Rose River Falls Loop Trail

  • Highlights: Waterfalls, Shenandoah National Park
  • Distance:  4.0 mile loop 
  • Elevation change: 910 feet
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Trailhead Parking: Skyline Drive, mile 49.4, Fishers Gap parking area
  • Website: National Park Service
  • Beer Pairings: Elkton Brewing Old Spotswood & Blonde Bear

The Hike:

We really enjoyed this hike. It has great views of two waterfalls and is located in one of Park’s federally designated Wilderness areas. The trailhead is located near Skyline Drive. An information sign has a map and trail details. This is a loop hike, so you can go in either direction. We chose to begin to the right on the Rose River Fire Road.

The fire road is a gradual 1 mile downhill. The trail passes the Cave Family cemetery on the right, one of the many families who lived in this area. In about 1 mile, the fire road reaches a junction with the Rose River Loop trail and the Dark Hollow Falls trail. Take a right and climb a short distance for some great views of the base of Dark Hollow Falls.

After admiring Dark Hollow Falls, cross over the bridge and take an immediate left on the Rose River Loop Trail. This section of the trail follows the Hogcamp Branch as it winds through the deciduous forest. The trail gradually descends and the Hogcamp has several small pools and cascades as it flows towards the Rose River. A bridge crosses over the Hogcamp and now the trail begins to climb as the trail passes the site of an old copper mine on the left. The Rose River soon appears on the right.

Rose River Falls, at 67’ is a bit shorter than Dark Hollow Falls. It’s still a great view. The trail continues uphill still paralleling the river and then branches off intersecting with two different horse trails. Stay on the blue-blazed Rose River Loop Trail as it returns to the parking area.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing:

We spent the weekend in Elkton, Virginia and had a great visit to Elkton Brewing Company. Old Spotswood is an English old ale made from George Washington’s recipe. It has tones of molasses and a rich malty flavor. Blonde Bear is a traditional blonde ale and is a good sippin’ beer on a warm afternoon following a great hike.

About two blocks from the brewery we found a beautiful abandoned house. It was just after Halloween and we were looking for ghosts. We didn’t see a ghost but we did stay around for a while to enjoy the sunset behind the house.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe and be responsible.