I’ve written several blog posts previously that talked about the beautiful features of Shenandoah National Park. I haven’t yet covered the beautiful Shenandoah National Park waterfalls, though, and it’s high time for that. One of the main attractions in this pleasant mountain park, waterfalls are present in abundance. When driving Skyline Drive, you have about a dozen chances to stop and go for a hike to one or more waterfalls.
Most Beautiful Shenandoah National Park Waterfalls
1. Dark Hollow Falls
Maybe the most popular hike in the entire national park, Dark Hollow Falls certainly delivers. This 1.4-mile out-and-back hike is short but challenging as well. This is a steep trail—the way back up will definitely put a strain on your thighs.
The waterfall itself is a combination of several cascades, tumbling 70 feet down a rock face. It’s one of the most photogenic waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park. The trailhead lies conveniently just south of Big Meadows, at mile marker 50.7 on Skyline Drive.
2. Whiteoak Canyon Falls
If you’re looking for as many waterfalls as possible on your hike, Whiteoak Canyon is where you need to go. There are no fewer than six falls in this scenic canyon—the three Upper and three Lower Whiteoak Canyon Falls.
If you’re on Skyline Drive, the trailhead lies just across the road from Skyland Resort, at mile marker 45.7. The Whiteoak Canyon Trail is also accessed from just outside the park, along Route 600. Wherever you start your hike, prepare for a long and strenuous one. A roundtrip past all waterfalls is at least 6 miles. Many people consider this canyon to have the most beautiful Shenandoah National Park waterfalls. It definitely has the most of them!
3. Doyles River Falls
My favorite Shenandoah National Park waterfalls are along Doyles River. The trailhead to this hike is at mile marker 81.1. It’s only 1.5 miles to the Lower Falls, passing the Upper Falls and many smaller cascades on the way.
You can then opt to retrace your steps back up to your car rental, or you can make this a loop hike by taking in Jones Run as well. This full loop is 7.8 miles long, a four- to five-hour hike. I enjoyed this hike so much—the scenery is both beautiful and peaceful—that it became one of my favorite ones in the entire park.
These are my three favorite Shenandoah National Park waterfalls. I suggest that you focus on these ones if your visit lasts only a day or two. If you have more time, you might also want to visit Rose River Falls and South River Falls. Overall Run Falls is beautiful, too, but is harder to get to.
If you are interested in more about the park, definitely read up on my previous posts. I’ve covered everything from sunrises and accommodation in the park to the best reasons to visit.