• Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    4.8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1200 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

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.

Pack List

  • Hiking poles
  • Water
  • Snacks/Food
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Hiking boots
  • Backpack
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Reviews

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Best to visit early if you want to really immerse yourself. The waterfalls make the hike worth it though even in the busiest of seasons.

6 months ago
6 months ago

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!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

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.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Fun and challenging with waterfalls galore! The rock slide is fun if you go in the summer but the frozen waterfalls look amazing in winter photography!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

It's a great hike for beginners. It's the perfect length for its terrain. You'll definitely work up a sweat hiking up the slight slope. Luckily, there's a few waterfalls and swimming holes along the way!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Gets super busy but this is one of the best summer hikes in the area. Lots of swimming holes to cool off in. Be watchful for snakes.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Christin Healey Explorer

Explorer, adventure seeker, lover of life and all things creative.

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