My wife and I hiked this trail for the first time and think it is definitely a place that more people should visit. This is a good test hike for those thinking about going up Old Rag. Not recommended for small children or dogs. People with weak knees may find difficulty through the rock scramble.
Overall hike out and back is about 5.5 miles.
Reach the trailhead by turning on to Crisman Hollow Road (FD 274) off of 211 near Luray. Continue on this road for a few miles and park at the Scothorn Gap trail parking.
Once you have parked follow Orange Blazes on Scothorn Gap trail. The trail starts to get fairly steep at .4 miles, but levels off again at .65 miles. At .8 miles, the trail gets steep again, but levels at .95 miles. This is the hardest part of the hike, so once that is done, the elevation changes are fairly easy. At 1.07 miles, you will see a nice campsite for anyone that wants to stay overnight. At this point, you will see an arrow pointing to the right, where you will pick up the trail again. The trail continues SSE from the campsite and you will be leaving the fire road for a hike through the woods. At 1.3 miles, you will come to a junction sign. Head straight on to Gap Creek Trail.
At 1.94 miles you will come to the junction with the Strickler Knob trail to the right. This trail was built and opened in 2006 by some anonymous trailblazers. The blazes for this trail are marked as pink on rocks and typically red or purple rectangles on trees. This trail is fairly rocky, so be careful not to turn your ankles. Around 2.5 miles, you will see gorgeous views of the Shenandoah River and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east. To the west, you will see more of the Shenandoah valley and the Appalachian Mountains. At 2.67 miles, you will reach a rock scramble for about one tenth of a mile until you reach the summit. This is a great spot to have 360 degree views of the area around you. Tied to a tree, you will also see a logbook that someone placed for people to journal about their hike.
The cache is located below the summit opposite of the way you came up. It is in a tupperware container hidden under a couple of rocks. Please replace the rocks and cache the way you found it.
Congrats to GASTECH for the FTF