Old Rag Mountain

Old Rag Mountain with its solid mass of rugged stones is perhaps one of the best known and challenging of the peaks in the Blue Ridge. It is also one of the highest Peaks (3291 feet) in the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Virginia. Old Rag as hiking resource is enormously popular, with over 100,000 visitors are logged each year. <p> The 4.5 mile Ridge Trail offers a challenging hike through wonderfully rocky terrain, including some physical scrambling through a mile of boulders, some house sized. It is reported to be the most popular hike in the Shenandoah National Park, and on nice weekends, it shows. Short delays are to be expected as inexperienced hikers balk at some of the scrambling. In addition as a climbing resource, Old Rag offers the finest and practically only granite climbing area between New Hampshire and North Carolina. The routes similarly varied, from friction to splitter cracks to simply bizarre. <p> Visitors hiking Old Rag must have a valid Shenandoah National Park entrance permit. Seven (7) day permits or yearly passes may be purchased from rangers, when present, or via self-pay in the Old Rag parking area. Parking is limited. Parking is not permitted along the road or on private property. There is no public transportation in the Old Rag area. <p> SAFETY: be prepared. Take plenty of water and wear sturdy shoes. Stay on the trail. Allow enough time to complete your hike before dark. BACKCOUNTRY CAMPING: There are limited opportunities for backcountry camping in the Old Rag area. Camping is prohibited above 2800' on Old Rag. Park boundary limitations must be observed and neighbors' property rights respected. Please do not trespass on private property. A backcountry camping permit is required and backcountry camping regulations are strictly enforced. The permit can be obtained at park entrance stations, visitor centers, or at a self-registration station. The selfregistration station is located in the Old Rag parking area. Note that Old Rag and Byrds Nest shelters are for day use only. Visitors may purchase detailed hiking maps at park visitor centers, entrance stations, and from some local merchants in the Old Rag area. <p> LEAVE NO TRACE of your visit. Pack out all trash and do not disturb, damage, or remove wildlife, plants, rocks, or historical artifacts. <p> Park Emergency Number: (800) 732-0911