Average Hike Review Rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5
One of the best waterfall hikes in the Park. This hike isn't difficult and can easily be completed in under four hours. You can also see White Oak Canyon falls from a more difficult loop hike that also descends Cedar Run and starts at the bottom of the mountain.
Although this hike can be steep in sections, it is still OK for younger children as the trail is well maintained and doesn't require any creek crossing without footbridges. Being one of the most popular hikes in the park it can be very busy in the peak seasons of spring and fall.
So, it is beautiful but where are the pictures, eh?
For tons of pictures of this pretty hike, go to this page on the website of the local chapter of Sierra Club.
Where do we meet?
We will meet at Vienna Metro Station (North Entrance). There are two entrances to the metro station on either side of I-66. We will meet at the North Entrance from where we will carpool to White Oak Canyon.
What does it cost?
There is a $8 entry fee per person if one parks at the bottom of White Oak Canyon.
March through November
$15.00 per private, non-commercial vehicle Pass is valid for day of purchase and next six days Includes passenger cars, pickup trucks, RVs, vans, and converted buses.
It will be nice to chip in for gas, etc., to show your appreciation to the volunteer drivers. :-)
[Typical mileage is between 25-30 miles per gallon depending on the car. The round trip distance (based on the route I am hoping to follow) is around 79 miles x 2 = 158 miles.]
What do we do there?
We will reach the bottom of the trail and park there. From the bottom of the trail, we will hike up the White Oak Canyon trail passing a number of waterfalls. Some people swim in the pools that we will encounter on our way. If anyone wants, they are welcome to swim. The rest of us will sit with legs dangling in the pool or randomly looking at the sky while singing to ourselves.
Along the way, we will stop a few times to admire our surroundings and to catch our breath. The idea is to relax and enjoy the nature rather than beat any records. :-)
There are two ways to hike the trail: start at the top of White Oak Canyon trail and go down and then come up OR start at the bottom of the trail and go up and then come down. It is usually easier to go up and then come down so we will park at the bottom and start the hike from there.
Is it pet friendly?
Yes, people do take their pets on the hike but I don't know how far. I have seen them take as far as the lower falls after which the elevation starts increasing quickly.
What should I bring with me?
1. One or two sandwiches, some fruit, granola bars, etc.
2. Bring plenty of water (1.5+ liters in your backpack and maybe 1 extra liter that you can keep in the car)
3. Some bug spray (Eucalyptus, Picaridin or DEET based)
4. Some sunscreen
5. A pair of sunglasses
6. A pair of good hiking boots
7. Light colored light clothes that cover the legs and arms (if you are worried about deer ticks and such)
Bring the following if you feel like it:
1. Some Gatorade if you lose a lot of salt in hot weather
2. A pair of shoes that you can wear in the water if you feel like cooling off in water
3. Swimsuit, if you wish to take a dip in the cool pool water
4. A fresh pair of clothes if you don't want to feel clammy while driving back (you can change in a portable toilet next to the Ranger's cabin at the entrance to the park)
Where can I get more information?
Here are some more links related to the hike:
P.S. - If you volunteer to drive, please mention in the response to the RSVP request.
Please do remember to mention if you need a ride or if you can provide a ride to other people.