-hand climbing spots. You can also opt for a less strenuous 5.4-mile, out-and-back hike.
No matter which Old Rag Mountain hike you choose, remember to prepare properly for your safety and success. This hike through Shenandoah National Park is advised for experienced hikers who are in good physical shape – particularly with good upper body strength to complete the rock scramble. Before your hike, buy a Shenandoah National Park entrance permit at Old Rag Fee Station, and only attempt the hike if weather permits. Old Rag Mountain may take seven or eight hours to complete, so pack plenty of water and snacks, wear comfortable hiking shoes, and bring along a headlamp just in case. Don't forget to bring your camera – you'll want to capture those amazing views of Shenandoah from the Old Rag summit!
Hiking Old Rag is a fun way to see Shenandoah National Park – and with a little planning, you'll be sure to have a great hiking experience. Schedule your visit to Shenandoah and plan your Old Rag Mountain hike today!