View of Old Rag with several images merged.
Sticky granite slabs & near splitter cracks on eastern of Shenendoah National Park ~90 miles from Washington DC.
2-5 mile approach (depending on crag). Good training hike/climb for flatlander suburbanites preparing for bigger goals.
Good non-climbing info at: www.hikingupward.com/SNP/OldRag/
Lots of touron traffic during autumn leaves-viewing season, so plan accordingly.
Beware of the directions in the Eric Horst book (grrrr).
Directions from Google Maps
From Washington DC metro area, outer loop of beltway:
Take exit 49 to merge onto I-66 W toward Front Royal/Manassas 21.7 mi.
Take exit 43A to merge onto Lee Hwy/US29 S toward Gainesville/Warrenton 11.5 mi
Take the US29 Bus/US211 W exit toward Luray/Warrenton/US-15 Bus 0.2 mi
Merge E Lee Hwy/US-211 W/US-29-BR S Continue on US-211 W/US-29-BR S 1.8 mi
Turn right at Frost Ave/US-211. Continue to follow US-211 27.0 mi
Turn left at Berryville Pike/US-522 0.1 mi
Turn left at Main St/US-522. Continue to follow US-522 0.7 mi
Turn right at Fort Valley Rd/VA-231 7.3 mi
Turn right at Sharp Rock Rd 1.2 mi
Turn right at Nethers Rd 2.2 mi
Large Parking lot will be on left. There are also ~10 parking spots at the trail head.
Parking fees may be required unless you have an annual SNP $20? or NPS/America-the-Beautiful $80 pass.
Browse More Classics in Old Rag
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Old Rag:
Featured Route For Old Rag
Photo: Dave Fiorucci
The official trail head sign in Shenandoah Nationa...
Bobcat resting in the early morning, shot along th...
Hikers atop Old Rag summit. Photo by Heather Sudlo...
Hiking out from Old Rag is always memorable.
|By Killing In The Name Of|
Jul 17, 2007
Old Rag is a jewel in the rough. If you like granite, here's a quiet little piece of Joshua Tree tucked away in the hills of Virginia. This area is hard to beat if you like trad routes on good rock and don't want to drive to the New and fight the crowds from NoVa (Northern Virginia) on the weekends. Fall and Spring are great; summer is something you are better off not finding out for yourself-NEVER COME HERE IN SUMMER! Black flies, Stinging nettle FORESTS taller than you and thicker than the Rhodos in North Carolina, searing heat, hungry bears-the list goes on. Winter can be cold, but on nice days you can get sunny 50 degree days that remind you why it's good to be alive. If you live in Virginia and haven't been here yet, you are missing out. I spent ten weekends climbing here and still haven't touched the potential. Oh My God Dihedral, Banana Crack, Bushwhack Crack, Strawberry Fields, The The, and Mosaic are classics worthy of any amount of hiking. Eric Horst's guidebook is the best resource, although you'll still be bushwhacking and getting lost regardless. Once you've been there a few times it's easy to get where you're going and a fun challenge to find the more obscure walls. A great area with a good balance of moderates and a few testpieces; old school ethics make this a wilderness treat.
From: Altadena, CA
Jul 24, 2007
You know, it's not *THAT* bad in the summer. I've climbed at the PATC wall in August and while it was sweaty work, it's a lot less crowded than Seneca or Great Falls... but if you have the choice, heading to North Carolina or the New would probably be a better idea. I think the Sunset Slabs are manageable in summer as well, if memory serves.
Climbing at the Reflector Oven or God's Area in summer would be a great way to get heat stroke, however. Those and the other gems at Old Rag are certainly best appreciated in winter. One of the more memorable trips I took up there was after an ice storm -- the trees near the summit looked like they were growing lead crystal place settings when the morning sun hit them. Quite likely the best winter climbing area anywhere near Washington, DC, but an adventurous spirit is required.
|By Ross Purnell|
Apr 9, 2009
Why does the overview say "beware of the directions in the Eric Horst book?" I followed those directions exactly and came to the Berry Hollow trailhead with no problems.
|By Aaron James Parlier|
From: Boone, NC / Grayson, VA
May 25, 2011
I've heard there is some awesome -largely undeveloped- bouldering up there that im quite interested in exploring. I dont know if you've looked at any of that but I would be very interested in hearing anyone's input on the matter. I also would really enjoy a copy of your guide to the place and I appreciate the offer as well. I know its tough to compile it all!
|By Aaron James Parlier|
From: Boone, NC / Grayson, VA
May 27, 2011
Thanks! I use Mtn Proj as a quick way to upload info for the guidebook im authoring for GHSP, so Im always on here. Plus Im stoked to hear about new places and climbs. I check MP as frequently as I do the weather and Emails... Im kind of a climbing nerd I suppose, but there are worse things out there to be. Yeah, Im excited to check out Old Rag for sure!
|By Ed Wade|
From: Hermann, MO
Aug 24, 2012
When I lived in Virginia I climbed at Old Rag only when the leaves were off the trees and when the days high temp was going to be 45 or above.If you plan on hiking up from Weakly Hollow it is wise to get there before 8am. The parking lot fills up quickly. It is better to hike in from Berry Hollow except if climbing anywhere beyond the approach to the God area (Whales Lip, Ridge Trail routes, etc.). If going to Old Rag for the 1st time try and make your way to the Reflector Oven. It is easy to see from the trail and once you are down there you can get your bearings. You will be able to see the corner and the left side of the Gods Area. The Horst guidebook is adequate so take it up there with you. If you are strictly a sport climber don't even think about making the hike. The real gems are the cracks. Bushwack and the Corner are as good as any climb anywhere. Try to enjoy the hike. It will make a world of difference.