Hike to Rose River Falls

Virginia Rose River Falls Trailhead

  • Activities:

    Photography, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    4 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    853 Feet

Easy Parking
Family Friendly

This four mile loop offers an abundance of waterfalls, streams, and pools and is the perfect Shenandoah day hike in any season.

Rose River Falls is often overshadowed by it's more popular cousin, Dark Hollow Falls, as both hikes begin at the same trail head. But because Dark Hollow Falls is such a short and well known hike, it can get extremely crowded. It is also one of the few trails in Shenandoah where dogs are not allowed. Meanwhile, Rose River Falls offers more solitude and is incredibly dog friendly -- with tons of streams and pools for splashing and playing.

The pleasant 4 mile loop is easy enough for a leisurely day hike -- but does have just enough elevation gain to get your heart rate up in some spots. Nearly the entire trail runs along a stream so you will hear the soothing water and have many photo opportunities as you hike. As an added bonus there are lots of bear sightings in the Spring!

Park at the Fisher's Gap Overlook parking lot and cross Skyline Drive to the trailhead. Head down the fire road for about a mile until you reach the first waterfall. To the right is the Dark Hollow Falls trailhead. Turn left to continue on the Rose River trail. Follow the stream along a rocky downgrade and at about the two mile mark you will come to a bridge. Cross over the stream and continue on (uphill) for another half mile until you reach the magnificent Rose River Falls! Stop for lunch, snap some pictures, and dip your toes or wade around in the icy pool. This is also a great spot to let your dogs go for a swim. Continue up the steep path for another 1.5 miles to complete the loop.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Swimsuit & Towel
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Overall rating: 

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This is a great waterfall to see during the Spring of after a huge rain storm. During late summer and fall this waterfall is usually just a trickle. This is also a great hike for families, I've taken my two sons (1 and 4) down to this waterfall with no problem.

9 months ago
9 months ago

Great directions :) I did this as a loop from Dark Hollow Falls (with much more people as your review says) down around to Rose River Falls, and then we followed a horse trail back around the Dark Hollow Falls parking area. I wish I had had more time to enjoy Rose River Falls but unfortunately a lot of people showed up right after us that were so loud and crude, we couldn't stand to listen to them for a minute longer! I will be going back soon though to try to enjoy the waterfall with some peace and quiet.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Nice write up! This is a beautiful waterfall that provides more solitude than other waterfalls in Shenandoah. Water levels might be low during the summer, and be on the lookout for bears. For a longer hike, combine Rose River Falls with Dark Hollow Falls.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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