Explore Challenges - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Challenges Map

12.57 miles, 1st time on this trail, took a wrong turn and ended up taking a little longer route back. It rain the night before, very foggy at 7:30am, drizzling rain through the trees most of the morning. Made it a little wet and muddy. Great hike. Definitely took advantage of the waterfalls and swimming holes every chance!

this was a pretty challenging trail, but the hike next to the waterfalls made it worth it to keep going definitely recommend waterproof and grippy shoes alot of wet rocks

Was boring at times with only a couple great views. The watering hole was a lot of fun though.

7 days ago

This trail is great, and the view at the top certainly doesn't disappoint. I love it so much I've gone up four times in the space of two weeks. I definitely recommend this hike.

To be honest this loop Cedar Run up and White Oak canyon down is not difficult at all. Very easy hike even for my friend who never hikes. Enjoyable hike with lots of waterfalls and places to swim. There are about 4 times needed to wade across the stream but its not deep just remove your shoes and cross. The trail is very well maintained and is not steep.

Great hike! Lots of water along the trail and the waterfalls are great. If it’s been raining prepare to get your feet wet, the main entrance was flooded and you have to cross at your own risk. There was one other creek crossing about shin deep and lots of deep puddles along the way. It gets really good when you start to climb. There’s lots of rock and opportunities to roll an ankle. Definitely worth going back over and over again!

off road driving
13 days ago

Definitely fun, bumpy, and challenging! This was a lot tougher than I anticipated however. Some puddles and rock structures seemed very intimidating. About 2-3 puddles actually came all the way up to my half doors. I drive a TJ with a 2.5" lift on 285/75r16's for height reference. (Also I went about a day after harsh rain) I would be very hesitant to bring a bone stock vehicle up this trail. From deep puddles, deep ruts, and some helacious rocks to conquer, this would be quite the impossible task. At the bare minimum you NEED upgraded/stronger tires. This trail will devour stock tires. Also a trail buddy is advised, as always. This trail is very secluded and lightly trafficked so if you get stuck or injured, you're pretty much beat. I was fortunate to never get stuck or hung up, but take the extra precaution... So in summary, *If you're looking for an aggressive challenge and have upgraded your jeep's suspension and tires, this is for you*. (Also beware the GPS, it took me down several private driveways where I had no business being, I drove 1.5 hours to get to this trail)

real nice trail lots nice plant life it tends to have a bit too much foot traffic but other than that it's pretty good

Thoroughly enjoyed this hike! The waterfall is stunning and has two great access points. You will see the water holes after about 5.6 miles of hiking to the left of the trail. There is a noticeable side trail that leads to them that is mostly rock. Two were particularly great for swimming! We set up camp near the first swimming hole, there was a second great spot across a path above the first hole as well. The descent is tough on the legs when carrying 30+ lb overnight packs. I would consider the hike strenuous when you include the weight.

Bears are common on the trail, but usually scare off if you’re making plenty of noise on your way! I’d suggest bringing bear mace just in case, especially right before hibernation and after. Also, bring a bear bag for the night to hide all wrappers from food and uneaten food.

We took a different route on the way back for a portion of the hike to avoid the steep ascent on our second day in the rain. It took us onto Trace Trail and through a campground which gave a good boost to our moral when the temps dropped 20 degrees after being wet for 24 hours!

Even in the rain it was a stunning hike and a great test of strength with packs! I plan to do it again. Great hike to swim and cool off in the summer.

This trail took my friends and I just over six hours to complete. The six hours included a lunch break, several trips down a natural water slide, and a couple of stops for the dog to swim. It is a difficult trail—personally, I think it is more difficult than Old Rag.

The connecting fire trail between White Canyon and Cedar Run is uneventful, but the first and last portions of this loop make the hike worthwhile. We did not realize that we’d be able to ride the natural water slide of Cedar Run, but when we saw others doing it, we knew we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. We were soaked on the hike back to the car with no regrets!

After you enter the trail, I suggest making a right to see White Oak Canyon first. You can then end your hike by swimming in and sliding into the pools of Cedar Run.

17 days ago

Easy hike with nice wildlife to see, deer, squirrels and critters like that. Miskitos were pretty bad so be prepared. I parked at the entrance and hiked the trail and walked back down the road for a total of 4.6 miles.

19 days ago

Great views loved the swimming pond

I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. SNP isn’t giving out maps for this one anymore so there really is no traffic. The trail is also quite overgrown at many parts. Pick up a stick for all of the spider webs. You’ll end up out of the park on private property for a couple of miles. I had to walk past “no trespassing signs to continue on the trail. Not much for views, but there are some nice cascades and a cabin ruin.

Great trail, nothing too technical, elevation changes and length make the challenge. Just take your time, enjoy the views, rest occasionally, and you’ll have a great time.

Challenging trail but fun. Lots of waterfalls.

Very pretty, but would not advise on bike. Very overgrown in some places, and occasionally narrow and dangerous

Cedar Run and Whiteoak Canyon is a wonderful set of trails with beautiful scenery; a waterfall lovers pardise. if you are in great shape and have a full day, this hike is worth it. It is also very difficult, people (like me) who are not in the best condition will struggle. Only take the loop if you are capable of strenuous hiking and have directions and time.

great veiw, the trailhead is up a 4wheel drive road, and there is camping at the trailhead.

We did this hike on 8/25/18. It took us about 7 and a half hours with breaks. We took our two black labs with us. They did great, but the are in excellent shape and are very active dogs. I would not take small or out of shape dos on this hike.
It is a difficult hike. We started at the lower parking lot. The first third of the hike was the most strenuous, but also the most awesome. Beautiful waterfalls and swimming holes. The second third was a horse trail that’s a pretty brutal incline. The final third has a rock water slide. Plan on getting wet throughout the hike. Bring a few pairs of extra socks. This hike is not for those who are out of shape. We are in our mid-40s and we’re out of gas by the time we were done.

29 days ago

Fun hike with at least one cool swimming hole. Just make sure you know the route if you are doing the full loop or you may end up outside of the park.

29 days ago

Super rewarding short hike. The incline on the way is enough to get the blood pumping and the ridge leading the the rock is beautiful. Camping there looks excellent. My favorite part was the rock itself, it required some poking around, but we found a low-difficulty scramble up to the top. Must be a great view, but we just arrived as a cloud engulfed the rock, making for a truly other-worldly experience.

Pretty cool trail. Did it on an exceptionally foggy day, the fire lane looked like something out of a dream. I will say don't underestimate this trail. I've done it twice counter-clockwise and Cedar Run can break some spirits. The trail itself is rugged and requires constant attention to foot placement. Took us a little over 6 hours. Trekking poles recommended!

Great hike with some challenging river crossings

2nd time hiking this trail and proved challenging both times. If you like solitude, this definitely the trail for you. My hiking buddy and I saw only 2 others in this 13 mike loop. Would not recommend for solo hikers.

Great day of hiking and splashing around with my son.

You will not find better views off the AT. The most underrated hike out there. Love love love.

1 month ago

Great family hike! My wife and I took our three kids (14, 11, and 7) and our Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and really enjoyed the day. Additional info: I maneuvered our Town and Country van up Meadows Lane from Crabtree Falls Hwy and it was a little rough but not too difficult. It has been dry, and I am sure the road gets slick and challenging when wet. If you follow this app's map, you will arrive at a hairpin curve in Meadows Lane. There is an obvious camping spot (meadow) right there....that's where we parked the van. There is a road just to the left as you look at the camping spot from Meadows Lane. Follow that uphill past the Road Closed gate until the road forks to the left and right. You will notice trees on the left fork with the white AT mark. Look sharply to the RIGHT (even right of the right fork in the road,) up the mountain, and you will see additional white AT marks. That's your path. It's moderately steep uphill at first but not terrible. Plan on about 2.9 miles to the large meadow at the base of Spy Rock. The AT cuts off to the right as you enter the meadow. Go straight to the base of Spy Rock (past several campfires) and circle around the left side. You will find a path. It takes some scrambling but the whole fam plus doggo made it, no worries. Enjoy the view!

trail is okay but what's the difference between this and big levels

off road driving
1 month ago

Mostly stock friendly, there's a couple rocky areas and mudholes that are not stock friendly. You will have pin stripes at the end. It's a good 3 hour trip. This was my second time out with HMMWVs. Trail is narrow with brush but no trees are in the way.

Awesome trail. I did it with my wife and 3 teenage daughters we all had a great time.

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