Hike to Doyles Falls

Virginia Doyles River Falls Trailhead

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    3.2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1190 Feet

Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

This is a 3.2 mile, strenuous round trip hike to two beautiful waterfalls in the South District of Shenandoah National Park.

From the parking lot at MP 81.1 on the Skyline Drive, take the trailhead to the left of the sign with the trail map. Immediately you'll cross over the Appalachian Trail-stay straight on the blue-blazed trail to Doyles Falls.

The trail will descend rapidly for 1.3 miles to Upper Doyles Falls (28' waterfall), then another 0.3 miles to Lower Doyles Falls (63' waterfall).

Both of these waterfalls are beautiful and well-worth the effort. Keep in mind that water levels will be lower in the summer, and trees will block some of the view of the falls. Therefore, for the best flow conditions and views of the falls, winter months are the ideal time to visit, though these falls are beautiful in all seasons.

Once finished viewing the falls, simply retrace your steps the 1.6 miles and ~1200 foot ascent back to the parking lot, making sure to stay straight at the trail junction with the Appalachian Trail.

For a trail map of the area click here: nps.gov

Pack List

  • $20 entrance fee to Shenandoah National Park (or park pass)
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Tripod
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Reviews

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The hike down is nice and easy, all down hill! You'll have plenty of energy to take some pictures. The lower falls is pretty impressive. Fairly wide and steep making a nice cascade. The hike out on a warm day is tiring and steep, bring cold water!

4 months ago
4 months ago

This was a fun, early summer hike. It was quite busy, but still managed to find a parking space. About 500' into the hike, a black bear showed up on the trail. It wandered up on the trail a bit and then climbed a tree next to the trail to take a nap. It was still up there a couple hours later on the way out. Keep your eyes open!

7 months ago
7 months ago

This is my favorite waterfall in the the park. The hike down to the fall is very beautiful and is great for families. I've taken my two boys (1 and 4) down to the falls and my 4 year old was able to hike the whole way with no problem. During the spring and winter there is a second waterfall about 0.25 miles further down the trail which is also worth seeing. If you are filling very adventures you can turn the hike into a 7.7mile loop and see Jones Run Falls as well.

9 months ago
9 months ago

Great review! I always start at the Browns Gap parking area, hike down around to both of the Doyle's Falls then continue hiking around to Jones Run Waterfall then back up to the Appalachian Trail and follow that north to the Browns Gap parking area. The whole loop is about 6.6 miles and you get to see another waterfall. There's also a beautiful swimming hole past Doyles Falls with a smaller waterfall that falls into it. Great for cooling off in the summer time!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Elyse ClarkExplorer

Explorer. Hiker. Photographer.

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