Trip Report: Hike on Old Rag Mountain
Nicholas Seaman, Uriah Simonton, Sarah Beth Cassel, Rodney Whitman and Dan McQueen hiked Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park on Saturday, Nov. 3. Nic and Uriah came with full packs of climbing gear as a climbing guidebook said there is some of the best rock climbing in the Mid-Atlantic on Old Rag.
Old Rag is the best known hike in this region. It is an interesting and challenging circuit hike of about eight miles featuring more than 2,000 vertical feet of climbing with the last mile a boulder and rock scramble up a ridge. On a clear day there are beautiful 360 degree views from the top.
Due to the popularity of this hike we started at the lower parking lot with hundreds of others. This added two miles to the hike. After a mile hiking up along the road we started up the Ridge Trail through the woods for another two miles, passing most of the crowd.
We emerged onto the rocky ridge with great views. At a spot where the trail is very narrow and difficult to climb we encountered a long line waiting to get through. Uriah and Nic climbed a steep wall and disappeared. A short time later, Sarah Beth and Rodney climbed a steep crack in the wall. We assembled up the trail where Nic and Uriah found one of the climbing rocks they were looking for and stopped to do some rock climbing.
Sarah Beth, Rodney and Dan continued to the summit for lunch as a bagpiper played Amazing Grace (photo above). The trio descended the easy way around the mountain back to the parking lot. We completed the 9.7-mile circuit hike climbing and descending 2,590 feet in about 4½ hours.