Riprap Hollow is one of the best circuit hikes in the southern section of the Shenandoah National Park. The views from Chimney Rock, and along the ridge of Rocks Mountain, offer great vistas to the west and north. The spring fed stream in Cold Spring and Riprap Hollow is very scenic, and has a 50ft wide swimming hole fed by yet another mountain spring.
From the Riprap parking area walk the 50 yards along the blue blazed trail to the intersection of the white blazed Appalachian Trail. Turn right uphill on the white blazed trail for 0.4 miles to the intersection of the Riprap Trail.
Turn left on the blue blazed Riprap Trail as it descends through a hollow on the ridge before climbing and arriving at the first vista point in 0.7 miles. In another 0.3 miles reach the second vista and Chimney Rock. From Chimney Rock the trail will begin to descend into Cold Springs Hollow. In 1.7 miles from Chimney Rock the spring fed stream that has come in on the left of Riprap Trail will pass through a small gorge and over a 20ft waterfall.
After passing the waterfall follow the blue blazed Riprap Trail for another 0.3 miles to a large swimming hole. Just past the swimming hole the trail will cross the stream, and pass a trail marker and an overgrown trail that leads to an old Riprap Shelter on the right. Continue straight on the blue blazed Riprap Trail next to the stream for another 0.7 miles to the intersection of the Wildcat Ridge Trail.
Turn left on the blue blazed Wildcat Ridge Trail and shortly cross the stream again before the trail starts heading uphill through a small gorge. In 0.6 miles the Wildcat Ridge Trail will make several switchbacks and become much steeper, as it follows the Wildcat Ridge for another 2.0 miles to the four way intersection with the white blazed Appalachian Trail.
Turn left on the while blazed Appalachian Trail for the remaining 2.8 miles back to the Riprap parking area.
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Reviews For The Riprap Hollow Hike (5 Most Recent)
This was my wife's and I first time on RIP RAP HOLLOW. The first 4 miles are pretty good if you are going in reverse and go to the streams first. There are about 4 or 5 stream crossings which I always enjoy. However, after that it wasn't very impressive. The trail is narrow and vegetation is growing up on the trail for most of it. I don't mind getting dirty when I hike but we felt like we were walking through the bush the entire time and it was hard to get off the trail when other hikers approached. The views from the peak are ok but I've seen some better views on shorter trails. If the water had been warmer we would have gone swimming in the natural pool but we passed this time.
Date of Hike: Sunday, December 06, 2015
Took advantage of the early December mid-60s temperature. Surprisingly quiet for such a beautiful day. I'd recommend taking the trail backwards (clockwise), putting the views at Chimney Rock at the end. Water levels were pretty high, so be prepared for a few frosty crossing.
Date of Hike: Friday, October 30, 2015
Did the "boring" part of the reverse hike and admittedly, it was a little boring. Did the 2.8 miles and then got to a sign offering Blackrock Summit (1.3 miles ahead) as an option, so we did that because we wanted views, and views it delivered! Spotted a black bear off the trail on our way back down to the Riprap parking lot, at the Chimney Rock junction.
Date of Hike: Saturday, September 19, 2015
I thought this was just an okay hike. Maybe my expectations were a little too high based on all the reviews I read here and the ratings it was given. I'm still trying to find one in the area as fun and rewarding as Old Rag. It is a fairly strenuous hike in parts especially towards the latter half if you do it in reverse like a lot of the reviews suggest. Overall, it took me about 5.5 hrs with stops. The two overlooks were fine, but nothing to write home about. The swimming hole was a little low this time of year especially with the little rain we've gotten this summer. The highlight of the trail was running into a couple of adult bears within a couple mile stretch of the hike, otherwise I would've given this an overall rating of 2 stars. I would have to grade the "Views" a 2 out of 6, but the rest of the ratings are fairly spot on. A nice hike, but I wouldn't do it again nor recommend it to anyone. There are much better hikes in SNP.
Upwar and Onward
Date of Hike: Sunday, August 30, 2015
My wife and I did this hike backwards. Makes the views at the end of the hike. We laughed at the sign at the trail head because it told us the hike was going to take us 8 and 1/4 hours. We started at noon and were done by 3:00. No wildlife at all on the trail. I would recommend getting there early on the weekend. We had to fight for a parking spot when we got there. Overall was a great hike. You can't beat a walk in the woods. Is there ever really a bad hike?