By the Numbers

Nearly 80,000

Number of yearly visitors to the trailhead of Old Rag Mountain, making it one of Shenandoah National Park’s most popular hikes

1.6m

visitors to the park in 2021

2019

The year a park study found that 75% of those hiking Old Rag felt crowded and at some point, 12% turned around

This year, the park is testing a new reservation system for the trail, to better protect the features that make it such a beloved adventure and to improve visitors’ safety and experience.

With 360-degree views, the summit of Old Rag Mountain is as breathtaking as the challenging hike to reach it. The 9-mile trail, which gains 2,600 feet of elevation and includes a rock scramble, has not deterred the growing crowds of visitors motivated by the spectacular views that await them.

Park

Shenandoah National Park

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia, Shenandoah features rolling tree-lined hills, wooded hollows, spectacular waterfalls and a diversity of wildlife, all easily accessible from the scenic Skyline…

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Know Before You Go

  • Primary Booking Window: 400 of the daily tickets are available 30 days in advance of the reservation date, at 10 a.m. EST.

  • Secondary Booking Window: 400 of the daily tickets are also available five days in advance of the reservation date, at 10 a.m. EST on a rolling daily window.

  • Any tickets remaining after the primary and secondary booking windows will be available for purchase the day of.

  • Note: cell service or an internet connection is needed to make the transaction, neither of which is available at the Old Rag Entrance Station.

  • Day-use tickets do not guarantee parking spots

  • Tickets are $1, in addition to the entrance fee/annual pass required to enter the park

  • Tickets can be purchased at reservations.gov

If your reservation to hike Old Rag didn’t come through or if you’re looking to explore other hiking trails at Shenandoah National Park, Mid-Atlantic Field Representative Kyle Hart, has you covered. On NPCA’s blog, Kyle shares five of his personal favorite trails to avoid the crowds this spring and summer. Happy hiking!

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