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

To Do Map

What can i say that hasn’t been already said. Must do if you’re in Shenandoah!!!

Always a must.

- start out as early as possible, 10am the lot is packed
- show ranger your NPS ticket so you don't get ticketed
- porter potties at the start, but there are two
outhouses near the top.
- lots of water, at least 1 liter per person
- brings snacks to munch on at the top while enjoying the views
- definitely suggest boots for ankle support
- you can get easily lost chasing the blue paint marks but it kind of makes it fun
- the natural jungle gym is incredible, yes challenging physically and mentally, but after completed I wish I would've enjoyed it more instead of stressing over my next footing or body odor
- creatures seen: Turkey vultures, bald eagle, crows, smaller birds, raccoon, bunches of insects larger beetles to moths, and a juvenile black bear!

-only negative is the amount of people, hence arrive early or camp overnight.

Challenging but super fun. Started at 8.30am on Sunday and did not see anyone, maybe because there was forecast for heavy rain but that stayed off until we were making our descent. Lucky because the rock scramble would have been so much more difficult in the rain. Took us 4.5 hours. I went with a friend who was strong and able to pull me up two times when boulders didn’t have foot holds. No way could I have done this trail without his help!

Awesome hike

Great hike! completed in 5 hr. Definitely need some upper body strength if solo hiking.

Nice hike. I did this hike with my 5 year old

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!

Awesome hike! Very challenging. Difficult for shorter people or those without upper arm strength. If bribing a bag, make it a small one as some of the rock passes are very narrow. Went in late March and had to pay for overflow parking as it was so crowded.

Growth on the upper trail in spots is now making it tricky to move at speed in spots near the top.

Amazing view at the top! The climb through the rocks remains the highlight of the hike.

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.

This hike is a beast but a beautiful and rewarding beast. Go early and prepare for it to be an all day excursion, especially since it does get backed up with this hike being so popular. Wear the right shoes, bring plenty of water and snacks. The beginning is uneventful switch backs that feel like they never end. Then you will have a few moments where you think WOW I've finally made it! But be patient, because you in fact have not. Don't lose hope because the view at the top is OUTSTANDING and worth the struggle. Love love love the challenging rock scrambles, so much fun! This is definitely an accomplishment and one for the books!

Who hasn’t hike this mountains. Strenuous it is the switchbacks in the beginning can be boring but once you get to the scrambles the fun starts. Fantastic views at the summit. Just when you think you reached the summit you realize it’s a false summit.

Start early or be patient! Extremely popular hike where trail jams start to happen as the crowds line up to get through the rock scramble. Fun hike and one of "old" time favorites. I've done this a bunch of times, but it's almost too crowded these days. Popular hike for a reason! Best time to go is in the fall.

I did this hike for the first time a few weeks ago. It is an outstanding challenge that rewards the effort with fantastic views. It can be crowded so I would recommend going early or if your schedule allows on a weekday.

15 days ago

Great workout and great views!

Hard climb. We took 2 adults and 3 kids ages 9,10,and 12. Steep grades and some rock scrambling. The view was absolutely worth the effort. Bring lots of fluids. We had 68 oz and ran out on the way down.

Ive been hiking this trail so much it's easy now. Be aware that there are some places on the upper ridge where the growth almost covers the trail. (as of Saturday of Labor Day weekend)

15 days ago

It was difficult but definitely worth it!!
The view was absolutely beautiful!!

16 days ago

Amazing hike, and definitely quite a workout; but the views are worth it! I would definitely recommend bringing tons of water and proper hiking boots (especially in the summer)

Challenging trail but fun. Lots of waterfalls.

This trail is difficult mostly because of the time it takes. The time would be reduced were it. It for the number of ppl on the trail who are obviously unprepared.

It’s a good hike that gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Mentally, be prepared for false summits. You’ll swear that you’re at the summit five times before you get there.

Hiking alone may be problematic in a couple of places unless you’re taller or agile on the rocks.

fun trail with a rock scramble goimg to the 30 and 100 lb battery. view of Shepherdstown is awesome

Fantastic. Scaling those rocks though was terrifying. I made the mistake of taking this trip alone and got stuck between 2 rocks. Luckily another person also doing it solo came my way from the other direction. I told him since it was raining and so late in the afternoon there’s no way he’d make it all the way through before night fall and it definitely wasn’t safe. So we went back his way and it was super easy on the way down. So of coarse the obvious is don’t do this hike by yourself and be super carful. I would like to say you do get some cell service up there if you need to call for help. The views are so worth the hard work on this hike!

22 days ago

Did this hike with my wife and really enjoyed it. We did the clockwise loop and wouldn’t do it any other way. The more difficult part first. Bonus was seeing a Black Bear and her cub foraging, only 10 yards away. She was clearly use to seeing visitors and was not bothered. We didn’t take pictures, just moved along minding our business.

This hike was a lot of fun and had its challenges! The Catoctin Mountain Extension trail is actually a combination of trails that loop around a majority of park. If you want more of a challenge, definitely go counterclockwise (starting with Chimney Rock). If you have any questions, the park employees are very friendly! Only gave it 4 stars because of the views aren’t to die for, but still very beautiful overall.

I've hiked this trail numerous times. It's sort of a central Virginian prerequisite. The trail is well maintained and is not super trafficked- as long as you go on a weekday. There are some serious rock scrambles towards the top that are a lot of fun but would be nearly impossible for dogs or small children. Pack a backpack with some snacks and a lunch for the awesome view on top!

I really enjoyed this. Much of the hike is moderate and uneventful, but the lengthy boulder scrambling makes it amazing. I drove from Philly and stayed in a hotel the night before so that I could make a 6am start. I would not recommend doing it any other way, and Ill explain why. Mountain time is the time for me to flush life's anxieties out of my head. I did it solely for this reason knowing that the crowds get ridiculous here on a weekend. And I was by myself for 90% of the trip. And the unexpected and most wonderful part of this, was that the rock scramble is fairly technical. With the crowds in a constant bottleneck through the obstacles, you would just be following the masses through a predetermined route. Doing it alone, made me have to identify, often by trial and error, what was the best/only way to get to the next step. As someone who is working to overcome a fear of heights, it was so much more satisfying to overcome each challenge by myself without following, having advice, or even having help available. Views are amazing and plentiful. Bugs were nonexistent this day, and the weather is perfect this time of year. Only recommendation I give is definitely have boots with great grip, as there is often no stable footing and grip is all you have; and lightweight gloves with some grip in the palms were very helpful as well with the scramble. I promise you won't be disappointed with this climb.

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