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.
We hiked this after a big snow fall last winter -- broke the trail up and it was a killer. Just getting around to writing this up now (7/01/2014). The hike from the fire road to summit is steep enough but breaking knee-deep and higher snow really made the climb a chore. We've hiked this many times when Old Rag has been too crowded and it is a great alternative. You won't get the views but you'll get just as much exercise. With snow on the ground and no previous tracks the trail can be difficult to spot. there seem to be far fewer blue blazes on this trail than in others in SNP. Took some photos and hope they can get posted. There's a metal marker on the top of the very top rock.
Date of Hike: Sunday, November 10, 2013
Pretty simple...Up then down...
Not a very long hike but a steep one...
Once at the summit, plenty of nice views. The directions do not mention the short trail to the summit. Don't skip this it is your payoff for the hard work on the ascent. Climb up the boulder for a panorama. A nice valley view and many of the Blue Ridge peaks you can see from Old Rag. Two fellow hikers joined me at the top and plenty at the Saddle Trail intersection. Otherwise solitude. Great views of Old Rag as you glide down the Fire Road. Parking lot was full as expected on such a nice November day.
Date of Hike: Sunday, October 27, 2013
I parked at the Old Rag parking lot and walked up the Weakley Hollow fire road before starting up Robertson Mountain. As promised, the hike up the mountain was steep. And long. And quiet. I didn't see anybody else on the ascent, or the descent. Instead of following the directions provided here, I turned right on the Old Rag fire road and took it uphill to the Corbin Mt. trail. Basically, from this point on I did most of the loop described on the Corbin Mt. hike page (but in reverse). Corbin Mt. trail to Indian Run Trail (much easier hiking down this trail than it would be going uphill!), past Corbin Cabin, and then down the Nicholson Hollow Trail back to the road and parking lot. This was a pretty enjoyable hike. After the challenge of ascending Robertson Mt., the rest of the hike was literally a walk in the woods. Not counting the initial walk up the road to the base of Robertson Mt. (a dozen or so Old Raggers and some overnight campers along Weakley Hollow road), I saw fewer than 10 hikers. The highlight of the day was seeing a black bear, which was running down toward the Hughes River (right toward me!) where I had just finished having lunch. It didn't see me until I noisily splashed to the other side of the river, after which it stopped, looked at me for a few moments, and disappeared back into the woods.
Date of Hike: Saturday, September 28, 2013
This was a great hike, beautiful. The summit was awesome and the leaves were starting to change colors at the top of the mountain. I love the forest the new growth and vegetation. I actually like this hike better than Old Rag. Very few people! Yes, it was steep but not like "oh my gosh I'm going to die steep" lol. I hiked the steep part at 2 hours an hour, but I also hike a lot. Great camping spots at the summit.
Date of Hike: Thursday, June 20, 2013
It was kind of a crummy day, but overall this was a pretty good hike. I didn't see any other people, which surprised me some, considering how busy the area usually is in the summertime. The steep uphill is a bear for sure, but I think I'd have rather gone up it than gone down it.