Waterfalls in the Shenandoah National Park

Everybody loves a waterfall, whether a small trickle in a mountain stream, or a thundering cascade like Niagara!  Shenandoah National Park boasts a number of great waterfall hikes, easily accessed from the Skyline Drive.

  • Jones Run Falls is located on Skyline Drive, and is accessed at milepost 84.1, near the southern end of the drive.  This waterfall has a vertical drop of 42 feet, is exquisitely beautiful, and you can get close enough to almost touch it!  The round trip hike of 3.4 miles is considered fairly easy.
  • Doyles River Falls is comprised of two waterfalls with two different personalities.  The upper waterfall is 28 feet, in a wonderful setting of rocks and trees.  The lower waterfall is a sheer drop of 63 feet, close to the trail, and well worth seeing.  Access these waterfalls from the Skyline Drive at milepost 81.1.  The round trip hike of 3.2 miles is moderate, with a fairly steep return climb.
  • South River Falls has a spectacular 83 foot drop, and is located in the midst of wildflowers which make this hike very colorful in the spring.  The round trip hike of 2.6 miles is moderate.  The trailhead is located on Skyline Drive at milepost 62.8.
  • The Lewis Falls Trail provides a deep view into a hollow and leads to a watefall that is impressively tall at 81 feet.  You can access this trail from Skyline Drive at milepost 51.4.  This round trip hike is fairly short, at only two miles.  However, the rocky parts of the trail may be difficult unless you are an experienced hiker.
  • Dark Hollow Falls is the easiest in the Shenandoah National Park to get to.  Located at milepost 50.7, this round trip hike is only 1.4 miles.  You should be aware that many people do find the return hike from this 70 foot waterfall quite difficult.
  • Rose River Falls are very impressive, especially after a heavy rain.  Even though the height is only 67 feet, there may be two, three, or even four parallel falls down the rocks instead of just one.  Lots of wildflowers make this 2.6 mile hike even more beautiful in the spring.  The access is at milepost 49.4 on the Skyline Drive.
  • Cedar Run Falls trail is very difficult, making it a hike that only experienced hikers should pursue.  However, the trail to Cedar Run Falls passes through some awesome scenery as it descends a rock filled gorge.  The waterfall is 34 feet, but as mentioned, the 3.4 mile round trip is rocky, narrow, and steep.  Access Cedar Run Falls from the Skyline Drive at milepost 45.6.
  • Whiteoak Canyon Falls is quite popular.  The waterfall is 86 feet, but the 4.6 mile round trip is spread out over a long enough distance that the incline shouldn’t be too hard.  You’ll find the trailhead at milepost 42.6.
  • Overall Run Falls is the highest waterfall of Shenandoah National Park, at 93 feet.  The breathtaking view is a wonderful reward for tackling the 6.4 mile round trip.  The trail is a little difficult, but if the season is right, you’ll be glad you walked it.  Be aware that in a dry summer, you may find little or even no water!  Skyline Drive access is at milepost 21.1.

On your next visit to Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park, make sure you take time to experience at least one, if not all, of these enchanting waterfalls.