October 19, Day 138: We hiked 9+ miles and ~2500′ to the summit of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park. This was DEFINITELY in the top 5 of all hikes on the trip. Having hiked the Grand Circle, Rainier, and Acadia earlier in the trip, that’s saying a lot. Old Rag Loop rated 5 stars on AllTrails, and the users were not wrong.
The first couple of miles were an unrelenting uphill march through dense woods. Then the views began.
Scrambles on the Way Up
Then the scrambling began. Over, under, through giant jumbled granite boulders. There were some dubious younger hikers behind us eyeing a challenging crevice we’d just climbed. Jean explained, “I just wedged myself in like Laura Croft.” They knew exactly what that meant! The scrambles are what made the Old Rag Mountain hike so much fun. I was a little nervous crawling under that rock though…
The Views from Old Rag Mountain
Views at the summit were miles and miles, to the horizon, with autumn color fading into the hazy sky. Fall foliage was near its peak.