Shenandoah National Park Implements Permanent Ticketing System to Access Old Rag Mountain
Shenandoah National Park has notified that it will implement a permanent ticketing system to access Old Rag Mountain from March through November, beginning March 2024. Here is information provided by the Park Service:
Following a two-year pilot program, Shenandoah National Park will implement a permanent ticketing system to access Old Rag Mountain from March through November. The system will improve visitor enjoyment, address congestion and public safety concerns, and better protect the landscape, including sensitive species, along the extremely popular trail. More information, including where tickets are required and how to obtain them: About Day-Use Tickets.
The decision to implement a permanent system follows a multiyear pilot program and an extensive public engagement process that included visitor use data collection and analysis, public comment periods, and public meetings.
The permanent system will closely follow the pilot program. Beginning March 1, 2024, all visitors are required to have a day-use ticket, in addition to a park entrance pass, to access the Old Rag area (see map).
“We appreciate the public input received as we tested management options,” said Shenandoah National Park Superintendent Pat Kenney. “We feel confident that this system has improved the visitor experience on Old Rag, reduced impacts on the area’s ecosystem, and is a good long-term solution.”
Day-use tickets for Old Rag Mountain for the 2024 season will be available starting February 17, 2024, at 10 a.m. Tickets cost $2.00. Half of the revenue created will pay for the administrative costs of the program, and half will be used toward visitor and resource protection.
A total of 800 tickets will be available each day from March 1 to November 30; 400 will be released 30 days in advance and the remaining 400 will be released five days in advance. Hikers are encouraged to reserve their tickets before arriving. Tickets are valid for the day of arrival only and are not transferable. A day-use ticket does not guarantee a parking spot, and entrance fees still apply in addition to the day-use ticket.
Visitors to Old Rag Mountain, including hikers on the Saddle, Ridge, and Ridge Access trails, must obtain an Old Rag day-use ticket in advance, in addition to a Park entrance pass. Day-use tickets for Old Rag Mountain for the 2024 season will become available February 17, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. Tickets are valid for the day-of arrival only, and it does not guarantee a parking spot.
Tickets will cost $2.00 and can be reserved up to 30 days in advance. A total of 800 tickets will be available each day from March 1 to November 30; 400 will be released 30 days in advance and the remaining 400 will be released five days in advance. Hikers are encouraged to obtain their tickets before arriving. Entrance fees still apply in addition to the day-use ticket. Learn how to get your day-use ticket by watching the following video or browsing the frequently asked questions section below.
To learn more about the decision-making process, read our press releases about the pilot project. Information collected throughout the pilot helped park staff decide how to move forward with managing Old Rag resources and improving visitor experience.
The National Park Service reminds that hiking to the summit of Old Rag is physically demanding and suggests hikers be sure to check out the Old Rag planning guide before lacing up your boots.