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Where do I start. This hike is absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking views of many waterfalls! You can even climb a few rocks to get right up close to a few of the falls. Unfortunately we were not prepared for what was to come. The hike up was pretty tough. Once we got up to where you take the fire road to Cedar Run trail we took the wrong path (both have yellow blazes) we ended up hiking about a mile or so in the wrong direction and that’s when the fog rolled in. Temps dropped about 20 degrees and it began to POUR down rain. Needless to say once we started our decent down Cedar Run everything was soaked and muddy and it’s VERY steep. We were slipping and sliding all over the place and much of the trail down is nearly impassable by fallen trees and things. We hiked the trail counterclockwise which under normal weather conditions would’ve been much easier. This loop is definitely not for beginners. You will absolutely be sore the next day and your feet will most definitely get wet because there are several river crossings. Most of the way UP is well.....UP....steep and you will need to take breaks to catch your breath. This loop is a beast. Can’t wait to tackle it again in better weather.

What an absolutely beautiful hike! I expected it to be hard but I had no idea how hard it was really going to be. I’m not sure about the mileage because my phone said 8.4 miles when all is said and done and my watch said 9.6 miles. This is not for a novice hiker! We took this hike counterclockwise. We had met some other people on the hike that said that clockwise disease year. But I believe there is no easy way to do this hike. I really had to keep pushing myself. We got down to the bottom of the canyon and I was starting to feel tired. The hike downhill was strenuous. But the hike up was a test! With an elevation gain of 2200 feet on the way up it really testing me. The fire road itself was difficult as we were exhausted by the time we got to the fire and the fire is completely uphill. But I’m happy to say that I finished it!

This was my first hike and a solo one at that. It was awesome!!! The rock scramble did not disappoint this first timer. I’m short (4’11”) and was able to this. Some review said it might be difficult and they were but other hikers were there to help if needed. I did this counter clockwise. Went up the fire road first then hit the scramble. That helped I’m sure as I was able to slide down a lot of the boulders. So if you’re in decent shape and want an exciting solo hike.....THIS WAS GREAT.

Nice hike, we did this in about 4-5 hours late September 2017. The trail was in good condition and easy to follow. The ridge part is great. This can be a longer day hike if you do a bigger loop including mount Flume (start with mount flume) and walking down the valley back to your car.

I did this hike in mid-April 2018 in winter conditions. Spikes are a must. The trail is difficult. We ascended via Falling Waters. There are stream crossings, so wear waterproof boots. Near the summit, the trail becomes especially steep. Views from the summit are spectacular, my favorite in the Whites. We encountered high wind gusts and freezing rain as we crossed the range. Thankfully we had goggles, and these saved the day. What is special about this hike is that you keep these beautiful views across the whole range and as you descend via Greenleaf trail. I can’t recommend this hike enough.

This hike has beautiful views at the top with an amazing breeze to cool down after the uphill. The rock scrambles are very fun and can be easy for some or very difficult depending on your physical shape and comfortability with bouldering/climbing. At a certain point the distance of the hike can definitely be mentally taxing and a motivational killer if fatigued lol. Specially if doing the hike the opposite direction with the weakley hollow fire trail first. Very fun and enjoyable workout. Good luck everyone!

Damn good hike

The gorge trail is closed for the winter months.

hiking
7 days ago

Classic Shenandoah must do hike. Spectacular views at the top. Can’t believe this is in Virginia. Definitely more crowded than most others due to its reputation.

One of the best and most memorable hikes I’ve done.

My very first hike and I chose this monster. Had a wonderful time and was not disappointed with the views.

My son and I loved this hike. Absolutely lived up to its “hard” rating, this hike has a lot to offer. Waterfalls and elevation change abound on this test, but the rugged terrain was the biggest consistent challenge. If you hike it counterclockwise as most recommend, be sure to stop and look back from time to time to avoid missing all of the amazing views this hike offers.

Fabulous! Would happily do it again!

I’ve hiked this trail a couple of times and love it! It’s a long trail and starts out fairly easy. The fun stuff happens close to the top - lots of rock scrambles!

Pretty easy hike. It only took me about 3.8 hours but it was worth the drive. views were cool and the waterfalls was a nice one.

Love the rock scrambles. That was extremely fun. The fire road is fairly easy. I ran down afterwards because it was kind of boring. Overall I would consider it as moderate and fun if u can climb on boulders and squeeze through small crevices. Love this hike.

One of the most difficult day hikes I've done in my life. Particularly loved the section on the Franconia Ridge Trail. I was glad to have ascended on Falling Waters.

What a great hike and the views were spectacular!

hiking
21 days ago

Great trail, starts out as an exercise from the bottom. Once you’re at the top it’s peaceful with beautiful scenery and no one else for miles.

Hiked this past weekend. I didn't realize what rock scramble meant.. This was the most fun hike I've done and the ice and snow made it really exhilarating at some points. The view was up there with the best in VA as well.

If you start at the opposite end from Buttermilk, the trail is gorgeous and there are very few people.

Usually a 5 star hike, ice from the past week made the higher altitude portion really slippery and challenging. Turned around before the scramble parts and had to slide parts of the way down. Saw others do the same. Just posting this so people know what to expect in the late March 2018 timeframe. Usually a wonderful challenge, we will be back when it gets warmer and the snow and ice has a chance to melt.

Along with Old Rag, this is one of my favorite hikes in the region. Old Rag has the 360 views, this has great waterfall after waterfall. I recommend starting at the bottom, going up White Oak, and coming down Cedar Run (going counterclockwise from the bottom). You put your work in first, then relax on the way back down and get the slide waterfalls and waterholes to relax in if you wish. Clockwise from the bottom means you miss the water holes or end up wet or carrying wet clothes the rest of the way, plus your back is to all the great White Oak waterfalls and you would miss the approaches. I dislike starting at the top as it means you put the work at the end vice the start and have to fight the Skyline Drive traffic. The way up is strenuous, but doable if you are in shape and the constant waterfalls make the time fly by. Highly recommend this excellent day hike.

Did the loop today and it was spectacular. We had to do a lot of improvising due to ice, but in the spring, summer, fall this trail would be absolutely incredible. I suppose the trade-off was that we didn't have to fight crowds through the rock scramble elements.

My favorite

My girlfriend and I embarked on this loop last year with some friends. We didn’t quite know what we were getting ourselves into. I had thought we had made it to the top when we reached the outlook where most will have there lunch. Little did I know that was just the beginning of the rock scramble. This loop is challenging and that makes it incredibly fun! I wouldn’t recommend to any beginners unless they go with someone who’s done it before. Not that you’d get lost, but the rock scramble does get challenging, especially for those out of shape. My girlfriend and I love it and will be going back soon.

I have done this three times, each of the last three years, it is always best in the fall, but doing it in December means less crowds. The loop is a better way to do it, although the distance is closer to 11 miles that way. Going straight up and down means fighting the crowds coming up through the scramble, which is not fun for either direction. If you are doing it in the summer or fall, I strongly recommend avoiding the weekends or starting early. Arriving around 0800 will leave you waiting in lines on the weekend that can stretch for an hour or more at the start of the scramble. This hike is a lot of fun and a real sense of community develops along the way. Not good for pets at the scramble. Make sure to pack a lunch and enjoy the view at the top.

My dog and a few friends did this trail in late August of 2017. The trail was very difficult but immensely rewarding. Bring plenty of water and supplies, Views are stunning throughout the trail. Great hike for experienced and well trained dogs.

We hiked up the Cedar Run Trail which was strenuous for the entire way up (about 3 hours). This was a good trail to go up because there were a lot of smaller waterfalls and a steady stream. When we got to the top, we got a little turned around and accidentally went the wrong way. So make you’re reading your map carefully. We went down the White Oak Trail which was beautiful. The waterfalls were huge! Great photo opps. Trails were well kept even with the recent windstorm. The whole hike took us a little over 6 hours.

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