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
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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

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How to Get There

7 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.

7 months ago

10 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!

10 months ago

over 1 year ago

sand cave

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

over 1 year ago

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