Trail Run Project Logo

An extremely popular run, and for good reason, with awesome scrambling and stunning views.

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







3,221' 982 m


859' 262 m


2,362' 720 m


2,359' 719 m



Avg Grade (6°)


Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife

No camping above 2,800 feet.

General Park Pass Info
  • Shenandoah Annual Pass - $55
  • Shenandoah Single Vehicle Fee (7 days) - $30
  • Shenandoah "Per Person" Fee (walk-up/7 days) - $15
  • Shenandoah Motorcycle Fee (7 days) - $25
  • Campground Fees (per site/night) - $15 to $20

Camping Information


This loop is totally worth it, but make sure you are ready for a lot of people because this is so close to a bunch of cities it gets a ton of traffic even on less-than-ideal days. Do not let this deter you, as this is a classic run. Just be sure to get an early start.

Need to Know

IMPORTANT: Shenandoah now requires pre-purchased tickets to access any part of this trail in addition to the park pass. You CANNOT purchase day-of tickets in the parking lot!

This is a popular rock climbing spot. Do not throw things off of the cliffs. Check out Mountain Project's Shennendoah National Park climbing beta if you're interested in climbing in the park.

Big backpacks can be cumbersome. The NPS recommends a fanny pack, but a small backpack would be fine. Squeezing through those boulders might just be a tad bit harder.


Park at the Old Rag parking lot and pay the Park fee (see the Restrictions notes). Ridge Trail is the most popular way to get to the top of Old Rag. It is steep, long and requires a lot of rock scrambling. If you get hurt here it can take hours to be rescued so only do this run if you are prepared.

Follow the road about 0.8 miles to the trailhead, which should be marked in blue. If you continue straight, you'll go onto Weakley Hollow Fire Road, which can be taken to do this loop in the opposite direction. To complete this loop as mapped, turn left onto Ridge Trail, which starts as a fairly gradual uphill to the first viewpoint, in approximately two miles. From here, the trail becomes rockier until the second viewpoint. After this, the run quickly turns into more of a climb. There are often tight passages between rocks and stone staircases. If your backpack is too big it might require you to remove it in order to squeeze through the rocks.

After another mile, you'll reach the summit, which is especially fantastic in the fall. There can be rock climbers around the summit, so please do not throw things off the cliffs. After enjoying the view, head down the southwestern side of the mountain via the various staircases leading to a day-use shelter called Byrd's Nest.

Head down the stone stairs for another mile or so. From there, you'll reach Old Rag day-use shelter which has an outhouse you can use. Continue down the rest of the way until you reach an intersection with Berry Hollow Fire Road and Weakley Hollow Fire Road.

Turn right and head down the yellow-marked Weakley Hollow Fire Road. You'll pass a few trails on your left but just stay straight. On your way back, you'll see the Ridge Trail off to your right and eventually, you'll be back at your car!

Flora & Fauna

You are likely to see deer and other wildlife, as well as a steady profusion of wildflowers during the spring, summer, and fall. Watch for changes in vegetation as you gain altitude.


Shared By:

KC93 Ci with improvements by Theodore Harkness

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 287 votes


  4.8 from 287 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Recommended Route Rankings


in Virginia


67 Views Last Month
31,260 Since May 28, 2015
Difficult Difficult



Colorful of fall foliage is the awesome feeling and smell
May 29, 2015 near Stanley, VA
This rocky outcrop defies logic in a great section of the Old Rag rock scramble.
Jul 4, 2017 near Stanley, VA
Old Rag Mountain Summit
Dec 29, 2017 near Stanley, VA
Beautiful and shaded hike back from the summit.
Sep 22, 2019 near Stanley, VA
View from the trail
Jun 7, 2022 near Stanley, VA
View from the trail
Jun 7, 2022 near Stanley, VA


Current Trail Conditions

Minor Issues 52 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started.