A rather challenging 9.5 miles hike with switchbacks and rock scrambles located in Shenandoah National Park. The amazing view of the Blue Ridge Mountains makes Old Rag trail loop one of the most popular hikes in the National Park despite its difficulty. You will not find any sort of solitude on this trail, be prepared for crowds. Hiking Old Rag is still worth the trip and should be on everyone’s VA nature bucket list.
The parking was recently expanded to accommodate more hikers and locals after will sell you a spot in their front yard. The trail is a loop so you can go clockwise or counterclockwise. This depends on which part you want to tackle the rock scramble. Clockwise means you will be climbing the scramble while counterclockwise means you’ll descend the scramble. The most popular direction is clockwise and is described below.
The start of the trail is pretty steep and after the switchbacks, you’re greeting with the rock scramble which is more like a boulder scramble. At the summit, be prepared for bugs. I recommend bringing bug spray as the gnats and flies are relentless on the summit where you’ll most likely want to enjoy the food with a small picnic. The way down clockwise is where you’ll spend the most time hiking, and be prepared for the last 1/2 mile which is a soul-crushing uphill to the parking lot. Be prepared to spend the whole day here