Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Old Rag Mountain

The title of this post probably sounds like either some horror film or an old Disney/Hayley Mills movie, like there are crazy mutant people hiding behind trees ready to kill your friends or as if there was some secret about the mountain that a 13-year old girl discovers . . . Sorry to disappoint you all, but Old Rag is just a mountain in Shenandoah National Park that we happened to hike this past Saturday.

Old Rag Mountain is located about 1.5 to 2 hours away from downtown Washington, DC (depending on what kind of traffic you hit on I-66) not too far from the cute little town of Sperryville, Virginia . . .

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Old Rag Mountain is one of the most popular hikes in Shenandoah National Park, probably because it boasts of a great rock scramble and breathtaking panoramic views of the Virginia countryside, Shenandoah Valley, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is one of my favorite hikes just because it has a good variety of difficulty levels and is 8.5 miles in total, which is good for that calorie burn!

Anyway, Chris and I had hiked it last fall, sort of by accident, so we I decided we would hike it again this past Saturday in the hopes of beating the crowds and actually enjoying the rock scramble and views. We left our house around 7am, and after stopping for gas, paying the National Park fee, and using the restroom, we started our hike around 9am. The first few miles aren't strenuous, granted, you are going up and definitely begin to feel the burn, but it is the last mile to the summit that is the most fun.

And once you reach the top, it is great to sit your butt down on the rocks, eat some snacks protein, and take in the views! (Including the crazy hiker guy we saw who was wearing something similar to snow/ski boots, pictured below.)

See the crazy boots behind me?!
Great views!
Demonstrating how to "hop" on the rocks.

 The hike back down is relatively uneventful. You have the usual switchbacks and then an endless fire road. The most exciting part of our hike back down were the butterflies . . .that were feeding on horse poo. Eww.

Butterflies . . . Had to!
Even though the end of the hike is kinda boring for our taste, the views and the hard work to get to the top are worth it! We got to our car a little after 1pm (4 hour hike isn't bad!) got home around 3:30pm, so it made for a great day trip and a gooood workout.

I love going out to Shenandoah to camp and hike, however, I think I really love making the trek out there because the Virginia countryside and forests remind me so much of Missouri! Love the fresh air, and endless country roads with cute farm houses and silos . . . Love the trees and hills, and the crunch of leaves and rocks under your feet . . . so, if any of you want to go hiking or camping out there with us, let me know!


  1. I saw the pictures on FB this morning and it looked like so much fun! (more of what I anticipated doing in Colorado....)

  2. All I can think of when I read "Shenandoah" is the fantastic Statesmen marching band playing that song at every football game (picture the climax with the high knees)!


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