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  1. #1
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    Default Camping near Old Rag on weekends

    I'm planning a three day weekend circuit trip in the Central District of the park starting and ending at Big Meadows. My second day is working out to be around 16 miles and I will be passing through the Old Rag area (although not climbing Old Rag itself on this trip). I have read that there are good camping options around the junction of the Weakley Hollow/Berry Hollow/Old Rag fire road junction and from my memory of past day hikes, I believe that there are plenty of flat areas and water in the area.

    SNP's trip guide for Old Rag says that trying to camp in the area on weekends is not recommended due to high use. I will be there on a Saturday night. Realistically, how likely is it that I wouldn't find anywhere legal to camp in the area, even marginal spots? Probable arrival time would be mid to late afternoon...

    The reason I'm concerned is that I'll be getting to the area after a 16 mile day and my only option beyond that point would to proceed further to Cedar Run/Whiteoak Canyon below the link trail (above which camping is prohibited). I've read that Cedar Run/Whiteoak Canyon are even more popular with campers on weekends. I'll be ascending Cedar run the following morning to complete the circuit.

    Any input on how crowded the Old Rag area really is on weekends would be helpful as I plan out my trip. Thanks.
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
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  2. #2
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Very popular in good weather. Lots of day hikers though that climb , complete the circuit and return to their cars.

    You should find a decent campsite to pitch a tent.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  3. #3
    Registered User Ktaadn's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if you could work it into your plans but I camped off of the Nicholson Hollow Trail the night before I climbed Old Rag. There are some great spots around a mile from the road (600). On night two, we camped on Corbin Hollow Trail fairly close to the Weakley Hollow Fire Road. I did not see any other campers in either area and it was Labor Day weekend. The mountain was slam packed but I assume they were almost all day hikers.

    http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisi...bined_2013.pdf

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the feedback. I slightly changed my plans and will be spending a night along the Nicholson Hollow Trail instead of nearer to Old Rag. Another night will be near the Rose River where I've been before.
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  5. #5
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Sounds like you made a good decision Ramblinghiker. The Corbin hollow Trail, as mentioned above, could also be a fine choice.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  6. #6
    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    Are the campsites on the Corbon Hollow Trail recognizable while on the trail? About how far did you camp from the Weakly Hollow fire road? Thanks.

  7. #7

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    Planning to hike Old Rag on New Years Day... excited! Has anyone hiked up the Ridge trail to the Saddle Trail and then back down on the Weakley Hollow Fire Road? (Loop hike) Does anyone know the condition of the Ridge Trail right now? Icy or anything?

  8. #8
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    I have many of times. I can't comment on the current status but I would bet you can find uupdates on the SNP
    website. I would just watch the weather and as long as no ice or snow happens in the next 2 days you should be fine. It's a great hike. Enjoy.

  9. #9

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    Great hike, have fun HM. If you have the time, you should walk past the Byrd's Nest shelter and check out some of the rock outcroppings on the South end of that ridge... Some truly awesome, secluded spots back there.

  10. #10

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    Oh cool.. thanks MD. I'm really looking forward to the hike! I'll check it out! :>)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerMom58 View Post
    Planning to hike Old Rag on New Years Day... excited! Has anyone hiked up the Ridge trail to the Saddle Trail and then back down on the Weakley Hollow Fire Road? (Loop hike) Does anyone know the condition of the Ridge Trail right now? Icy or anything?
    I have hiked the loop many times but usually in the fall. The ridge trail has an extended rock scramble that can be dangerous in wet or icy conditions and there are places where I have slipped a bit even when the rocks were dry. It might be worth checking with the park to see whether there have been reports of ice. I wonder whether the rain yesterday might have pooled in places and froze up overnight. I don't think that there is a forecast for more precipitation until Thursday or Friday. My advice is to hike the saddle trail rather than the ridge trail if there have been recent reports of ice. Although hiking the saddle trail both ways is longer in terms of miles and less scenic, the time required should be about the same if not less because the ridge trail takes a long time due to the rock scrambles.
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  12. #12

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    Thank you Studlintsean, MDSection12 and RN-PCT2015 for your advice and well wishes!!

    It was an awesome hike. There was ice...lots of it! We did hike up the ridge trail... what a rock scramble! The rocks are slick even when they are dry.

    I loved every minute of it. The view was beyond amazing!! I have to work on my core strength to pull myself over those rocks again. Maybe I can get up a few pics later on.

    What a great way to celebrate New Year's Day!! We ended up hiking 10 miles today!! :>)

    There were a lot of hikers on that trail today!! Everyone was so friendly wishing everyone a Happy New Year!
    Last edited by HikerMom58; 01-01-2014 at 22:06.

  13. #13
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Good deal HikerMom glad you enjoyed yourself.
    I did an early pre dawn hike up Hightop Mtn. to the shelter to celebrate the new year and man you talk about chilly.
    Ran across ice atop the summit, almost busted my keister in the dark.

    Can't wait to see your pics from your hike.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  14. #14

  15. #15
    Registered User 12TH Man's Avatar
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    HM58, Sorry I missed your post. My old black lab and I live on the side of old rag. We were fly fishing the Hughes river not far from the parking lot.
    I grew up here and used to train for ultras by running the ridge and saddle trails. Been reading your posts for sometime. (Sorry if that sounds creepy)

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by 12TH Man View Post
    HM58, Sorry I missed your post. My old black lab and I live on the side of old rag. We were fly fishing the Hughes river not far from the parking lot.
    I grew up here and used to train for ultras by running the ridge and saddle trails. Been reading your posts for sometime. (Sorry if that sounds creepy)
    No worries 12TH Man... not creepy! Thanks!

    How cool is that? What a beautiful place to live! I'm impressed that you ran the ridge and saddle trails... whoa!! That would be a great workout.

    I loved the hike up Old Rag... we'll be back again!

    Oh and thanks for introducing yourself too! Nice to have you here! :>)

  17. #17
    Registered User 12TH Man's Avatar
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    I was trying to post a pix of my old lab; but was unable. Still figuring WB out. Thanks

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by 12TH Man View Post
    I was trying to post a pix of my old lab; but was unable. Still figuring WB out. Thanks
    I just took my pics that I have on my facebook page, right click copy and then paste into the reply box. Sometimes they come out as actual pics and sometimes they are links to the pics. Hope that helps....

  19. #19
    Registered User 12TH Man's Avatar
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    Thanks; you are an obvious Sweetheart.

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