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black Dragon's Tooth

  4.7 ( 18 ) Favorite


4.8 mile 7.7 kilometer loop
79% Runnable


Ascent: 1,162' 354 m
Descent: -1,174' -358 m
High: 2,889' 880 m
Low: 1,774' 541 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)


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Trail shared by Trail Run Project Staff

A trail to an aptly-named outcrop of Tuscarora quartzite straddling Craig and Roanoke Counties!

Trail Run Project Staff

Features River/Creek · Views


This fun loop run is a great way to


Parking is directly off VA 311. From the Dragon's Tooth parking area, head towards the information kiosk and restrooms located at the rear of the parking area. The blue-blazed Dragon's Tooth Trail begins at the kiosk.

Go about 0.25 miles, crossing two small bridges before arriving at the intersection of the yellow-blazed Boy Scout connector trail. There are a couple of camping spots at this intersection, and if the creek is running, they are the only camping spots on the whole trail with a water source. You'll use the Boy Scout connector trail on the return trip. Bear to the right on the blue-blazed Dragon's Tooth Trail.

For the next 1.4 miles you'll cross the creek or creek bed about 7-8 times on a steady but easy climb to the intersection of the white blazed Appalachian Trail (A.T.) There are some great camping spots (no water source) at this intersection. Turn right onto the A.T., heading south towards the Dragon's Tooth.

Now the fun begins! The next 0.7 miles is one of the toughest parts of the A.T. that we have taken. The trail becomes very rocky, climbing multiple series of rock steps, the trail seemingly clinging to the edge of the mountain at times, near the top at two different places you'll use a series of U-shaped iron bar steps embedded in the rock due to the steepness of the trail, and a few overlooks to give you a breather prior to reaching the intersection of the blue-blazed Dragon's Tooth Spur Trail, bear left. Imagine doing this part of the trail as an A.T. thru-hiker with 25-35+ lbs on your back!

From there, it is less than 0.3 miles to Dragon's Tooth on an easy path. Keep your eyes open on the left for a paths leading to overlooks prior to reaching Dragons Tooth. Be sure to circle behind the Tooth, as there is a crevice that makes it possible to climb onto the Tooth. It is not the easiest climb, and if you don't feel comfortable, don't do it, be safe! There are plenty of good views without climbing the Tooth.


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Jun 3, 2019
Nicholas Pitrone
5.6mi — 2h 08m
Oct 22, 2017
Gabe Cisneros
Started at 624. A few trees down closer to the road. Footing is not the best, be careful. Rest of the trail is clear. — 3h 00m

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 18 votes


  4.7 from 18 votes
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