Hike to Rose River Falls

Virginia Rose River Falls Trailhead

Added by Kelly Park

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
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Hiking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

853 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

3 months ago

Great During the Spring

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.

3 months ago

9 months ago

Beautiful little waterfall

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.

9 months ago

12 months ago

Great waterfall

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.

12 months ago

Added by Kelly Park

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Osmanthus Trail

Virginia / First Landing Trail Center

This loop hike is accessed from a short walk from the Bold Cypress Trail and the visitor center.  There are no views along this trail but the what I enjoyed was the pine needle covered trail itself.

John Maurizi
1 Saves

Hike the Riverview Trail

Virginia / York River SP Parking Area

From the parking area at the visitor center, pick up the Backbone Trail marked with gold blazes.  The trails are well marked with signage and arrows.

John Maurizi
1 Saves

Hike to Saint Mary's Falls

Virginia / Saint Mary's Road Parking Area

Saint Mary's Wilderness is one of Virginia's largest designated wilderness areas and is an old iron ore mining area.

Jess Fischer
20 Saves