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Old Rag Mountain Hike, Shenandoah National Park

4.9
#2 of 11 in Things to do in Shenandoah National Park
Hiking Trail Nature / Park
Old Rag Mountain is a popular hiking destination with a summit elevation of, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia's Madison County, near Sperryville.In contrast to most mountains of the Blue Ridge, Old Rag has an exposed (rocky) summit.GeologyOld Rag Mountain is underlain by Old Rag Granite, named for its ubiquitous exposure on the mountain, formed during the Grenville Orogeny about a billion years ago. About 400 million years after the Grenville orogeny during the Catoctin Formation, deposition of basaltic magma occurred during the formation of the Iapetus Ocean, forming a layer of greenstone over the granite. This was followed by the Weverton Formation, Harpers Formation, and Antietam formation in which sand and rock sedimented on the ocean floor forming quartzite and sandstone deposits. Finally a period of sedimentation of shells and skeletons of foraminifera resulted in deposition of a layer of limestone. Approximately 700 million years after the Greenville Orogeny, the Iapetus Ocean began to close resulting in the Alleghenian Orogeny when the Old Rag Granite and layers of rock deposited upon it were transported westward and eventually thrust up over the limestone bed around it, forming Old Rag and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
280 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Love hiking Old Rag. Good work out. Good views. Fun to do the rock scramble. Bring a picnic to enjoy at the false summit or summit. If going on a holiday or summer weekend get there early! The free lo...  more »
  • Great hike. Easy at the foot of the mountain and gets more challenging on top when you have to climb big boulders, but it is totally worth it as the views are amazing all around.  more »
  • This hike has it all... distance, fast elevation gain, some beautiful faux summits, a technical rock scramble and a gorgeous final summit. I am a rather experienced hiker, canyoneer and mountaineer. I...  more »

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Where to stay in Shenandoah National Park

All developed accommodation in Shenandoah National Park lies on or near Skyline Drive. The park offers one lodge, one resort, and one set of cabins, all of which a private concessionaire operates. With 179 rooms, rustic cabins, multi-unit lodges, and modern suites, Skyland Resort provides the most places to turn in for the night. You can also choose one of four campgrounds, all of which remain open through spring, summer, and fall. Of these, only Matthews Campground accepts reservations; if you plan to visit the park on a summer or fall weekend, arrive early at the other campgrounds to grab a site. Plenty of inns, bed and breakfasts, resorts, motels, and hotels surround the park. Stay in the nearby college town of Harrisonburg if you're looking for a lively nighttime setting.
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