District Location: Central
Waterway: Whiteoak Run (the principal source of the Robinson River), 6 total waterfalls
Distance: From Skyline Drive, 2.3 miles to upper falls (one way), 3.5 to lower falls (one way)
View Area Map

Directions: access via the parking area at mile 42.6 along Skyline Drive. Take the Whiteoak Canyon Trail. All Whiteoak waterfalls will be to your right as you trek downwards. Only 2 of the falls are not visible from the trail (#4 and #5).

This hike is one of the most popular and scenic treks in the park which gives you an opportunity to visit 6 waterfalls. When rain has been plentiful the canyon is a water wonderland. The trail rarely leaves the sight of flowing water. Please note it is a steep descent into the canyon beyond the #1 falls, which makes for a steep climb back to the parking lot.

Note: the #4 and #5 falls can be accessed by climbing to the right-side area near the top of the #6 falls. From the trail, as it swings upwards and away from near the base of the #6 falls, go up the rocky, wooded area towards the top. Both falls are relatively close to each other but require some bushwhacking and rock scrambling.

The rugged wilderness beauty that exists in WOC is not just limited to its 6 waterfalls. The rushing stream provides plenty of photogenic cascades/pools from top to bottom amongst cliffs and ledges and surrealistic boulders.

I like how Bob Sihle from Summit Post describes it: Shenandoah National Park is the jewel of the Blue Ridge, and Whiteoak Canyon is the jewel of Shenandoah. A trail winds and climbs through Whiteoak Canyon. No other trail in Shenandoah National Park offers as much as this trail does, and it ranks among the great day hikes in all the national parks of the United States. The principal lure of the trail is its waterfalls-- there are six major ones along Whiteoak Run. The falls are not the entire story, though—the entire stream is one of Shenandoah’s prettiest; dripping, moss-coated cliffs rise directly from the side of the trail in places; and old, beautiful trees tower in the limited level areas while smaller trees cling to steep hillsides and cliffs. The Whiteoak Canyon trail system also connects to other trails that will take one deeper into Shenandoah’s backcountry.

The 6 waterfalls located in Whiteoak Canyon