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blueBlack Upper Doyles Falls

  4.0 ( 5 ) Favorite

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3.1 mile 5.0 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 954' 291 m
Descent: -959' -292 m
High: 2,885' 879 m
Low: 1,926' 587 m


Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)


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Trail shared by Larry W. Brown

An out-and-back hike along Doyles River Trail with magnificent views of the Upper Doyles Falls.

Larry W. Brown

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly A slightly longer out and back with some steeper sections makes this trail a bit more challenging, but the older kids will enjoy making it to the waterfall.


This hike provides a shorter option to one of the beautiful cascades found off of Skyline Drive.


From the parking area near mile 81 on Skyline Drive, take the Doyles River Trail downhill. Continue across the Appalachian Trail and drop fairly steeply for around a third of a mile toward a spring that flows out of a pipe in a stone wall on the left. This is not potable water, and it must be treated accordingly.

From the spring, the trail splits with the left option climbing fairly abruptly for 400 feet to the locked Doyles River Cabin, however, stay to the right. Keep heading along the trail for about two-thirds of a mile to the Browns Gap Road.

Head across the road and follow the Doyles River Trail, which crosses the Doyles River after a few hundred yards. Continue further for another few hundred yards and as the trail begins to turn right, look for the top of the falls off to the left. Follow along the trail, heading to the right, leaving the falls as it bends to the left in a wide, hairpin curve to a low point with a sign.

The falls come into view here in their entirety surrounded by a natural amphitheater, encircled by giant hardwoods. When you are done viewing the scenic falls, head back uphill the way you came to return to the parking lot.

Thanks to Larry W. Brown, for sharing this 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.


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Nov 8, 2018
Donovan Fitzgerald
Great back and forth. Plenty of water on both upper and lower falls.
Sep 5, 2018
Gregory Avila
visiting Serene
Oct 7, 2017
Kat Purrkins
Aug 25, 2017
Anthony Carey
The hike back sucks. 6mi
Aug 16, 2017
William Fracassi
May 27, 2017
Kristina Shonat
Jan 19, 2017
Caitlin Cain
Jan 16, 2017
Joe Robinson
Very foggy day, but the hike itself is rather easy. Might have to do some rock scrambling to get down near the falls for awesome pictures 3mi

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 5 votes


  4.0 from 5 votes
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