Whiteoak Canyon to Upper Falls
ElevationAscent: 941' 287 m
Descent: -942' -287 m
High: 3,521' 1,073 m
Low: 2,579' 786 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 22% (13°)
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“A must-do run in Shenandoah National Park with views of the upper waterfalls of Whiteoak Run.”— Larry W. Brown
Head straight from here, and after a couple hundred yards, a small stream trickles in from the right and flows parallel to the trail. This is the Whiteoak Run that will continue down toward the upper falls. The flow levels of this stream vary drastically depending on precipitation and time of year.
Continue down the trail, passing small cascades and pools as they begin to grow the lower you get. Then, after approximately 1.3 miles from the Limberlost Trail, you come to another trail junction with Whiteoak Canyon Access Trail (at Bridge 3). Follow the trail to the left, crossing the stream on a bridge, and then continuing downstream on the left bank to where the trail widens. The top of the falls is ahead on the right.
The Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail/Whiteoak Canyon Road comes in on the left, around thirty yards down the trail. Continue straight ahead another 400 feet, to another widening in the trail. There are two rocky ledges toward the run that provide good spots to see the complete falls, which have a total drop of 86 feet.
Continuing past the upper falls, the canyon begins to narrow, and the trail is steep and rough. In order to reach the sixth falls, continue along White Oak Canyon, adding 2.7 miles and 1,110 feet of climbing to your run.
A longer and more strenuous alternative loop run that sees all of the falls is the White Oak Canyon to Cedar Run Loop.
Thanks to Larry W. Brown, for sharing this description. If you’re interested in learning more details about great runs, weather, camping / lodging, wildlife, and scenic drives, check out the comprehensive Guide to Shenandoah National Park.
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Land Manager: NPS - Shenandoah National Park