Last weekend, I made the 4-hour drive down to Virginia to meet up with a friend and pay a visit to Shenandoah National Park to tackle the 10-mile Old Rag Mountain Hike. This trail had been on my list of must-do trails for a while, and while it is arguably one of the toughest hikes I have ever done, the views were 100% worth it! The Old Rag hike is one of the most popular Shenandoah hikes, and while we hardly ran into any other hikers (we went on a Friday), weekends lead to much bigger crowds. Old Rag Mountain is a 3,284 ft tall mountain located near Sperryville, VA, and the hike takes at least 4-5 hours to complete. This might be one of my favorite hikes that I've ever done, and while my friend has completed it several times, this was my first, but certainly not my last time. Below I will go into detail about the hike, the rock scrambles, and of course include plenty of pictures of the spectacular views!
*The trailhead/Ranger Station is located at 2577 Nethers Rd, Etlan, VA 22719*
We decided it would be a good idea to hike this trail on a 90 degree, sunny day, and imediately questioned our sanity as we tackled the first two completely uphill miles (with frequent breaks). Red faced, and out of breath, we approaching mile 3 and the wooded trail slowly started to transition into an open trail with views of the mountains below.
We stopped at our first overlook where my friend assured me we were pretty close to the summit. As we continued on, we reached our first 365 degree viewpoint at the minor northerly summit where we stopped for a snack, captured some pictures, and of course took in the stunning view.