News Release

Shenandoah National Park releases details for Old Rag pilot project

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Date: January 21, 2022
Contact: Claire Comer, (540) 999-3500 x3183

LURAY, VA - Shenandoah National Park will begin a pilot project designed to improve the visitor experience and protect fragile resources at Old Rag, one of the Park’s most popular hiking destinations. The pilot is intended to help the Park evaluate and possibly adapt to a permanent system in the future. Park management will share its analysis after the one-year trial. 

Starting March 1, 2022 hikers who wish to use trails in the Old Rag area (Saddle, Ridge, and Ridge Access) will need to obtain a day-use ticket in advance for visits March through November. Ticket availability will be limited to 800 per day. During the one-year pilot, tickets will be $1. 

A recent visitor-use and expectations study indicated significant crowding and congestion at Old Rag during certain times of the year. The study also revealed that most visitors agree that limiting users would improve their experience and safety, and better protect the rare ecological communities found on Old Rag.  

Hikers must purchase their tickets in advance via Tickets will NOT be available at the Old Rag fee station, and there is very little cell phone coverage in the area. Tickets may be purchased up to 30 days in advance and are valid for the day of arrival only. Although a total of 800 tickets will be available for each day, 400 will be released 30 days in advance and the remaining 400 will be released five days in advance. A day-use ticket does not guarantee a parking spot and entrance fees still apply in addition to the day-use ticket. Tickets will become available on February 1, 2022 at

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About the National Park Service: Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of America’s more than 400 national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with millions of people every year. Learn more at 

Last updated: January 21, 2022

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Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835


540 999-3500
Emergency Phone: 1-800-732-0911

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