I hiked with George (@privong), Katie (@k8tlevy) and Dan (@kakistocrat) after camping at the Big Meadows Campground on Saturday evening. The drive to the campground was beautiful. Skyline Drive is a twisty, windy, scenic road of goodness. Nearly every turn has a breathtaking view as you slowly increase your altitude through the park. Coming from the DC area where the temperatures were cresting 80, throwing a jacket into my pack was an after thought. For the rest of the group who forgot warm clothes it turned out to be a very sorely missed thought. That night temperatures plummeted into the 30's, making waking up and leaving the warm tent/sleeping bag incredibly hard.
From natural rock staircases, to butt stems, to wildflowers (which we appreciated) to butterflies and windswept boulders, this is by far my favorite hike. Navigating the outcroppings and standing on the edge of such an amazing landscape made me feel like an explorer. The 10 mile trip took us 6 hours to complete, gaining 2,600 feet in elevation. We opted for the long (boring) fire road descent. While easier, next time I'll lose the pack and go back down the way I came.
Name: Old Rag
Location: Shenandoah National Park, Va
Length: 10 miles
Time: 6 hours
Elevation Gain: 2,600 ft
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5 of course!)