District Location: Central
Waterway: Cedar Run, 4 waterfalls
Distance: 1.8 miles (one way) to the upper falls (#1), 2.6 miles (one way) to the lower falls (#4)
View Area Map

Directions: access via the gravel parking area at mile 45.6 along Skyline Drive (Hawksbill Gap). The paved parking area across the drive is intended for hikes to Hawksbill summit. Cross the yellow-blazed Skyland-to-Big Meadows horse trail. Continue on the blue-blazed Cedar Run Trail. The trail eventually crosses the stream, the current water level will determine how wet you’ll get crossing it.

Just below the stream crossing you’ll come upon a natural waterslide which is a very popular destination in the summer months, as are the other falls/pools in both Cedar Run and Whiteoak Canyon. Personally I do not deem this waterslide to be a true waterfall; it just doesn’t meet the requirements. Just a short ways below this waterslide you will find Cedar Run Falls #1, it is visible from and close to the trail. Cedar Run squeezes through a narrow gorge then drops 34 feet into a miniature canyon, forming Cedar Run Falls #1, with Half Mile Cliffs towering on the opposite side.

Cedar Run Falls #1

Cedar Run Falls #2

Cedar Run Falls #3

Cedar Run Falls #4

Cedar Run is an extraordinarily scenic mountain stream from top to bottom with many cascades and several waterfalls. I had a great time exploring it during high water levels, and I definitely have a newfound respect and admiration for this rugged wilderness canyon.

*Bob Sihler of Summit Post says it best:*
Steeper, more rugged, and quieter than its famous neighbor Whiteoak Canyon, the canyon cut by Cedar Run makes for a spectacular and strenuous journey through some of Shenandoah National Park’s most scenic areas. Far from being unknown or even seldom-visited, Cedar Run nevertheless offers a welcome, delightful escape from the crowds that flock to the canyon just over the ridge to the north. One can find cliffs and boulders here in abundance. Numerous short gorges accessible only by leaving the trail beckon.

A trio of 3 small falls found in Upper Cedar Run Canyon


Cascades and Waterfalls found along Cedar Run