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Backpack Rose River Loop

Stanley, Virginia

based on 2 reviews



4 miles

Elevation Gain

900 ft

Route Type



Added by Matt Van Swol

The Rose River Loop is one of Shenandoah National Park’s most stunning backpacking trips for rivers and small waterfalls.  During the four mile hike, you’ll hike along the Rose River, the Hog Camp Branch, and then up  Rose River fire road. 

The trail can be found on Skyline Drive.  Though it is a little challenging to locate, you should park at  Fisher’s Gap Overlook (mile marker 49.4), and then walk over across the road and find the trail. You'll spot it by looking over the side of the road and then hiking down.  The Rose River Loop begins to the left of the fire road (you'll come up this fire road on the way back).  The trail starts at a cement pillar that is hard to miss. All in all, the hike itself is not super challenging, though the trail is very narrow on the 2 miles downhill. Once you reach the bottom of the trail, you'll see some excellent camping spots. We camped at the spot just before you cross the first bridge (see picture). The ground was flat and soft and was flanked by two streams, making it easy to access water. The hike out is a little harder, but coming up the fire road certainly helps. The elevation is only around 900ft, which is pretty good for any hike in Shenandoah, and the views of the streams are excellent! Easiest backpacking trip to do in Shenandoah by far! 

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

Backpack Rose River Loop Reviews

We went for the weekend with the intent of camping but ended up only hiking. Beautiful trail but extremely busy and couldn’t find a good place to set up camp. Took our dogs and kids, trails narrow down in a lot of places but not too much incline overall

While I haven't camped the loop, I've hiked the Rose Rive Loop plenty of times and can say that it would be a great spot to spend the night. Lots of access to water and its not too far into the backcountry, so you can bring some extra gear without worrying about the weight!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Hike the Rose River Falls to Dark Hollow Falls Loop

Hike to Rose River Falls

Camp at Big Meadows, Shenandoah National Park

Three Falls Hike

Photograph Spilter Knoll Overlook

Dark Hollow Falls