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Old Rag

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Briar Ledge 
Eagle's Gift 
Jabba the Hutt 
Lower God's Area 
Lower Ridge Trail Slabs 
Middle God's Area - Right 
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Skyline Wall (PATC Wall) 
Summit Crags 
Sunset Walls 
Upper God's Area 
Wall That Dreams Are Made Of 
Whale's Lip 

Old Rag 


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Location: 38.5515, -78.3106 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 102,247
Administrators: Aaron James Parlier, Shawn Heath, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: reddirt on Dec 7, 2006
Forecast:
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Description 

Sticky granite slabs & near splitter cracks on eastern of Shenendoah National Park ~90 miles from Washington DC.

2-5 mile approach (depending on crag). Good training hike/climb for flatlander suburbanites preparing for bigger goals.

Good non-climbing info at: www.hikingupward.com/SNP/OldRag/

Lots of touron traffic during autumn leaves-viewing season, so plan accordingly.


Getting There 

Beware of the directions in the Eric Horst book (grrrr).

Directions from Google Maps

From Washington DC metro area, outer loop of beltway:

Take exit 49 to merge onto I-66 W toward Front Royal/Manassas 21.7 mi.
Take exit 43A to merge onto Lee Hwy/US29 S toward Gainesville/Warrenton 11.5 mi
Take the US29 Bus/US211 W exit toward Luray/Warrenton/US-15 Bus 0.2 mi
Merge E Lee Hwy/US-211 W/US-29-BR S Continue on US-211 W/US-29-BR S 1.8 mi
Turn right at Frost Ave/US-211. Continue to follow US-211 27.0 mi
Turn left at Berryville Pike/US-522 0.1 mi
Turn left at Main St/US-522. Continue to follow US-522 0.7 mi
Turn right at Fort Valley Rd/VA-231 7.3 mi
Turn right at Sharp Rock Rd 1.2 mi
Turn right at Nethers Rd 2.2 mi

Large Parking lot will be on left. There are also ~10 parking spots at the trail head.
Parking fees may be required unless you have an annual SNP $20? or NPS/America-the-Beautiful $80 pass.


Climbing Season


70 Total Routes


['4 Stars',9],['3 Stars',19],['2 Stars',19],['1 Star',15],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',5],['5.7',6],['5.8',11],['5.9',9],['5.10',14],['5.11',20],['5.12',3],['5.13',1],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',1],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Old Rag:
Beginner Crack   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 1 pitch, 20'   Summit Crags
Fern Crack   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Skyline Wall (PATC Wall)
Loki   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Trad, Sport, 70'   Reflector Oven
Pure Fun   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Summit Crags
Frigid Air   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Sunset Walls : Middle Sunset Wall
The Dobie Gillis Route   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Skyline Wall (PATC Wall)
Rusty Bong   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 70'   Skyline Wall (PATC Wall)
Groovy   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   Summit Crags
Strawberry Fields   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   Reflector Oven
Oh My God Dihedral   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Middle God's Area-Left
Bushwhack Crack   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Wall That Dreams Are Made O...
Report to Sickbay   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Reflector Oven
The The   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Wall That Dreams Are Made O...
Browse More Classics in Old Rag

Featured Route For Old Rag
Gritty

Phil's Solo 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  VA : Old Rag : ... : Lower Sunset Wall
If you love crack climbing, this is one for you. Licheny, coarse, and loveable. This one doesn't let up, including the coarseness of the granite, but the hand jams are great. Two #3s are helpful....[more]   Browse More Classics in VA

Photos of Old Rag Slideshow Add Photo
Bobcat resting in the early morning, shot along the Old Rag summit trail. Recent wild life efforts have reintroduced several of the cats into the area and my wife and I got lucky to catch a shot of one as we headed up for a day of trad climbing. Photo by Heather and Greg Sudlow.
Bobcat resting in the early morning, shot along th...
Hikers atop Old Rag summit. Photo by Heather Sudlow.
Hikers atop Old Rag summit. Photo by Heather Sudlo...
Photo: Dave Fiorucci
Photo: Dave Fiorucci
The official trail head sign in Shenandoah National Park. A little over stated.
The official trail head sign in Shenandoah Nationa...
Hiking out from Old Rag is always memorable.
Hiking out from Old Rag is always memorable.
Comments on Old Rag Add Comment
Show which comments
By Zappatista
Jul 17, 2007

Old Rag is a jewel in the rough. If you like granite, here's a quiet little piece of Joshua Tree tucked away in the hills of Virginia. This area is hard to beat if you like trad routes on good rock and don't want to drive to the New and fight the crowds from NoVa (Northern Virginia) on the weekends. Fall and Spring are great; summer is something you are better off not finding out for yourself-NEVER COME HERE IN SUMMER! Black flies, Stinging nettle FORESTS taller than you and thicker than the Rhodos in North Carolina, searing heat, hungry bears-the list goes on. Winter can be cold, but on nice days you can get sunny 50 degree days that remind you why it's good to be alive. If you live in Virginia and haven't been here yet, you are missing out. I spent ten weekends climbing here and still haven't touched the potential. Oh My God Dihedral, Banana Crack, Bushwhack Crack, Strawberry Fields, The The, and Mosaic are classics worthy of any amount of hiking. Eric Horst's guidebook is the best resource, although you'll still be bushwhacking and getting lost regardless. Once you've been there a few times it's easy to get where you're going and a fun challenge to find the more obscure walls. A great area with a good balance of moderates and a few testpieces; old school ethics make this a wilderness treat.

By ttriche
From: Altadena, CA
Jul 24, 2007

You know, it's not *THAT* bad in the summer. I've climbed at the PATC wall in August and while it was sweaty work, it's a lot less crowded than Seneca or Great Falls... but if you have the choice, heading to North Carolina or the New would probably be a better idea. I think the Sunset Slabs are manageable in summer as well, if memory serves.

Climbing at the Reflector Oven or God's Area in summer would be a great way to get heat stroke, however. Those and the other gems at Old Rag are certainly best appreciated in winter. One of the more memorable trips I took up there was after an ice storm -- the trees near the summit looked like they were growing lead crystal place settings when the morning sun hit them. Quite likely the best winter climbing area anywhere near Washington, DC, but an adventurous spirit is required.

By Ross Purnell
From: Palmyra
Apr 9, 2009

Why does the overview say "beware of the directions in the Eric Horst book?" I followed those directions exactly and came to the Berry Hollow trailhead with no problems.

By Aaron James Parlier
Administrator
From: Boone, NC / Grayson, VA
May 25, 2011

Jakethesewingmachineleg:
I've heard there is some awesome -largely undeveloped- bouldering up there that im quite interested in exploring. I dont know if you've looked at any of that but I would be very interested in hearing anyone's input on the matter. I also would really enjoy a copy of your guide to the place and I appreciate the offer as well. I know its tough to compile it all!

By Ed Wade
From: Hermann, MO
Aug 24, 2012

When I lived in Virginia I climbed at Old Rag only when the leaves were off the trees and when the days high temp was going to be 45 or above.If you plan on hiking up from Weakly Hollow it is wise to get there before 8am. The parking lot fills up quickly. It is better to hike in from Berry Hollow except if climbing anywhere beyond the approach to the God area (Whales Lip, Ridge Trail routes, etc.). If going to Old Rag for the 1st time try and make your way to the Reflector Oven. It is easy to see from the trail and once you are down there you can get your bearings. You will be able to see the corner and the left side of the Gods Area. The Horst guidebook is adequate so take it up there with you. If you are strictly a sport climber don't even think about making the hike. The real gems are the cracks. Bushwack and the Corner are as good as any climb anywhere. Try to enjoy the hike. It will make a world of difference.