Shenandoah’s Best Waterfall Hikes

Shenandoah is not only known for its breathtaking Skyline Drive but also its beautiful, flowing, high waterfalls. These scenic trails highlight the dramatic changes in elevation that create the plentiful waterfalls in this region to wow you. Let the sound of rushing water fill you with anticipation as you hike along these winding trails.


Overall Run Falls Hiking Trail

  • Drive from Big Meadows to Trailhead – 1 hour
  • Drive from Skyland to Trailhead – 45 min
  • Skyline Drive Mile: 21.1
  • Waterfall Height: 93ft
  • Hike Difficulty: Strenuous
  • This is the tallest waterfall in the park showcasing an impressive drop as well as an impressive view. The hike is 6.5 mile (10 km) round trip hike with a climb of 1850 ft. marking it as strenuous according to the NPS Calculator. It is recommended you go before June as this waterfall tends to dry up.
  • Pet-Friendly Hike 🐾: Yes

Rose River Falls

  • Drive from Big Meadows to Trailhead – 20min
  • Drive from Skyland to Trailhead – 30min
  • Skyline Drive Mile: 49.4
  • Height: 67ft
  • Hike Difficulty: Moderate
  • This 2.6 mile (4 km) round trip hike rewards you with a cascading waterfall that has been known to feature up to 4 cascades in rainy weather. This moderate hike will elevate 720 feet.
  • Pet-Friendly Hike 🐾: Yes

Dark Hollow Falls Trail

  • Drive from Big Meadows to Trailhead – 15min
  • Drive from Skyland to Trailhead - 20min
  • Skyline Drive Mile: 50.7
  • Waterfall Height: 70ft
  • Hike Difficulty: Easy
  • 1.4 mile (2 km) round trip hike. This is the closest waterfall to Skyline Drive and the most popular. The trail is only a 1.4 miles round trip hike but has a 440 ft. elevation. Please be aware that some points are very steep and can be demanding on your return but there are plenty of places to safely rest on your way back up.
  • Pet-Friendly Hike 🐾: No

Lewis Spring Falls Hiking Trail

  • Drive from Big Meadows to Trailhead – 5 min
  • Drive from Skyland to Trailhead – 20 min
  • Skyline Drive Mile: 51.4
  • Waterfall Height: 81ft
  • Hike Difficulty: Moderate
  • This hike is a 2 mile (3 km) round trip hike with an elevation of 816 feet. It will provide you with a side view of the magnificent falls. Please be aware this is a rocky decent with some very steep parts. We recommend going early in the season or after rainfall for the best water flow.
  • Pet-Friendly Hike 🐾: Yes

South River Falls Trail

  • Drive from Big Meadows to Trailhead – 25 min
  • Drive from Skyland to Trailhead – 40 min
  • Skyline Drive Mile: 62.8
  • Waterfall Height: 83ft
  • Hike Difficulty: Moderate
  • This hike will take you to the 3rd tallest waterfall in Shenandoah. This 3.3 mile (5 km) loop hike brings you to an overlook above the falls that is an 850 foot climb where you can see the water thunder down to the ground.
  • Pet-Friendly Hike 🐾: Yes

Browns Gap Waterfall Hiking Loop

  • Drive from Big Meadows to Trailhead – 1 hour
  • Drive from Skyland to Trailhead - 1 hour 10 min
  • Skyline Drive Mile: 83
  • Hike Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
  • This 6.5 Mile Loop hike includes both Doyles River Falls and Jones Run Falls and loops you back on part of the Appalachian Trail.
  • Pet-Friendly Hike 🐾: Yes

Doyles River Falls

  • Skyline Drive Mile: 81.1
  • Upper Falls Height: 28ft
  • Lower Falls Height: 63ft
  • Hike Difficulty: Moderate
  • A 3.4 mile (4.8 km) round trip hike to see both the upper and lower falls. Be sure to go a little past the lower falls viewing spot for a better view. This hike has an elevation of 1181 Feet. Can also be turned into a longer loop hike that goes by Jones Run Falls.
  • Pet-Friendly Hike 🐾: Yes

Jones Run Falls

  • Skyline Drive Mile: 84.1
  • Height: 42ft
  • Hike Difficulty: Moderate
  • This is a 3.4-mile (5.8 km) round trip hike with a climb of 915 ft. that can also be turned into a longer loop hike that goes by Doyles River upper and lower falls (see Browns Gap Waterfall hiking loop). This is a gradual climb that features a picturesque waterfall surrounded by vegetation.
  • Pet-Friendly Hike 🐾: Yes

Waterfall Photography Tips

  • Hiking waterfall hikes when there is cloud coverage is the best time for photos! The soft lighting will help show contrast between the water and the foliage. Be sure to include #GOSHENANDOAH to appear on our Instagram ticker!

Waterfall Hiking Safety

  • The number one rule is to use common sense! Stay on the trail! When rocks get wet they tend to get slippery so keep this in mind and stay away from edges. Always bring water and be sure you are dressed appropriately (Think layers and sturdy hiking shoes). Remember that your cellphone and GPS may not always work when you are in the canyon so map out your trails! But most of all enjoy the beauty of Shenandoah National Park.

Waterfall Google Map

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P.O. Box 727, Luray, Virginia 22835 | 877-847-1919