Overlooking Old Rag Mountain, the Robertson Mountain hike has one of the steepest trails in the central section of the Shenandoah National Park, with an elevation gain on the Robertson Mountain Trail of 1,700 feet in just over 1.5 miles.
From the parking area, pass the closed gate hiking up the yellow blazed Berry Hollow Fire Road for 0.8 miles. Here you reach the intersection of the Old Rag Fire Road on the left, the Saddle Trail on the right, and Weakley Hollow Fire Road that continues straight.
Continue straight on the yellow blazed Weakley Hollow Fire Road (concrete post points towards Old Rag Parking Area) for 1.2 miles and arrive at the Robertson Mountain Trail.
This was the steepest hike we have been on! Hiked Old Rag last year and others in between. Today we saw 1 person on Robertson. We started at 9:15 am from Old Rag parking lot, made it to the summit with LOTS of breaks for breathing, on the trip down my trusty hiking partner assured me we should do a loop. So we took the Old Rag fire road down to Weakly Hollow fire road where found the "interstate traffic" of Old Rag and we were never alone again. Funny enough we split from a group who went Old Rag in the beginning and my goodness, when we turned onto Weakley Hollow Fire road, there they were! Took us the same time. We were beat, but it was a great hike, total solitude, great views. Got to the lot at 3pm.
Date of Hike: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Wow, what a hike! I am not sure if it was the time of year we did it, or not, but we really enjoyed this hike. It was a cool 30 degrees when we reached the parking lot, that was empty! We gathered our things and headed up the yellow blazed fire road, starting at 9:15 am. We read the reviews of this hike, stating it has great views of Old Rag, but never knew we could get to the Old Rag trail from here. We were pretty stoked to be that close to it. ( We have yet to conquer Old Rag for the fear of long lines and tons of people) After reaching the Saddle trail and going straight to head towards Robertson Mountain, it started snowing. The blue Robertson Mountain trial was no joke. It was steep, but had great views and was a great work out. The snow became deeper as we got further up the mountain. Really enjoyed doing this in the snow. We reached the first small overlook to the right and we stopped for lunch, froze our butts off with the huge looming clouds, gusty winds, and snow falling. After hiking up some more, we realized that we had not reached the summit. The rocks at the summit were slick with snow (and the fact that a group of people walked on the snow to make it turn to ice for us). The hike down was good, pretty gradual but slick again with ice/snow. The hike along the fire road was a nice reprieve from the steep Robertson Mountain trail. It was quick and easy walk out, ending at 3 pm. We only saw 5 people the whole day. No one on the Robertson trail. Definitely one of our favorites.
Date of Hike: Sunday, September 09, 2012
This is only the second mountain I've had the pleasure of hiking and the first single-day I've ever done. My girlfriend, my friend, and I went from the Skyline Drive, down Old Rag Fire road (in the pouring rain due to some bravado on my own part), and into Corbin Hollow on the first night, which took all of an hour and a half, maybe two.
When we woke the next morning, we hiked up the last of the Corbin Hollow trail and crossed the creek to march the 20 yards up to the Robertson Mountain Trail. The initial push is really awesome and demanding. About 1/3 of the way up there is a great boulder face to rest on for lunch/pictures. Then it's just a hard, hard push the rest of the way.
This hike is demanding, but not awfully so, and the summit is beautiful and rewarding with three separate "glades" to rest and take pictures from. The third, which is to the right as you climb the last few feet to the summit, wound up being my favorite. It looked out to the North (I believe) of the park and was absolutely fantastic on a beautiful, very early Fall day.
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 01, 2011
Great hike away form the crowds of Old Rag. We found the summit overlooks wonderful and not too difficult to find once you reach the summit.
Date of Hike: Monday, July 11, 2011
Well this was an adventure. Robertson is one tough steep climb up a densely forested ridgeline, with fairly steep dropoffs on either side that would likely afford great views if there weren't so much vegetation. It was way too hot for this hike today and I got pretty dehydrated but slogged it out to the summit. About halfway up I saw a bear cub climbing a tree not 30 feet away. Before I could draw a bead with my camera I realized its mother was real close by. Talk about an adrenaline rush. I didn't have so much as a good walking stick on me. After backing down the trail a ways and letting a few tense moments pass by, I was able to finish the hike and make the summit. Yea the hike down is all on fire roads and not that exciting but pleasant enough. If you want to avoid the crowd on Old Rag this is a good alternative.