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Whiteoak Canyon to Cedar Run Loop

  4.7 ( 97 ) Favorite


8.2 mile 13.1 kilometer loop


Ascent: 2,255' 687 m
Descent: -2,255' -687 m
High: 3,385' 1,032 m
Low: 1,191' 363 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 47% (25°)


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Trail shared by Nicholas Crow

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

Nicholas Crow

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.


This route has you climbing through Whiteoak Canyon along beautiful waterfalls. During warm months you're under canopy and during winter months you'll likely enjoy fog. Sections are fairly steep, but you'll be never far away from a great view allowing you to catch your breath. Once past upper falls, your climb continues across a bridge and up a fire road the connects you to Cedar Run Trail. From here you'll hike down 2500ft along Robinson River, where you'll discover more waterfalls and will see more wildlife. Near the bottom there is swimming area and 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.


When hiking this loop you are immediately greeted with easy stream and bridge crossings, leading up to a steady climb. Rains changes the nature of the stream crossing; sometimes you have to splash through a couple 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 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.

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Sep 14, 2019
Carissa Vandermey
Darci and I are off on a hike — 12h 12m
Sep 10, 2019
Martin Gudat
Beautiful trail. Unfortunately most of the rivers fell almost dry so that the waterfalls where not that spectacular. Besides that just an amazing hike
Aug 26, 2019
Jesse Daniels
Aug 23, 2019
Andrew Lilly
Did hike in reverse. Hike up Cedar Run is steep. Would've been more enjoyable had more water been flowing down Whiteoak & Cedar Run 8.2mi — 5h 30m
Aug 18, 2019
Carolina Scattareggia
Aug 10, 2019
Dan Dan PeakbagginMan
Re-start at top falls
Aug 3, 2019
Aug 2, 2019
Andrew Nealis
Good hike. Lot of good quiet places to stop. 8mi — 4h 20m

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 97 votes


  4.7 from 97 votes
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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
Looking back across the bridge connecting Whiteoak Canyon trail to the fire road.
Jan 17, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Lower set of falls. Nice place for lunch.
Apr 20, 2018 near Stanley, VA
This is the lower falls on a winter day when water is very active.
Feb 26, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Whiteoak Canyon Falls.
Jan 17, 2016 near Stanley, VA


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