45 Bikes & Hikes: Whiteoak Canyon

Shenandoah National Park
Descend Into a Cool Canyon
Whiteoak Canyon

Distance: 4.6 miles round-trip

Mountain streams rush over moss-covered rocks in Whiteoak Canyon. Photograph by Jerry Greer.

This renowned hike—which starts from a parking lot off Skyline Drive (mile 42.6)—descends deep into Whiteoak Canyon and affords views of the park’s second-largest waterfall (86 feet). Bring a bathing suit to splash around in the pools below the falls. Just remember that what goes down must go up: Although the hike is generally easy, the way back is steep, with an elevation change of 1,040 feet. Make it harder: For an even more strenuous 8.2-mile loop, continue past five more waterfalls and connect to the Cedar Run Trail at the canyon bottom. For more, see

Get Washingtonian’s Daily DC Updates (Not Just Another Political News Roundup)