Summary: Circuit passes Rose River falls and the site of an old copper mine. Erosion has all but obliterated all traces of this mine. The circuit continues on past Dark Hollow Falls and offers view points from the Appalachain Trail as it circles the Big Meadows picnic and camping areas.
Trailhead: Drive to Big Meadows, just south of MP 51 on Skyline Drive. Turn in and follow signs to Amphitheater parking area. Trail begins behind amphitheater. (Lat:38.5306 Lon:-78.4404)
Trail Guides for Dark Hollow, Shenandoah National Park, VA:
Circuit Hikes in Shenandoah National Park
by Potomac Appalachain Trail Club (PATC)
by Potomac Appalachain Trail Club (PATC)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: US Forest Service 1-540-999-3500
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joe Cross, who has posted 56 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Tim B on 3/25/2012
Hiked this in thick fog and drizzle, which made for hairy drive up Skyline Drive and eerie hike. But I had trail to myself. Two falls on trail: DH Falls are higher (highest in park I think), and stream below falls is very picturesque. Rose River Falls smaller, but has more pools for the waders among you. It's a circuit, so half the hike is uphill, can be steep & rocky/rooty so beware esp. when wet. Numerous nearly tame deer at Big Meadows. Nice birdlife (bluebirds, pileated woodpecker, turkey, crows, robin, juncos). 1 squirrel. 6.3 miles by my GPS watch per the route given (you cut about 1.5-2 miles if start from the DH Falls parking area rather than the amphitheater). Rangers have detailed maps, I recommend one.
Reviewed by Howard on 5/15/2011
Had 4 16 yr old exchange guys with me and another 16 yr old from the local High School. I am a 52 year old, little over weight and it was tough on me but a blast. If you smoke, are over weight, and not active don't chance it.
Reviewed by ForestWander on 4/8/2011
My kids and I really enjoyed hiking down to these falls. I took some great pictures while here. The overcast day offered perfect lighting. ForestWander
Reviewed by Mark on 2/10/2011
Went when the entire trail had a layer of ice that made us iceskate down to the falls. It was Feb 9, 2011 and we saw chipmunks scurrying everywhere, squirrels, wild turkeys(turkeys were on the road) and a nice fat doe. We left the trail at the falls and followed some raccoon-sized tracks of into the woods when I spotted a bear track. We followed it until the terrain became kinda ridiculous and we turned back. To say that there are NO signs of wildlife is kinda misleading. There's ALWAYS signs. You just have to remain quiet to see stuff. Even in Feb. The falls were half-frozen in gigantic ice towers. Pretty nice.
Reviewed by MDS on 8/9/2009
SNP does NOT allow pets on any nature trails, including Dark Hollow Falls Trail. Where A/T goes through, pets are OK. Other trails that prohibit pets include: Fox Hollow Trail (mile 4.6) Traces Trail (mile 22.2) Limberlost Trail (mile 43) Stony Man Trail (mile 50.7) Story of the Forest Trail (mile 51) Bearfence Rock Scramble (mile 56.4) Frazier Discovery Trail (mile 79.5) Old Rag Ridge Trail Old Rag Saddle Trail
Reviewed by Jon on 6/23/2008
I Love Mireya!
Reviewed by Roer on 6/12/2007
I've always just hiked up Hogcamp Branch because I seldom run into anyone and because there are some very nice pools for skinny dipping. The trail can be hard to follow, but it would be impossible to get lost as one just follows the river. There is one pool that now has large tree hanging over it that one can jump off the rocks into. Very nice when it is hot out - just mind the nettles!
Reviewed by Steve on 12/23/2004
I hiked a version of this loop on December 11, 2004. Instead of continuing up the Dark Hallow Trail past the falls, I turned back to the Rose River Fire Road and took it up to my car at Fishers Gap. This fire road is well graded, allows for a stop at the historic (and still active) Cave Cemetery, and shortens this loop to about 4.0 miles. There are actually two drops at Rose River Falls, but only the first is visible from the trail. I did not scramble down to the lower (and longer) drop as it was wet and I was alone. The trail up Hogcamp Branch was the highlight of this hike. The moss and many cascades make it very scenic. Both falls were very nice as it had rained heavily recently.
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