Hike to the Sand Caves

Virginia Thomas Walker Civic Park

Added by Emily Westergard

This is a great spot to have lunch while out hiking the Ridge Trail. Some highlights include: waterfall, cave, luscious sand, rhododendrons.

After a 2.5 mi hike up the Ewing Trail, you will reach the Ridge Trail. Go left for approximately 1 mi until you reach a landing for horses. Another 0.25 mi down the trail, you will encounter some steep wooden steps as well as several slippery boulders. Depending on recent weather and season, you will reach the bottom where you may or may not find the Sand Cave Waterfall and stream. Check it out in the winter for some amazing icicles! The Sand Cave itself extends back about 100 ft with beautiful, fine, white sand. Be cautious as there are bears in the area.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Lunch
  • Hiking boots
  • Possibly a fresh change of socks
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2000 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Groups
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

3 months ago

Truly a Hidden Gem

I had no idea this place existed until I saw this listed on The Outbound. I backpacked Cumberland Gap in March 2016 with the intent of finding it, and despite rain and hail, I finally found it. The amount of sand within the cave is absolutely astonishing, near the back it has to be dozens of feet deep, and with the ephemeral waterfalls going overtop of it, it made the whole trip worth it. Its a hike to get there, I took the shorter approach from the trailhead in Ewing, VA and it took me about 3 hour stop reach it over 4-5 miles and about 1500 ft elevation gain. Its not overlying daunting, but it'll give you a workout to get there.

3 months ago

7 months ago

Bizarre!

I had a buddy take me here, and I'm not going to lie, I was very surprised. It was really bizarre seeing a cave full of sand in the Virginia mountains. Totally out of place, but fascinating!

7 months ago

about 1 year ago

sand cave

This is an incredible cave; pictures really cannot do it justice!

about 1 year ago

More Adventures Nearby

Hike along the River Walk Trail in Roanoke's Explore Park

Virginia / Rutrough Parking Area

Starting at a great spot to picnic, fish, or put in a kayak, this casual hike meanders along the Roanoke River.

Lecia Finney
4 Saves

Hike the Scott's Run Nature Preserve Trail

Virginia / Scott's Run Nature Preserve Parking

This nature preserve can be hiked year-round and is a sanctuary for rare wildflowers, birds, and other wildlife including deer and fox.

Jayce Christine
12 Saves

Backpack the Virginia Triple Crown

Virginia / Dragon's Tooth Parking Lot

The Virginia Triple Crown is a combination of three of the most spectacular and popular hikes in the region.

Zach Hoopes
13 Saves