Hiking Old Rag Mountain – Shenandoah National Park

Hi again — I’m back to share pictures from this weekend! I hope you all had nice long holiday weekends — or a great regular weekend — too. On Friday, Matt and I went hiking at one of our favorite spots — Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.


Old Rag is one of our very favorite hikes — we’ve hiked it a few times now but not for years, so it was great to get back out there!


Old Rag is one of the more challenging hikes in Shenandoah National Park — it’s between 6 and 8 miles round trip, depending which routes up and down you take, with lots of steep up and down hill and a fun rock scramble for the last couple miles.

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It took us about 6 hours to do the hike — we had amazing weather and enjoyed taking our time, hanging out, and seeing the gorgeous views from the top.



It was seriously stunning up there!


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It makes sense that the view is so great from the top — check out that elevation!


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Since photos really don’t do this hike justice, I took a video for you guys at the top of the mountain! It was taken from the spot where we were in the very first picture in this post, and Matt even makes a cameo :) Enjoy!


Have any of you guys done this hike? Or hiked in Shenandoah before? Matt and I also love hiking White Oak Canyon Trail.

Oh, and guess what?! While on our hike Friday, we saw a BEAR and a bobcat! The bear went right across the trail about 25 feet in front of us literally 5 minutes into the hike. We stopped dead in our tracks, not sure what to do. We saw another couple coming up the trail a few minutes later, so we joined forces with them and decided to forge on. Scary! And the bobcat was right after we finished the hike and were coming out onto the road — it was cute, like a big house cat!

I’m off to my dietetic internship — have a great day!


  1. 1

    Oh my gosh it’s SO beautiful! Love the picture of your between the rocks ;)

  2. 2

    Ok, I want to go hiking NOW!
    Love seeing the video, too.

  3. 3

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I have wanted to go hiking in the Shenandoah and was looking for suggestions! What a beautiful day to go on a hike!

  4. 4

    Gorgeous! I’ve never actually hiked Old Rag but I have planned to many times, and something seems to come up each time! ugh…I will get out there soon, it looks so awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  5. 5

    Oh gosh — that one with you each in the thread of the needle rocks reminds me so much of 127 Hours!! Be careful giiirl! Haha

  6. 7

    What a gorgeous hike! Unbelievable views!! My four year old and I love hiking. We have been having a great time exploring our local trails and mountains. Sounds ridiculous but I had no idea how much nature was right in my backyard.

  7. 8

    Gorgeous! I have friends that live in the Shenandoah Valley and it’s absolutely breathtaking. Glad you and Matt had a wonderful weekend. We went hiking as well and had a great time, but not as elaborate as you guys had.

  8. 9

    All I can say is, “Wow!” Really neat…

  9. 10

    How awesome :-)
    I LOVE mountain climbing!!!
    Great photos, felt like I was there
    (wishful thinking ;-)

  10. 11
    Samantha Kepler says:

    Hey Anne! I hiked Old Rag on Friday too and it was gorgeous. Glad you had such a great time :)

  11. 13

    What amazing pictures! You guys are so cute together.

  12. 14

    Awesome photo’s. I know this is the mama in me, but Anne, what kind of defense do you guys take with you for bears. They eat people and so do bob cats. But other than that, the scenery is spectacular. Good job.

  13. 15

    Omg a bear and a bobcat??? OMGGG!

  14. 16

    This looks like so much fun!! I live in Northern Illinois were bunny hills are mountains. No hiking here.

  15. 17

    Yep, I hiked it in the winter, so I’m excited to hike it in the summer or fall one day. I think I might make plans to do it when the leaves change!!! That’s crazy you saw the bobcat and the bear!! Definitely scary.

  16. 18

    I have YET to do Old Rag!! Was it cooler at the top?

    And OMG a bear!!

  17. 20

    I love to hike, but have never been to Old Rag! its sound amazing though! I get soo soo soo excited when I see animals during hikes too :) haha

  18. 21

    pictures are truly breathtaking-I’m sure the actual scene was 10x better! Loved the video! A hike are definitely added to my to-do list before summer is gone!

  19. 22

    These are gorgeous. It’s the second set of beautiful hiking pictures I’ve seen this morning- makes me want to go climb a mountain!!

  20. 23
    Lindsay says:

    Love Shenandoah! When I was teaching at a boarding school in PA, a bunch of the middle schoolers from Mexico had nothing to do for the long Easter weekend one year. They begged to go hiking because most of them lived in Mexico City and had never been. So, I agreed to chaperone and the girls were amazed by the wildlife (we saw a ton of deer). My favorite was when one of the girls asked me what the “green stuff” was on the rocks. Moss :)

  21. 25

    This is my favorite place to hike!! We go every fall to watch the leaves change and it’s so incredibly beautiful!

  22. 26

    Old Rag was my 2nd date with my current boyfriend. We got a late start due to a noon Pilates class I had and an impulsive stop at Pearmund Cellars for a wine tasting. I wasn’t in super shape (it was April and I had had a lazy winter) and I kept referring to my heart rate monitor (and the fact that it was super high) as a reason to rest on the way up, I didn’t want to look lazy. He surprised me at the top with a picnic and a bottle of wine he packed in. We had a romantic picnic and then pretty much ran down the fire road in the dark (with me leading the way). Got out around 9:30. One of the best dates I have ever been on.

    • 27

      Awwww. What a cute date! :) Man, we hate that fire road. It’s never-ending and so boring! This past time we went back out through the way we came in (rock scramble, etc.) just to avoid the fire road, ha.

  23. 28

    Have hiked Old Rag more than 10 times. Best was doing it in reverse last Saturday (up the Weakley Hollow Fire Road first). Set out at 4AM from the parking lot 8/10 of a mile from the trailhead with headlamps and got to the summit in time for sunrise. Stunning pictures as the sun came up. I took the ridge trail across the scramble and was back at the parking lot before the weekend warriors really started packing in.

    Good pictures. If you like Old Rag, Strickler Knob outside of Luray in GWNF is also a nice hike with rock scrambling and great views.

    Lastly, a black bear is nothing to be scared of. They are much more frightened of you and the chances of them attacking is extremely rare. When you see one, take some time to enjoy seeing him/her and then make some noise and they’ll be on their way in a hurry.

    • 29

      Wow – I bet the sunrise on the top of the mountain was incredible. Jealous! I’ve done Strickler Knob, too, and also love it. I need to do that one again soon! Glad to hear about the bears, too. :)

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