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.
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.
Date of Hike: Sunday, April 21, 2013
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.