View Full Version : Four days to kill in SNP

06-25-2013, 09:32
I'm gonna head down to SNP for a few days next week, just to get out and get some fresh air. I'll be backcountry camping, most likely not on the AT. I've already done (but plan to do again) Old Rag and Whiteoak Canyon, but I was wondering what other 'must see' stuff is in that area. I think I'm gonna try to do Cedar Run this time, possibly instead of Whiteoak Canyon. I'd like to stay around Old Rag so I can hike the whole time, but if something is really worth it I'd drive to see it. Stony Man looks cool, but also looks like a crowd hot spot...

Just thought I'd get some ideas, since my trip is totally subject to change should something catch my eye. What are your favorite spots in that area?

06-25-2013, 09:45
Rose River is a nice place to camp and may be a bit cooler at night. I spent a night there last Friday and didn't see anyone else camping in the area. I hiked to Cedar Run via the Skyland-Big Meadows horse trail the next morning. Down to the SR600 trailhead, then up Whiteoak Canyon to Skyland and the AT back to my car at Big Meadows. All very scenic.

06-25-2013, 10:07
Regarding Stoney Man, of all places this is where I had my first bear encounter after many years of hiking in SNP. Lots of people in that area. I would have thought that bear sightings would be more likely in isolated areas!


06-25-2013, 10:25
Awesome, thanks for the info. That's a great bear pic. We saw tons last time we drove through there, but I've never seen one when on the trail. I actually kind of hope to, under the right circumstances of course. :D

06-25-2013, 12:12
If you do Cedar Run /White Oak I'd suggest going down White Oak, up Cedar Run. Thr trail on Cedar Run is rockier and is often wet making for slick footing.

Mitey Mo
06-25-2013, 14:15
I ditto johnnybgood. Cedar run is an ankle twister

06-25-2013, 14:31
Oh wow, I thought White Oak Canyon was treacherous. Thanks for the heads up! (Or heads down in this case?) :)

06-25-2013, 14:56
I descended Cedar Run on my hike last weekend and it is indeed slippery at certain points. But as I ascended Whiteoak I kept thinking that I would rather be ascending than descending there... Both trails are quite steep in places and very popular.

Mrs Baggins
06-25-2013, 16:44
I've done Cedar Run/White Oak twice. It's brutal but what a feeling when you're done. I'd way rather go down Cedar Run and up on the White Oak side, no doubt. Last time we did it we encountered a couple of guys, adult son and older father, camped at the bottom of Cedar Run. They were treating blisters. They had come down White Oak and were going to climb Cedar Run...with very full packs from the looks of their oversized tents and other gear. Some people come into the White Oak end from the parking lot families use to get to the falls, go up White Oak, circle around and come down Cedar Run and back to the parking lot. In hot weather, like now, take all the water that you can hold. I took 3 liters last time and still ran out before I was half way up the White Oak side. I was desperate and just stuck a bottle under a water fall that was coming down on the mountainside of the trail (not the falls or the river - too many people swimming in that). It held me the rest of the way. A ranger told us that they have to rescue a lot of people out of there in the summer because of dehydration.

Rose River is a lovely hike. We did it last month for the 2nd time - started at the top of Dark Hollow Falls trail, at the bottom turned to the right over the metal bridge and then to the left to continue on Rose River, then came around and down that long fire road, and back up Dark Hollow Falls trail. That makes it about a 6 mile hike. It's better to come down the fire road than to climb it. I've done it both ways.

06-25-2013, 19:47
More great info, thanks guys! :)

(Us Frednecks gotta stick together! ;) )

06-27-2013, 20:50
I'd go where the crowds won't be. Everyone goes to WhiteOak Canyon! Backpack into the Big Run Wilderness in the southern section. Nice big stream, campsites, etc.

07-06-2013, 11:18
I took Blissful's advice and drove the extra hour down to Big Run on the fourth. I was alone on the Rockytop and Brown Mountain trails. Lots of huckleberries but most were still green. There was a couple camped on the Big Portal Run. I camped all alone on that little extension trail next to the Brown Mountain/ Big Portal junction. Got caught in the rain on top of Lewis Peak and had to hike with wet shoes all day. Otherwise it was partly sunny and hot. Got a tick on my leg underneath my Permethrined long pants. I guess I need to re-apply the Permethrin. Had to wear sun-glasses the whole time because of the eye gnats otherwise the insects weren't bad. No bear, no deer, no scat. I saw a lizard and a mouse on the trail and snakes swimming in Big Run. Driving out thinking this is the first time I've been to Shenandoah and not seen bears, I saw a mother bear and two cubs on the side of Skyline drive.

07-06-2013, 16:59
Rose River is nice. I always see bear on Piney Ridge trail.

Pick up a copy of the PATC book "circuit hikes in Shenandoah National Park" It lists many hikes in all 3 sections of the park and you can choose a hike according to the miles you want to do.

08-09-2013, 16:00
Hey all,

I'm also looking to do a 3 night 4 day trip in SNP the first week of October. We've never been before so were thinking about seeing Old Rag unless you all think the crowds will be too brutal. We have two cars so could do a loop or a one way trip. Looking to cover between 10-20 miles today. If we cover less miles we'll just spend time exploring/fishing/etc. Our original thought was to hike the AT from Old Rag to the south side of the park but wanted to get everyone's thoughts.