Thing to Do

Old Rag Circuit

A man extends his hand on top of a rock to a woman below.

From March 1 - November 30, visitors to Old Rag Mountain, including hikers on the Saddle, Ridge, and Ridge Access trails, will need to obtain an Old Rag day-use ticket in advance, in addition to a Park entrance pass. Find out more information on our Old Rag day-use ticket FAQ page.

Pets are not allowed on this hike. Featuring an adventurous rock scramble and a 360-degree view that makes ou feel like you're on top of the world, there's no wonder why Old Rag is the most popular destination in Shenandoah National Park. While highly rewarding, hiking to the summit is also very physically demanding and can be dangerous if you have not planned properly, so be sure to check out our Old Rag planning guide before you lace up your boots! 

Distance: 9.4-mile circuit hike
Difficulty: Very Strenuous (hiking difficulty scale)
Hiking Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
Elevation Gain: 2,348 feet

Hike Description

  1. From the Old Rag parking area at the Park boundary, take the blue-blazed Ridge Trail.
  2. Continue along the Ridge Trail, across the rock scramble and descend on the Saddle Trail (blue-blazed), which becomes a fire road after you pass Old Rag Shelter.
  3. At the T-intersection, go right and immediately right again at the fork onto Weakley Hollow Fire Road (yellow-blazed).
  4. Turn right onto the Ridge Access Trail and then left onto the Ridge Trail to return to your starting point.


The average hiking duration does not take into consideration fitness, exploration, rest, contemplation, etc.


Pets are prohibited on the Ridge, Saddle, and Ridge Access trails, as well as the section between Post Office Junction and Old Rag Shelter.

You must purchase a $1 Old Rag day-use ticket prior to going on this hike. A Park entrance pass is also required.

Directions to Old Rag Parking from Sperryville: From Route 211, turn onto Route 522 and follow it south for 0.8-mile. Turn right on Route 231, follow 8 miles, turn right onto Route 601 and follow signs to the Old Rag parking area, approximately 3 miles.
Directions to Old Rag Parking from Madison: From Route 29 Business, turn onto Route 231 and follow it for 12.8 miles. Turn left onto Route 602. Follow signs for the parking area. Old Rag parking is approximately 3 miles from the turn onto Route 602.

You must purchase an Old Rag day-use ticket prior to going on this hike.

Year Round
Accessibility Information

Although pets are not allowed on Old Rag Ridge Trail, Old Rag Saddle Trail, Ridge Access Trail, or Old Rag Access Trail, service animals are welcome. This trail does not meet ADA accessibility guidelines.

Shenandoah National Park

Map of Old Rag Area with roads and trails

Download the trail map
Click the image to download the trail map. Print it out at home or save it to your phone to take with you on your hike.

Last updated: March 2, 2023