Hike the Rose River Falls to Dark Hollow Falls Loop

Fisher's Gap Overlook Parking, Stanley, Virginia, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    4 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    950 Feet

Swimming Hole

About 4 miles in length down into a valley and then back up it, the Rose River Loop trail offers plenty of small cascades and waterfalls to photograph in the woods.

Parking at the trailhead is a few miles north of Big Meadows at the Fisher's Gap Overlook parking area. You will find much more solitude along this loop trail than if you were to park at the Dark Hollow Falls trailhead as the Dark Hollow Falls is much more popular. That makes being able to find the shot or picture that you want without other hikers getting in your shots, much easier.

The first part of the hike you descend into the valley for about a mile until you encounter the first streams. Continue a bit past that and you'll find the Rose River Falls. You can view the waterfall from the trail or step off and down a steep, rocky slope you'll be at the base where a nice pool forms. For maybe the next mile and a half you'll follow along the stream that is littered with small waterfalls and cascades. There are plenty of spots to set up a tripod and shoot from and from all sorts of different angles. As you head back up the trail, still following along the stream you'll cross a small bridge. You can make the right hand turn and follow the fire road back up hill for about a mile and return to the parking lot area or, you can check out Dark Hollow Falls.

Dark Hollow Falls is kinda broken up into different sections with the lowest part at the bridge you just walked over, a middle section, and the primary falls. This part of the trail is steep but well formed as Dark Hollow Falls can get very crowded at times. The trailhead lot is only about a mile up the hill very close to Big Meadows. You are able to carefully traverse your way around the different segments which allows you to photograph different spots along the falls. Once you're finished, head back down the trail towards the bridge but instead of going over it, continue up the fire road towards Fisher's Gap parking.

Pack List

  • Camera w/ Tripod
  • Comfortable Shoes
  • Food/Water
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Overall rating: 

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I highly recommend this hike in light rain. The trail looks amazing and you'll be one of the few people on the trail. All the falls are beautiful.

3 months ago
3 months ago

this is a great hike that will take you past 2 of the waterfall in the central district in Shenandoah NP. Dark Hollow Falls flows year around but Rose River Falls is best seen during the Spring or after a few days of heavy rain. If you would like to hike a few extra miles and see a third water fall you can hike to Lewis Spring Falls.

11 months ago
11 months ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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