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Perfect hike on a fall day. Never boring and the rock scramble really breaks things up. I like that you get the difficult part over with first and then end with a lovely 2.5 mile stroll down the fire road. Highly Recommend this hike.

Super nice hike. Done it dozens of times and never gets old. A bit crowded on nice days so go off season if you can.

An incredible hike for experienced hikers, upper body strength is important throughout the rock scramble. You won’t find a better view in Virginia! Well worth the strenuous work. It states a 8.6ml hike. From the parking lot and back it’s actually 10.44, bring plenty of water and wear good hiking shoes!

Very challenging, beautiful hike. Definitely wear pants, hiking shoes, and I was really glad I wore gloves.

Long challenging but beautiful trail. Start early to avoid the crowds and it’ll be worth it

We went after a hurricane so we were the only ones there. The water was raging and I've never seen the falls so big! It was a easy to moderate hike and the trails were well maintained. My dog and I enjoyed some of the many swimming holes on the way up to the falls. It was beautiful!

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.

5 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)!

There is nothing super hard about this trail. It’s long but not hard.

The Crabtree falls part is especially easy and people were doing it with young kids.

If it’s a foggy day you might not be able to easily see the priest shelter- the AT connects to another trail called priest’s wilderness so if you wanted to go longer than 8 miles as stated here you could.

Plenty of places to camp along the AT as well.

hiking
5 days ago

Good day hike. We went to the right/CCW. After a short down hill there’s a steady ~3 mike uphill climb. Back 1/3 had a steep decline but it was on the short side. Awesome view of Shenandoah at the larger waterfall. Pretty muddy given all the recent rain. Tree cover along entire trail. About 5-6 stream closing that were easy but fun.

Great hike! My bride and I parked at the end of the Terrapin Mountain road to start our hike. Very strenuous for for first three plus miles because it is all uphill. Our hike was complicated by multiple downed trees on the initial uphill trek and backside (and much easier side) of the trail. Lots of debris. We agree that it seemed much longer than 9.3 miles (we hiked for seven hours which included getting over and through the downed trees and navigating across the beautiful Reed Creek and other streams); there was lots of water when we hiked so be prepared to have wet boots when you traverse Reed Creek in a couple of places. Beautiful views (especially near the summit) and a gorgeous waterfall (on the easier back side of the hike). If you want an easier hike with the waterfall and access to the Reed Creek from the Terrapin Road trailhead, turn left at the trailmarker. The trail should be marked better and more often (markers don’t often face the hiker, so we had to look for them on the other side of the trees and when we had to traverse the full Reed Creek). Paper map would be helpful as phones don’t always have reception, so you can’t use your map apps.

Such a fun hike. Tons of bouldering.

backpacking
7 days ago

Just as promised, 3 Ridges delivered on the hardness! Excellent view on night 2, with a crazy night sky.

hiking
7 days ago

Hiked this with a buddy and his dog. It was a nice drive out there. You hike about a mile out to the loop. We went left or clockwise and it was pretty muddy from rain the previous day. The first 2 miles of crossing creeks was a warm up for the real creek crossings and then the haul up a biggg hill. There were some campers at the first view of the waterfall. Looked beautiful and would camp there. The next mile and half were diff camping/view points with breath taking views. The last 5-6 miles was calming and very cool to walk thru. Made a rock tower in the little creek/dam/island area a mile from the start was awesome to chill in after a long hike.

Gorgeous! but you get what you feel for. Very Rocky and steep up hill climbs. But the climb is worth it. Not a lot water after the water falls or Harper's Creek shelter. PACK LIGHT! carry water and a water filter.

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!

hiking
9 days ago

Only managed to do part of the trail due to time restrictions, but decent hike. We went counter clockwise so had a decent amount of elevation change. Hope to return to finish the rest of the trail.

backpacking
11 days ago

Our first overnight backpacking trip did not disappoint. Very challenging carrying over 20lbs backpack. Parked at Reid’s gap and made it to Maupin shelter. Stayed on the AT (not mah-har) and learned we should have filled our water bladders as we did not see any water sources until harpers creek. Took about 5 hours to enjoy the view and take in everything we were learning to get from Maupin to harpers creek. Once at harpers creek shelter refilled our water and took off for mah-har which was very tough. Beautiful waterfall and creeks along the way but too tough to make it back to Maupin. Stayed overnight in a valley next to the creek in one of the few flat spots along the Mah-har. Finished the mah-har the next morning and back to Reid’s gap. Enjoyed the challenge and would do it again for the great views.

VERY CHALLENGING HIKE! We did it in one day from 8:50am to 5:50pm. Al together we took less than 1hr break. iPhone tracked 14 miles with absolutely no deviation from the track.
It’s definitely not a hiking for beginners. I’m training for a half marathon (one month away) and I was pretty much maxed out at a certain point. This is a very hard hike to do in one day.
It has A LOT of very steep ascent and descent. About 4 summits, so a lot of elevation gain. There is no flat or “road” terrain. It’s either steep up or down. Lots of rock scrambles specially on the Mau-har trail. Mau-har we did about 1 mile per hour. Don’t underestimate. It’s tough specially if you are doing in one day and hit the mau-har already tired!
We did the clockwise route. No water on the first half, and lots on the second. I took a 3L water bladder and didn’t finish it.
The 1.6 miles of AT that leads from parking lot to the “loop” is moderate, which is good to warm up for the hard work out and to cool down at the end of the day.
Even tho starting at mile 3 it’s a hard hike, the mal har trail is the most challenging! It’s also the most beautiful since you see a nice water fall and walk along some creeks.
I only saw people that were camping. We didn’t. As I said we did it all in the same day. But if camping is your thing, that may be the best way to do it.
It was a very fog day (whole day) so we couldn’t see anything from up there. There are 2-3 places that presumably has good views. And there one decent water fall and other smaller creeks. Walk along the water fall for half mile. Overall a nice hike but not for the views. Go if you want to take a challenge

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
12 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.

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

The last six miles are relatively easy, but the first three are more difficult than Sharp Top.
This is a great hike. I did the entire loop today in under six hours. Lots to see, beautiful views.

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.

hiking
17 days ago

Definitely recommend going counterclockwise on the loop! We went clockwise and skipped right past all of the scenic parts. We had a great time but got really frustrated having to cross the river three times and the water was up to our knees. Bring water shoes!

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