Hiking Project Logo

Whiteoak Canyon to Cedar Run Loop

Difficult
 4.7 (132) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Among the best hikes --if not the best hike-- in Shenandoah. Enjoy waterfalls for 9 miles.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

8.2

Miles

13.1

KM

Loop

3,385' 1,032 m

High

1,191' 363 m

Low

2,255' 687 m

Up

2,255' 687 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

47%

Max Grade (25°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Family Friendly You can turn around at any point and still consider this a great hike. The payoff is all around you and the river is very accessible during the first couple of miles.

Overview

This route has you climbing through Whiteoak Canyon along beautiful waterfalls. During warm months, you're under a canopy and during winter months you'll likely enjoy fog. Sections are fairly steep, but you'll never be far away from a great view allowing you to catch your breath.

Once past the upper falls, your climb continues across a bridge and up a fire road that connects you to Cedar Run Trail. From here, you'll hike down 2500' along Robinson River, where you'll discover more waterfalls and will see more wildlife.

Near the bottom, there is a swimming area and a waterfall slide.

Need to Know

This route looks like a 7-mile hike on some maps, but when you actually do it, you'll find it's just over 9 miles, so please adjust your plans accordingly.

Description

When hiking this loop you are immediately greeted with easy stream and bridge crossings, leading up to a steady climb. Rain changes the nature of the stream crossing; sometimes you have to splash through a couple of inches of water at 3 of the crossings. The careful stacking of rocks or the use of trekking poles can prevent a wet misstep. During this period, the trail is also wet, so bring a change of socks just in case.

Though never far from water, each crest and bend reveals yet another waterfall. Near the top, there is a stunning overlook where you can peer down the canyon and enjoy the waterfall far below you.

After the upper falls, the Whiteoak Canyon trail continues on, but you'll cross the river using the bridge, which will take you to a fire trail where you'll gain more elevation. The whole area is heavily forested and is absolutely remarkable when the leaves change.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nicholas Crow

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 132 votes

#32

Overall
  4.7 from 132 votes
5 Star
76%
4 Star
20%
3 Star
3%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Virginia

#32

Overall
123 Views Last Month
22,926 Since Jan 17, 2016
Difficult

0%
0%
9%
5%
84%
2%

Photos

The second of 6 waterfalls in Whiteoak Canyon (the 1st being the very upper falls).
May 15, 2016 near Stanley, VA
The lower falls of Whiteoak Canyon (the 6th of 6 waterfalls).
May 15, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Whiteoak Canyon Falls.
Jan 17, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Looking back across the bridge connecting Whiteoak Canyon trail to the fire road.
Jan 17, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Whiteoak Canyon Falls.
Jan 17, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Lower set of falls. Nice place for lunch.
Apr 20, 2018 near Stanley, VA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 3 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Aug 5, 2022
Will Heinle
Forced back by thunderstorm before turning around short of the full loop 5.8mi
Jun 24, 2022
Chris Palmer
May 31, 2022
Kevin D
11h 01m
May 21, 2022
Sarah Caron
8.4mi — 4h 25m
Feb 15, 2022
Keeli Billings
Nov 13, 2021
Michael Richardson
Went up to Hawksbill Summit before turning down Cedar Run. Great hike. 11.8mi — 5h 38m
Oct 25, 2021
Jaycey Hardenstein
7 waterfalls and lots of creek sightings. Enjoyed the trail in the fall foliage. Went the opposite way - up cedar run and down white oak canyon. 8.5mi — 4h 40m
Oct 24, 2021
Yuheng Ding
6h 25m