Shenandoah National Park is famous for its historic lodges, spectacular sunsets, and of course, the many scenic overlooks along Skyline Drive.
There are also over a dozen spectacular waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park — and who doesn’t love waterfall chasing? Conveniently, most of Shenandoah’s waterfalls are easily accessible from Skyline Drive and in most cases, seeing them requires only a relatively short, moderate-level hike.
The Best Waterfalls Shenandoah National Park Offers
Listed in descending order starting with the tallest, here are the best waterfalls in Shenandoah. Bonus: If you’re an animal lover, most Shenandoah waterfall hikes are dog-friendly!
Overall Run Falls
At an impressive 93 feet tall, Overall Run Falls is the highest of all waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park. The hiking trail passes through dense forest and lots of large rocks, making for plenty of photo ops. Once you reach the top of the falls, you’ll be treated to expansive views of Shenandoah Valley. Note this is a seasonal waterfall that often dries up in the summer.
Height: 93 feet
Trail length: 6.5 miles roundtrip
Location: Mile 21.1 on Skyline Drive
South River Falls
The third-tallest waterfall in Shenandoah is easily one of its most spectacular. South River Falls flows down to a rock shelf, where it splits into two distinct cascades. Along the trail, you’ll come to a neat stone overlook where you see South River Falls from above. You can also hike past this point about 1.5 miles to the base of the falls.
Height: 83 feet
Trail length: 3.3-mile loop or 4.6 miles if you hike to the base of South River Falls
Location: Mile 62.8 on Skyline Drive
Dark Hollow Falls
Dark Hollow is by far the most popular of the waterfalls Shenandoah National Park has on offer. Not only are its multiple cascades stunning, but Dark Hollow Falls is also one of the most accessible. Don’t let the short distance fool you, though; it’s steep! If you only have time for one Shenandoah waterfall hike, this would be an excellent choice.
Note that Dark Hollow Falls is one of the only trails in Shenandoah dogs are not allowed on.
Height: 70 feet
Trail length: 1.4 miles roundtrip
Location: Mile 50.7 on Skyline Drive
Rose River Falls
This scenic waterfall becomes even more scenic after a good rain, often creating multiple wide cascades. Even better, each of them plunges down into its own, creating a series of several tranquil swimming holes. Dark Hollow Falls is also very close by, so it’s easy to visit both on one Shenandoah waterfall hike.
Height: 67 feet
Trail length: 2.6 miles roundtrip OR 4 miles as a loop (follow Hogcamp Branch after reaching the falls instead of turning back)
Location: Mile 49.4 on Skyline Drive
Doyles River Falls
While Doyles River Falls isn’t the tallest in the park, this trail is a favorite Shenandoah waterfall hike. You walk along the Doyles River most of the way and pass the historic Doyles River Cabin (which you can rent!) before coming to first Lower Doyles River Falls, then the upper falls.
Insider tip: After viewing the upper falls, hike just 0.1 miles further, where you’ll find another small (seasonal) waterfall and swimming hole.
Height: 28 feet upper falls; 63 feet lower falls
Trail length: 3.4 miles roundtrip; Note that this trail can be combined with Jones Run Falls (below) for a total of about 7.8 miles.
Location: Mile 81.1 on Skyline Drive
Jones Run Falls
Like Doyles River, Jones Run Falls isn’t the tallest of the waterfalls Shenandoah National Park has, but the scenery is especially picturesque. The trail is heavily wooded and there are several swimming holes along the way. The Appalachian Trail also intersects Jones Run, so you have the unique opportunity to say you hiked part of the AT!
Height: 42 feet
Trail length: 3.6 miles roundtrip; Note that this hike can be combined with the Doyles River Falls Trail (above) for a total of 7.8 miles.
Location: Mile 84.1 on Skyline Drive
Tips for Visiting Waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park
- The best time to see Shenandoah waterfalls is in the spring or right after a big rainfall, when the water is at peak flow.
- Wear sturdy shoes that you’re not afraid to get wet. Some Shenandoah waterfall hikes require stream crossings!
- Wear layers and in particular, a light rain jacket. Waterfalls often spray, making you cold and wet.
- If you’re interested in photographing Shenandoah waterfalls, avoid the middle of the day when the sun is directly overhead. The early morning and dusk “golden hours” are the best times for photography.
Ready To Chase Waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park?
There’s one way to make your waterfall-focused trip to Shenandoah even better: get an RV rental from Cruise America and take a fun road trip! With over 120 convenient rental locations — including several in Virginia — it’s easy to pick up your preferred Cruise America RV and hit the road (Skyline Drive, that is)!