The Old Rag Mountain hike in the Shenandoah National Park is a standout amongst the most popular hike in the middle of Atlantic region. With one of the most challenging rock scrambles in the park and many spectacular panoramic views, this circuit hike is a most loved of many hikers. Be set up for the crowds. This hike gets a star rating for isolation, so the best time to experience Old Rag is during the week when there are fewer people.
Begin With Your Hike
Since you know how to completely set yourself up for a day on Old Rag, you are prepared to start the experience! When you reached the parking area and paid your fee, you will walk the .8 mile route to the trailhead.
At the Trailhead
At the trailhead, there is extra information and a guide. Take the time to look at and understand the information posted there. Old Rag is host to many endangered and rare plants that live in the harsh rocky environment of the stone rocks. These plants are harmed by trampling. Take a moment to acquaint yourself with these important plants so you can be watchful for them.
There are a few ways to hike Old Rag, however, the most famous is a circuit that takes you up the Ridge Trail, through the rock scramble to the summit, then down the Saddle Trail to the Weakley Hollow Fire Road and back to where you started. The first 2 miles will be an undeniably more extreme climb along an excellent wooded trail. You are likely to see deer and other natural life and also a lot of wildflowers amid the spring, summer, and fall. Look for changes in vegetation as you gain up height.
The Hike Begins
Around 2 miles into the hike, you will be coming out of the forested areas onto the ridgetop. Here’s the place the fun starts. For the following mile and a half, you will climb, slide, shimmy, and crawl your way through and around giant granite rocks. Take after the blue blasts to keep on track so that you can lay on your camping chair. If you see a double blast, meaning the trail will take a sharp turn or climbing a steep hill.
What are those numbers?
You will likewise see numbers underneath the blasts. These are reference numbers for Search and Rescue workforce. Observe the numbers as you pass them. If you have to report an unexpected situation, having the capacity to give the staff the number will help them in their reaction.
As you make your way toward the summit you can pause at a few fantastic viewpoints, yet don’t stop there, in the end, you will make it to an unmatched 360-degree view. As you explore the boulders, see the topography of Old Rag. You’ll see quartz and feldspar and an extraordinary case of columnar jointing that structures a natural staircase. Notice, too the adjustment in vegetation.
Old Rag Summit
From the summit, you can look through the almost 200,000 protected land of Shenandoah National Park, parts of which is governmentally chosen the wild and natural area. Take some time to admire this preserved mountain and forest.
You are around 4 miles from your starting point. A few hikers return using the rock scramble. However, most want to proceed on the Saddle Trail. Particularly on busy weekends, trying the rock scramble reverse feels a lot like swimming upstream! As you go down the Saddle Trail, you will experience two shelters, first Byrd’s Nest, and after that the Old Rag Shelter. Both are day-utilize as it were. There is an open air privy at the Old Rag Shelter (somewhat over a mile from the summit). On the off chance that “nature calls” please utilize it rather than the outdoors. If you can’t make it to the privy, make certain to utilize Leave No Trace standards.