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blue Dark Hollow Falls Trail

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0.9 mile 1.4 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 3' 1 m
Descent: -544' -166 m
High: 3,414' 1,041 m
Low: 2,874' 876 m


Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 34% (19°)


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Trail shared by Larry W. Brown

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Of all the waterfalls in Shenandoah NP, Dark Hollow Falls is the easiest to get to.

Larry W. Brown

Features River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife


Access the trailhead at the north end of the Dark Hollow Falls parking area. It crosses a stream and then goes downhill along its left bank. This is Hogcamp Branch, which drains Big Meadows Swamp and becomes the principal tributary of Rose River.

The trail descends easily for 0.6 mile to the head of the falls. You must stay on the trail here. There's no view from the top of the falls, and the rocks there are slippery and dangerous. The trail swings away from the stream and goes uphill for a few feet before swinging right and descending to the base of the falls. On the trail between the top and bottom of the falls, you'll pass a tremendous rock that looms on your left, just where the trail swings sharply to the right. Except in dry summer months, water constantly trickles and drips down the face of this rock, promoting the growth of mosses, ferns, and liverworts. On cold winter days there's an enchanting display of stalactites and stalagmites of ice.

There's a fine view of the falls from the bottom. The water drops 70 feet, in a series of cascades, over the crumbling greenstone of an ancient lava flow.

Below the falls, the trail descends another 145 feet in about 300 yards to the Rose River Fire Road, passing a number of small cascades, and then intersecting with a small waterfall that some call the lower Dark Hollow Falls.

You can return by the way you came, or cross the Rose River Fire Road and access the Rose River Loop Trail to explore further.

Thanks to Larry W. Brown, for sharing this trail description. If you’re interested in learning more details about great hikes, weather, camping / lodging, wildlife, and scenic drives, check out the comprehensive Guide to Shenandoah National Park.

Flora & Fauna

Black Bears and Whitetail Deer are often seen along the Dark Hollow Trail.


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May 5, 2019
Kate Vanderpool
Oct 9, 2018
Cheryl Ladota
Jul 26, 2018
Christopher Donovan
Jul 13, 2018
Niklas Hultin
Jun 27, 2018
Ted and Michele Willman
Saw a mama bear and 2 cubs playing in the creek and climbing trees!
May 25, 2018
Beethi Karmakar
May 18, 2018
Kelly Corks
Apr 20, 2018
Ceylan Alkan

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 11 votes


  4.7 from 11 votes
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in Virginia


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