Trail Run Project Logo

Rock Creek Park Loop: Western Ridge to Valley Trails

Intermediate
 4.0 (24) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A beautiful loop through Rock Creek Park, a D.C. Metro Area oasis.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

8.8

Miles

14.2

KM

99%

Runnable

305' 93 m

High

73' 22 m

Low

484' 147 m

Up

485' 148 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

9%

Max Grade (5°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

A complete natural escape from the busy streets of Washington, DC. The rugged and rocky terrain of the Valley Trail - South, and the smooth horse trail of the Western Ridge Trail, make for a solid run in the middle of the nation's capitol.

Need to Know

There are lots of unmarked trails that take you out of the park, so be sure to follow the blazes.

Description

From the parking area, head straight up the steep hill and into the woods on Western Ridge Trail. Western Ridge Trail is a mostly smooth trail traversing the entire western side of Rock Creek Park. Eventually, you'll cross over Military Road.

Continue on the bike path for roughly .25 miles before jumping back on the dirt up to the Maryland border.

At the border, cross the road/creek to pick up the Valley Trail - North and eventually Valley Trail - South all the way back to the parking area. These wonderful trails run along Rock Creek up to the Maryland border for about 5.6 Miles, but don't be fooled by the word "valley" in their names. The trails have plenty of elevation change as they twist and turn alongside the river.

Contrary to the Western Ridge Trail, the Valley Trail's path is a bit more rugged. Watch your footing through rocks, roots and narrow passages. While you'll find fewer runners along the Valley Trail, this is probably the most popular trail in the park and a great place to see wildlife like deer and black snakes.

This is the best that Rock Creek Park has to offer!

Contacts

Shared By:

Doug Hay

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 24 votes

#712

Overall
  4.0 from 24 votes
5 Star
29%
4 Star
46%
3 Star
21%
2 Star
4%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#712

Overall
241 Views Last Month
13,916 Since Jan 9, 2015
Intermediate

0%
0%
91%
0%
9%
0%

Photos

View of Rock Creek from the Valley Trail
Jan 9, 2015 near Washington, DC
Western Ridge Trail
Jan 9, 2015 near Washington, DC
Pine Trail.
Mar 8, 2016 near Washington, DC
Ash leaves.
Mar 8, 2016 near Washington, DC
Boulder Bridge over Rock Creek.
Mar 8, 2016 near Washington, DC
Yellow Trout Lily.
Apr 15, 2016 near Washington, DC

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 81 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Oct 31, 2020
Matt Hoover
9.3mi
Jul 21, 2020
Jackie Pova
9mi — 2h 10m
Jun 23, 2020
Matt H
Dec 31, 2019
George Koors
Dec 12, 2019
Carlos Angulo
To tY xxytT was try tu g tu toxt
Nov 23, 2019
Josh Lerner
Nov 1, 2019
George Koors
9.1mi — 1h 45m
Aug 29, 2019
Carlos Angulo
Hi tu St set you tu we hi tu tu tu

Stewarded By