SLB Photography

White Oak Canyon – Shenandoah

We look forward to our yearly trip to Shenandoah National Park. Shenandoah is a beautiful park with many hidden treasures. This is the park of large cascading waterfalls and spectacular views. We often go in the winter when there are not many park visitors and I think this treats us to views that the trees often block in the other months. This year we decided to tackle one of the more strenuous hikes in the park and wow have my calves been screaming since!! This hike follows a creek from the foothills to the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The hiker is treated to a nearly non-stop series of smaller water falls as the water descends over the boulder laden stream culminating in six waterfalls from 85ft to 35ft. We could have easily cut out around 2.5 miles of the hike had we parked in one of the other two lower lots like we intended. The lower half of the hike is really where you want to go. It starts (or ends) flat but this way the hike would be entire up and you’d be climbing close to 2800 ft over the elevation change. We chose to hike downward, starting from the White Oak Canyon parking lot off of Skyline Drive. The trail slowly meanders down into the canyon. About 2.5 miles in you will get to the first waterfall of 85ft. This also the halfway point, if your tired here, don’t go on. If you do go on you will have rock scrambles and stream crossings to deal with as to continue to descend into the canyon. You will also be viewing the other falls ranging from 60ft to 35ft.

Cascades along the trail
Cascades at base of Falls #3

The trail can be as easy or hard as you want it to be. From a gentle decent to rock scrambles straight up or down and unmarked stream crossings. This trail is beautiful and one of the best for waterfalls in the park.

Please keep in mind your physical abilities and also be sure to pay all fees associated with being in the park. Not to mention this is Shenandoah back country so follow the 7 principles and pack out what you bring in.

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