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“Be Prepared”

Old Rag Mountain Hike
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Vienna, VA
Level Contributor
178 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Be Prepared”
Reviewed 17 May 2014

All the reviews are spot on - this is a great hike. But on a warm day we saw a ton of people heading up in the afternoon (as we were headed down) dressed in workout gear (shorts and a shirt) and carrying a small bottle of water. We felt a bit silly with our hydration packs, snacks, rain gear, first-aid kit, etc. About 3 PM the black clouds came rolling in with torrents of freezing cold rain, high winds and a 25 degree drop in the temperature. We missed it, but I felt for the dozens for folks up on the mountain and not prepared.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank George K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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259 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Northern Virginia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Fun Hike, Great Views, but there are crowds”
Reviewed 1 May 2014

I came here on a weekend in mid-April, hoping not too many people would be heading out here yet since school is still in session and all.

We had heard it can get packed, so we aimed to get there early to ensure a parking spot and hopefully less people. The parking area wasn't too full but there were definitely people there already starting. I'd peg it at about 1/8 full when we arrived around 8:30am.

There was constantly people in front and behind us during the hike and we were either passing people or being passed. There were precious few moments when we could walk alone and enjoy the solitude. Even though were were one of the earlier ones, as the boulder scrambling came about, there was a little bit of a line (maybe 3-4 people in front you had to wait for). The Old Rag peak was large enough that we could find our own little area to take photos, but again, you have people milling around. I can see this hike getting very crowded if you come here late and I'd imagine the boulder scrambling line to get pretty long since some passes are narrow enough for one person at a time. If you are looking for quiet solitude, this isn't it. It does have some great views and is a good workout.

We got back to the parking lot around 1:30pm. On our return trip we saw masses of people starting their hike. So relieved we weren't doing this at the peak hour. The parking lot was also pretty darn full, with a handful of spots opening up from the people who arrived earlier in the morning and are starting to leave. Its a worthwhile hike but I have to reiterate--don't expect quiet solitude and GET THERE EARLY!

Visited April 2014
1 Thank Sweet P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reva, Virginia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A challenge worth taking on”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

I live within 30 minutes of Old Rag and have done it often. It is a ten mile hike up a mountain and crawling across granite rock scramble. The whole loop is about ten miles and can take 6-10 hours. Be sure to take food water band aids appropriate clothes including a pair of gloves for grabbing onto granite in rock scramble. It will save fingertips. This is rated as a very difficult hike so should consider both length of hike and gaining altitude. If you start up the Ridge Trail side, you will get the most difficult part up front. The back end is a fire road and easier at that end. Get there early as parking is limited(by early, before 9 on weekend days). Park service fees apply and a ranger is usually on hand. Expect crowds. I am very slow, take lots of breaks and there are many places to pull off trail and rest. Tough but one of the best experiences I have ever had hiking. Views from the top are killer!

If you want a hike with less of a climb, Nicholson Hollow Trail is at the same location and does not climb the mountain but goes around.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank Linda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
44 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Large Rocks!”
Reviewed 7 April 2014

This is a very good and rewarding hike. You hike for a few hours in a forest and then you reach the rocky top part and climb around and over large boulders until you reach the top. The view is amazing.

Visited June 2013
Thank GWStudent07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sperryville, Virginia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Start Early on the Weekend”
Reviewed 18 February 2014

We hike Old Rag once a year, when the leave turn, since we look at it daily. I like to see my place from up high. It is a good hike up, take your own food and water since there are no amenities at the parking. Allow a good 1/2 day since you want to spend some time at the top. Enjoy the drive to and from on Virginia SR 231 between Madison and Sperryville. Some say it is the best drive in Virginia, so if you are coming from the south or north, follow it the whole course after your hike back to 211 or 29 and enjoy this little piece of heaven.

Visited October 2013
Thank Czexan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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