Old Rag is one of Virginia's natural treasures. Combining a wooded trail hike with a fun rock scramble, you're rewarded with an unforgettable view at the top.

As far as hikes go, it doesn't get much prettier than Old Rag Mountain. The forest path, the funky boulders, and the incomparable summit vistas make it one of the most popular destinations for tourists and Virginians alike.

Getting to Old Rag Mountain depends on where you're coming from. Pull up a map of the park and keep in mind that the closest entrance station is Thornton Gap. Follow the signs to the Old Rag parking area and begin the 0.8-mile walk to the trailhead.

Once there, you have several options of how to get to the top. They vary in distance and difficulty, so do your homework.

rock scramble

Courtesy of Shenandoah National Park

Before you head out, make sure you prepare well for the hike. Dress for the weather and make sure you've got layers you can take off as you warm up. Don't forget to bring enough water for each person; you're going to need it!

Old Rag mountain

Photo by Tony Petrocelly

Know Before You Go

  • Due to its popularity, you can expect crowds during good weather weekends. Try going during the week or extra early if you prefer quieter surroundings.
  • As a national park, the hiking trail is maintained by park rangers, but you may not see any during your visit.
  • Clean up after yourself and leave nothing but footprints behind!
  • The total hike is just under 10 miles from the parking area. Stay hydrated and take your time.
  • Don't forget to take a picture at the top! You may not be the selfie type, but you won't want to skip a summit shot.

Have you hiked Old Rag? Do you have any tips for first-timers? Let us know in the comments!