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hiking
11 hours ago

Went on this hike last month. Don’t be mistaken by the first nice view. Make your way to the ridge line for great views. Good for a day when you need a good hike, but don’t have all day!

We went on a clear and sunny Friday morning after it had rained all night. We arrived at the parking lot around 7:30 am, but didn't start hiking until 8:30. This was intentional -- we wanted to get to the parking lot early enough to snag a spot and then take our time to eat breakfast and take advantage of the porta potties Don't underestimate the length and difficulty of this hike! It took us 6 hours to complete with several small breaks throughout.

The highlight of this hike is definitely the rock scrambling portion. Wear sturdy shoes with good grips and long pants if you can! There were plenty of times when I had to slide down a boulder or use my butt and knees to support myself, hah.

Next time we will probably take longer breaks and definitely bring more water.

The parking lot was completely full when we got there on a Saturday. Make sure you have $3 to park in the lot. I would give it a -10 out of 10 on solitude, couldn't even stop and take a picture without a group of people on your back. We took the "scenic trail" and the stream was beautiful the whole way to the falls. There were lots of mini falls and places for my dog to stop and splash in the water. The falls were beautiful! The trails were very well maintained. I would rate this as an easy hike. The views were worth it even with all the people!

2 days ago

Loved this hike! Fall weather is perfect for this trail because I hardly sweated at all (even though the hike is long)! Super beautiful views from so many spots and everyone is really friendly. No pets are allowed for a good reason (some parts are very challenging climbs)!

Great climb. Hiked up from little devil stairs parking lot. Glad I had poles, water crossings a bit dicey at times. Nice walk down with some views!

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike. However going counter clockwise thru the loop, after the first overlook (1.5 miles) there are several rock piles across the trail and rocks off and on for the next mile or two. Be sure to wear the proper shoes and take care. The overlooks are quite spectacular. I was however disappointed at Signal Knob overlook looking west as the small Maple trees have grown to block a lot of the view that was so breathtaking just a couple of years ago. I hope the trail maintenance crew in that area can trim those back as the view really has been compromised. Saw 4 solo's and 3 pairs of hikers all day. Temps in the 50's and cloudy.

BRIDGE IS OUT! We tried to do this hike this morning but the bridge about .7 miles in is washed out (probably by hurricane Michael). We will try again in a few months.

Great short hike for a fall day (hiked 9/29) with good views. Not too many people on our Friday morning.

Amazing experience! Just watch the weather because it was dry and sunny at the base but rainy and slippery at the top. Also carry an extra jacket and leave your hands free; you’ll need them!

The view at the top is great and good for short hike. Not a 5-star though because we were aware of Skyline Drive for the first half of the hike. Trail traffic was moderate on a Wednesday.

Beautiful well-maintained trails. Saw two turtles and a flock of turkeys. Very quiet. Some trails were not open so could not see the whole thing. I would suggest fall/winter being the best time to go to avoid bugs

A short but steady incline that takes you to some incredible views. This is a popular trail with a parking lot, bathrooms, and water at the bottom. Expect to see people, possibly quite a few if it's a weekend or holiday.

Nice trail. Very rocky path all the way up. I brought my three and a half year old son, and he completed the whole thing by himself (while holding my hand). Good trail for kids as long as they can hold onto you so they don't trip on one of the rocks.

We started muster after the mile maker 19 and parked. Walked down the fire road all the way and then came back up the Devils stairs. There are several creek crossings which are doable. Look for the blue marks on trees or you may miss where you should cross. Stable shoes (not sandals) are a must. It gets steep at points and you will have to actually use hands and feet to step up and climb.

I’m very active and it was a good workout. My counterpart had some difficulty with the steep inclines and elevation. However, you can stop and rest. It was mid 70’s and sunny. We were sweating hard and definitely bring water.

I loved the various fungi and water fall spots. Didn’t see any wildlife, not even birds but I found it to be a very beautiful and a peaceful hike.

We did see a few dogs along the way, one with 3 legs even! But bring water for them. Not sure they should be drinking the creek water even though it’s crystal clear.

I’d recommend this hike. It took us 4 hours but could have easily been done in 3-3.5 with my normal hiking partner.

Excellent and higher end of moderate for those hiking with kids.

9 days ago

lots of cross stream path, and climbing rock part is real fun!

We only trailed about 2 miles in Bc we started so late. We went left to the blue trail which was really cool. It was a lot of hiking up. Pretty heavy trafficked for a Sunday. We’re going back tomorrow to checkout the left route.

This was a really great hike for us! We got to the parking lot at about 9 and it was relatively empty with only about 10 other cars there but by the time we left it was packed, so I would recommend getting there as early as you can to ensure that there is parking. We did the trail in the opposite direction as this page suggests, as that is what the Ranger suggested to us.

There are a ton of small to medium falls/rapids and a handful of large (30-80ft) waterfalls along the White Oak Canyon trail. At the bottom of the falls there are usually swimming holes, but it being October we decided to forgo that opportunity until a later time. The trail going up was a bit steep in some places, but was not bad overall. Once you get onto the connecting fire road, it was still a bit of an incline but not bad at all. It is also much smoother and easier to walk on that either of the two other legs of the trail. Cedar Run Trail was a much steeper, much more narrow, and much more rocky than White Oak Canyon. I would recommend very good shoes for that to prevent you from rolling an ankle. The trail was very scenic the entire way, but we felt that going down Cedar Run was doing it a disservice because we missed a lot of scenery because we were constantly looking down trying to find flatish surfaces to step on. There are also a couple times you have to cross the water going down, over logs and rocks. It wasn't a problem for us at all, but some people had dogs or small children that I'm not sure how they fared.

It was extremely empty when we started at 9, and we only saw 3 people on the trail until we got to about the fire road. After that it was much more crowded, though nothing too crazy. We finished the trail in just under 6 hours, but we probably should have stopped more to appreciate the scenery going down Cedar Run trail.

I tracked this on my Fitbit app with GPS sync, and it said we took 5 hours 57 minutes over 8.35 miles.

hiking
10 days ago

It was such an incredible hike! My favorite in Shenandoah! It took us about 5 hours, but we went at a good pace and took a few short stops along the way. I suggest parking at the white oak boundary parking (the coordinates All Trails gives you; note parking filled up around 10 AM), then start to the right on white oak canyon trail. This way, you’ll start going up hill then end going down hill, which is definitely the way to go!!

There are gorgeous waterfalls, lookouts, and swimming holes, and parts are at a pretty steep incline with some rock scrambles. The middle part of the loop, Whiteoak Canyon fire road, was also at an incline but didn’t have any rocks or anything—just trees, so it felt kind of long. Going down Cedar Run Trail is very rocky and sometimes slippery; highly recommend good hiking shoes. There are some pretty waterfalls, swimming holes, and lunch spots on this part of the trail. You will have to cross a few streams.

The trail was busy but not too crowded. The leaves are starting to fall with some pretty fall colors. Definitely suggest starting this trail early in the day as the sun sets earlier this time of year.

Beautiful view - just stunning. This hike I would rate as a little more difficult than moderate- only because my 8yr old daughter had a tough time. So beware if you plan on bringing any children. Take your time and take breaks. Kids aside- rocky but well maintained trail. Most of your view is through the forest of course on the way up- you will pass an old home- chimney remnants. Really cool- once you reach around 3000ft there are views- beautiful once you've reached the rock. Worth it.

Lots of rocks! I had tennis shoes and definitely wished I had hiking boots. Tough hike for a novice and I think I nearly sprained my ankle 4-5 times. It was very challenging but lots of fun.

All around great hike...

Fantastic & dynamic trail with large boulders to climb over

We did a little over 6 miles and I think we could have done more. It was quiet and had such adventurous feel to it. I would definitely do it again.

My favorite trail during my time in the park. Fun rock scramble at the end and a beautiful 360 view to top it all off.

As always - Old Rag never disappoints. Took a leisurely 8 hours with stops for views, lunch, rests (we're in our late 50s/60s). Saw about 20 people on a Tuesday. Not much color yet. Check the humidity before going. It was 70 degrees, but humid. Shirt was soaking wet in no time. Drink 16 oz water at parking lot, and carry at least 48 oz. I only took 32 oz and was thirsty. No bears or snakes. But fun to watch the birds soaring beneath you. With no passes, it will cost you $20-$30 for entrance fee, based on the number of people in your car. There is a ranger at the parking lot.

Fantastic hike! The view on the rocky part of the hike is truly beautiful.

3rd time for me. I’m 63 years old. It is very hard but very rewarding when you reach the summit. I wear Solomon hikers, low tops, and have zero issues with gripping on rocks, and toes pushing forward in long downhill. Can’t say enough how important lightweight but strong soled shoes are. Also good fitting gloves. Mine are leather and sinch at wrist and are actually garden gloves but they work awesome for getting traction in rock crevices and surfaces. Unless you are doing it alone, it’s important to check the condition of your companions along the way.. Sometimes I can go without a lot of breaks, other times I’m stopping 5 min after each obstacle. I use 1-1/2 liters of water for the entire loop. But I bring 2 in case someone doesn’t have enough. PB and Js, nuts, and fruit seem to work for me. Water pack should be small and fit well for climbing. So far I’ve seen 2 black snakes, one on path and one in the rock scramble, and a bear crossed the path in front of me a while back. I don’t carry bear spray because this trail is so busy. We were there in a Monday, and still there were maybe 20 cars in the parking lot and we saw folks all along the way. But no backup at the rocks and everyone helped each other get through the obstacles. It took us 6 hours RT back to parking lot. Don’t plan a lot of physical stuff for the next day! It’s an awesome place though and I will go again. There was a little water on some off the rocks, and they could be slippery in places....again good gripping shoes help tremendously.

have hiked this many times, love it. will do again I'm sure.

hiking
16 days ago

Peaceful noises of water rushing throughout the hike created a relaxing space. Gorgeous views throughout! Definitely recommend venturing here.

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