Hike Dark Hollow Falls

A cascading waterfall during autumn surrounded by fog.
Dark Hollow Falls on a foggy autumn day.

NPS/Neal Lewis

Hike Dark Hollow Falls

Difficulty rating: Moderate
Distance: 1.4 mi/2.2 km
Elevation gain: 440 ft/134 m
Trail features: Trail runs next to beautiful waterfalls and cascades.

Dark Hollow Falls is a beautiful series of waterfalls and cascades in Shenandoah National Park and is one of the most popular hikes in the park. The Dark Hollow Falls Trail is a 1.4 mi/2.2 km out-and-back hike. From the trailhead at mile 50.7 of Skyline Drive, follow the trail .75 mi/1.2 km down to the falls and return along the same route. The trail down has some steep sections and the hike up can be challenging. Pets are not allowed on the Dark Hollow Falls Trail.

Nearby Hike: Rose River Loop

Difficulty rating: Moderate
Distance: 4 mi/6.4 km
Elevation gain: 910 ft/277 m
Trail features: Trail runs next to a river with beautiful waterfalls and cascades. A historical mine and cemetery are adjacent to the trail.

The Rose River Loop Trail is a 4 mi/6.4 km trail following the Rose River that connects to the end of the Dark Hollow Falls Trail. From the north end of Fishers Gap parking at mile 49.4, cross Skyline Drive and start down the road. Just after the chain, take a left onto the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail (yellow blazed). In about .6 mi/.9 km take the blue-blazed Rose River Loop Trail. Follow it past beautiful falls and cascades. You’ll climb back to the road (yellow blazed), and go right across the bridge. For an added treat (and about .25 mi/.4 km more hiking), you can take the Dark Hollow Falls Trail to the base of the falls and back. Then continue uphill about one mile back to Skyline Drive. This hike can take between 4-5 hours.

Map: Big Meadows Area

Dark Hollow Falls Trail is moderate 1.4 mi/2.2 km. The Rose River Loop is a moderate 4 mi/6.4 km hike.

An average pace is:
1.5 mph for easiest trails.
1.4 mph for moderate trails.
1.3 mph for moderately strenuous trails.
1.2 mph for strenuous and very strenuous trails.
Pets are not allowed on Dark Hollow Falls Trail. Pets are allowed on the Rose River Loop. 
The park entrance fee is required.
Trailhead for Dark Hollow Falls is located at mile 50.7 of Skyline Drive. To access the Rose River Loop leave from Fishers Gap Overlook at mile 49.4 of Skyline Drive.
Dark Hollow Falls and Rose River are very popular trails. The parking areas for these trails can fill up on weekends and holidays from the spring through fall. 
Waterflow is often best in spring and summer.
Accessibility Information
Service animals are allowed on Dark Hollow Falls Trail. All other pets are not allowed on this trail. Pets are allowed on the Rose River Loop.  

Last updated: July 9, 2018