Explore the most popular walking trails in Shenandoah National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful falls. Went when the water was very high, and the rain was still coming while we hiked. Started at Jones Run Trailhead, which seems like it would be the easier route.

My dogs and I walked down to the water falls are many days of rain, It was more impressive than I expected. Best think to see it after some rain. A nice walk in the rain,

Beautiful waterfall hike in early May. Lots of water running over falls. Be prepared for a steady uphill climb on the return. Hiking poles recommended! Hiked on a hot day temps in mid 80’s with very little shade or breeze as the leaves hadn’tcome out yet. Very buggy. Wear bug spray !!!

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike. We did get lost at one point extending the hike by a mile or too; saw a bear (who wasn't very afraid) and at one point had trouble passing a very large hornet's nest handing mid trail. Made it all the more exciting however!

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful! Bring a snack though!

I did this as a point-to-point from Compton Gap to the park entrance. it was approximately 10 miles with 900' of elevation gain. Heading in the opposite direction, it is a far more difficult hike. The highlights are a stop at the visitor center and the definite possibilty of seeing a bear.

Beautiful falls!! Good air. Worth it!

Had a great time on this trail!

Great hike. Beautiful falls. Started at upper Whiteoak on Skyline Drive and hiked all the way down to lower Whiteoak. Like most trails in this park not clearly labeled, and easy to venture off onto other trails. If you do both sets of Whiteoak Canyon trails (upper & lower), give yourself time to hike back before dusk... tougher trek back. And it is about a 50 minute drive from the lower parking lot back up to the upper (Skyline) parking lot.

hiking
6 days ago

Long hike but it was totally worth it. The waterfall was breath taking. We found some small waterfalls in the beginning and there was a slide in the waterfall that you could slide down into a pool of water (I posted a picture of it). My wife and I were not completely prepared for the hike but we still pushed through and made it through in about 5hrs.

Intense hike that will have you scaling boulders.... and crawling on hands and knees at times. The view at the top was pretty magnificent though...

Fantastic hike, this is not a hike if you are not somewhat fit - the rock scrambling can be difficult, lifting your body weight and sliding between rocks. I suggest bringing gloves for the rock scramble, as the granite can eventually start to hurt your palms. Views are worth the climb! IF you are unsure about doing the rock scramble, you can always take the fire road up to the top, it's a lot easier than the switchbacks and rock scramble.

Good hike! A lot of rocks to climb

This is an absolutely amazing, challenging hike! Not for the weak in heart!

So far the hardest trail I’ve hiked, but so worth it! The views are incredible!
It was a bit muddy and wet; but teamwork got my family and I through.

hiking
8 days ago

This was absolutely beautiful and the views were amazing. It was overcast but so humid. A lot of rock steps- which had moss.

Awesome hike- breathtaking views. Was pretty busy when we went. Lot of family’s bringing kids. There was a strenuous hill and it was rocky on other side. Overall loved it!

This was my first real hike! Before, it had pretty much been all flat trails or minimal elevations and definitely not as long. Needless to say, this one kicked my tail. I've since been back and faired a lot better and as of now Old Rag is by far my favorite hike.

The trail is listed at 9 miles but you can probably add another mile on each end since you have to walk to the trailhead from the parking lot. I also recommend heading up clockwise and doing the scramble on the way up as opposed to doing the opposite. The first half of the climb is mainly elevations, obviously, and switchbacks. Just when it gets pretty exhausting, you come up on the rock scramble and for the most part switch from using your legs to a mixture of upper body which gives you a nice break from exhausted legs. The summit is beautiful and well worth waiting for to take your lunch break and enjoy the views. The hike down can be a bit rocky and fast-paced. Eventually you'll get to a long flat road that makes up a majority of your walk back to the parking lot if not more than half. I think right many people actually take this way up and back to avoid the rock scramble. Personally, I think it's worth doing the scramble so you can get the most out of Old Rag. It's definitely a challenge and well worth the hard rating.

Recommendations:
- 3 of 4 liters of water.
- Snack food and/or lunch.
- Hiking boots with ankle protection as opposed to low tops, mainly due to the quick pace of the hike downhill and the rocky terrain. Waterproofing isn't much of a need on this hike.
- I also suggest leaving your "paid for" walking stick and maybe just taking up a makeshift stick for your initial climb. Once you get to the rock scramble it's kind of in your way and annoying, so you could throw it away at that point.

This was probably the best ones I’ve been to in awhile. It is taxing on you so be prepared to take breaks as you go. A few downed trees were in our path due to a storm we had had there recently, but it wasn’t a big deal as we went through it.

3/5 stars for the terrible crowds if you go on a weekend.

10/5 stars if you hike up in the dark and watch the sunrise. We've hiked up Old Rag a few times at night to watch meteor showers and catch epic sunrises. The trail up to the ridge is easy to follow with a headlamp. If you aren't comfortable scrambling in the dark, the first overlook is easy to get to. Nothing beats an Old Rag sunrise in the fall!

One caution: if you hike up in the dark during the summer, you WILL see snakes. They are only active at night when it's cool, and you will see a lot of them.

One of Virginia's premier hikes. I'd say moderate difficulty for the experienced hiker. Definitely strenous at some points. We did cedar run route and down white oak. Very happy with that choice.

An absolutely beautiful day hike! We did it clockwise from the top, starting with whiteoak. Whiteoak has incredible waterfall views and lots of excellent swimming spots. Cedar run has fewer views and is rougher and steeper, but is less crowded and has wonderful opportunities to see wildlife. We liked spotting watersnakes around the riverbanks (no bear sightings unfortunately).

I see many people are doing this hike counterclockwise to avoid going uphill on steep cedar run. Cedar run gets slippery and I would not want to be trying to go down it in any weather - - it felt much safer to be going uphill. Yes, it's hard, but stop for breaks when you need it and plan to be sore the next day and you'll be fine.

There were water crossings but at the time we went the water level was low (no wet feet).

We were two people, reasonably fit but not used to hiking, and did it in six hours.

Nice little extension off the AT that leads to some fun rocks. climbing around on the rocks was quite enjoyable and my kids loved it quite a lot. Nice place to let the kids feel like they can climb without there being too many exposed heights. My kids were 3 and 5 at the time. We added onto this, so we probably did about a mile and a half, which made for a nice little hike before the sunset on a 90-degree day. Lots of wildflowers and mushrooms. We even saw a giant lunar moth. It would be a good leg stretcher for someone getting ready to hike a bigger trail. For those with kids, it's quite a nice little hike.

Quick fun hike

hiking
12 days ago

What a way to spend my 60th Birthday. Beautiful scenery and a challenge scrambling up the rocks on our way back up to the parking lot. Trail is not for a novice!

The beauty of this trail is unsurpassed. You hike through a forest with the river by your side. There are 3 river crossings. The third one was high (due to recent rains) so we removed our boots. The waterfall at the end of this hike was spectacular.

hiking
13 days ago

Fantastic hike! Two-thirds of this loop follows cascading creeks/falls, easily walkable trail. Took our miniature dachshund and he loved it. Easily one of our favorites in Shenandoah NP!

Was my hardest hike until now. Not impossible but the last mile or two (clockwise) were super hard, also run out of water at some point - would need 2l pp in retrospective. Some points were not super clearly signed and one had to climb some times over trees.

We had a group of 8 do this hike the 2nd weekend of April. Lucky for us it was 69-70 degrees that day, the hike was beautiful on the way down with plenty of areas to stop and take pictures and enjoy he waterfalls. Climbing back up the other side of the falls put everyone in the group to the test. With about a 45 minute lunch break and many gasping for air breaks we completed the loop in about 6 hours 45 minutes. Muscles cramping in places I didn’t know could cramp. It was awesome!

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