Lower White Oak Canyon Falls #4, Virginia

Lower White Oak Canyon Falls #4 in December 2011

If you’re visiting Shenandoah National Park, and you’re interested in seeing a number of waterfalls, then White Oak Canyon is a great choice to see at least seven waterfalls (or what are least seven somewhat distinct drops). As I’ve mentioned before, though, you’re in for a hike.

The Upper Falls is large, but somewhat hidden by trees. The other falls further upstream (Lower #1, 2, and 3) are each drops of moderate size, and some of them are particularly beautiful. There are also a number of side waterfalls that flow into the creek (#1 and #2). Could the be more interesting drops and side-waterfalls further downstream? I’m sure there could be, but as you keep hiking more and more downhill, the nagging thought that you have to climb uphill builds to a critical mass. The trail does end at another parking area, so if you knew that someone could meet you there, you might feel much less nagged. After hiking for some way, I decided that if I went any further, I would be regretting going any further. That was probably true, as I was worn out by the time I got back up to the parking area. The hike was definitely amazing, especially in late December, and I would definitely recommend a visit to Shenandoah National Park. If you decide to hike on the trail, be prepared! Bring water and snacks. In the warmer months, bring sunscreen and even more water.

Directions:

  1. At the intersection of US-211 and Skyline Drive, head south on Skyline Drive.
  2. After five or six miles, you should see the parking area for the White Oak Canyon Trail, which is where your journey begins. It’s just after the entrance to the Skyland Resort.
  3. From here, follow the very clear signage for about 2.5 miles to the first falls. After the first lower falls, this is the next in succession. Be aware: the further downhill you progress, the longer the uphill climb you have. The uphill climb is where the difficulty lies.

Accessibility: 2/10 (strenuous)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 4.6 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Lower White Oak Canyon Falls #4?

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