Hike White Oak Canyon
Virginia › White Oak Canyon
Added by Christin Healey
White Oak Canyon is an easy hike with one of the best falls in Shenandoah National Park. There is also easy access to lodging, restaurants and facilities when you are finished hiking at Skyland.
Between mile 42 and 43 of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park is the trailhead for WhiteOak Canyon. Begin at the trailhead from the parking lot and cross the Limberlost Trail in .3 miles. Continue on and you will cross your first footbridge shortly. After another mile you will cross the second footbridge and turn left to get to the lookout for the falls. This is well marked. In a few hundred feet you will reach the best lookout of the falls on a rocky outcrop, and it's also a great stop for lunch or a snack, and of course some photos. Then just retrace your steps to complete this easy 4.8 mile out and back! This is one of the most popular hikes in the park, so go early or later in the afternoon during the weekend or holidays. The elevation gain is 1,200 ft, but it's gradual so an easy hike for the entire family.
- Hiking poles
- Hiking boots
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
Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Crowded, but beautiful
This is another Shenandoah National Park favorite and you can find hundreds of visitors here during the warmer months. However, the waterfalls along the hike are numerous and gorgeous (there's a reason it's such a popular hike). I would recommend getting out during the week to do this hike and I would also recommend combining it with the Cedar Run Trial to make a fun loop with even more waterfalls. During the summer you can bring a bathing suit to cool off in the water but be mindful of fly fishers!
Lots of Great Waterfalls on One Hike
White Oak Canyon has some amazing waterfall right off the trail. This is one of the most popular trail in Shenandoah so expect to see a lot of people, but don't let that deter you, there is a great reason why it is so popular. I've hiked this trail from both the top (Skyline Drive) and the bottom and I recommend starting from the bottom. If you start the hike from the bottom you able to see both of the both large waterfalls and you can also turn it into a loop and see the waterfalls along the Cedar Run Trail.
Great Views and Fun Trails
Hiked this trail in the summer and loved it! There were tons of waterfalls and even one that you can slide down into a little pond. So much fun. There are a lot of trails in the area to extend your hike a little more if you want something longer. I'm guessing that hiking this spot in the fall would be even better with all of the trees changing.
Make it a loop with the Cedar Run trail!
I would recommend doing Whiteoak Canyon in concert with the Cedar Run trail in order to catch the natural water slide on the latter trail. This will turn the hike into a 8.2 loop trail (make sure to park at the upper lot, around mile 48 in this case!), but well worth it for the natural water slide. On the other hand, you could also simply do the 3.4 out-and-back Cedar Run trail, with approx. 1500 ft of elevation on your return.
More Adventures Nearby
Hike Goshen Pass
Virginia / Goshen Pass Trailhead
The parking for the trailhead is down an unmarked gravel/dirt road about 1.5 miles upriver from the Virginia Wayside rest area on Route 39 West.
Hike the Appalachian Trail from Elk Garden to Buzzard Rock
Virginia / Elk Garden Parking Area
Starting at the Elk Garden Parking Area hike the Appalachian Trail south (do not cross the road, follow the trail from the parking area). Hike along the trail following the white blazes and at 2.