Random Summer Outing – Old Rag by Robyn

Sunrise And Old Rag, originally uploaded by kerch.

Robyn last wrote about Virginia’s Vineyards

Hike Old Rag Mountain

You know when you’re handed a finish-by-5pm-or-die project at work, and when you’re handed it you’re getting eyed by the overenthusiastic entry level 22 year old who wants your job, and you know if you don’t finish it the fate of the company will be in question and your nemesis may win? So you work your butt off and race to plop project down on boss’s desk and they say ‘good job, would you like a tissue for your forehead,’ and you did it.

Hiking Old Rag is a little like that.

Old Rag Mountain hike is one of Shenandoah National Park’s most popular hikes, because it combines rock scrambling, climbing through cracks, and nine view points. Hiking it takes over 5 hours, a lot of hand eye coordination, and hiking boots – which as an amateur, lackadaisical athlete I did not bring and instead wore my Sauconys from high school. Despite falling every couple of steps, I saw some very pretty scenery that made DC feel more than just a couple hours away. Now I’m not the type that gets emotional about nature, but when you I got to the summit and saw incredible views across Virginia, the Sound of Music soundtrack played in my head for a second. And then I realized I had to go down steep rocks in my Saucony sneakers, and the tune changed to something much more brooding.

What’s your favorite hike in Shenandoah?

5 Comment

  • Robertson Mountain trail, which shares the fire road with Old Rag is a good one, though it does not have the views or the scramble. However, if you hike it, you will likely be the only one on the trail – very peacefu. It is a pretty good work out too. I think you gain about 1500 feet in the first quarter mile.

  • I haven’t tried the hiking part, but I sure love floating down the river on an innertube. Butts Tubing is a good service provider for this lazy excursion. They even supply a mini-tube to carry your beer cooler along for the ride. Take the river as fast or slow as you want – you can simply pull over to a rock and hangout for a while if you like.

    Excellent times and I would recommend it to anyone. Next time I do it I plan to go camping nearby so as to not have need for a DD to bring us back to the District. Any recommendations for campsites near the tubing fun?

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2334964&id=638001812&ref=mf
    Joli and I hiked Old Rag on Tuesday. 8 1/2 miles, lots of elevation, scrambling, problem solving and views. Perfect late spring day. Used to do it in 5 hours, but took 6 this time. The route is a little trickier now and they’ve added a half mile between the “new” parking area and the trail head. I’m still a little sore, but Joli seems unfazed. Link to picture above.

  • The “Devils Stairs” hikes (Little and Big Devils Stairs, respectively):



  • I LOVE this hike. It is a bit dicey in the early spring as ice stays up there a bit longer. But that was also the best time to get decent weather AND avoid the crowds.

Comments are closed.